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Monday, August 1, 2011

Perils of impulsive blogging...or, why my man rocks socks!

I have to admit, I am feeling fairly sheepish right now.  The where-is-the-nearest-paper-bag-big-enough-for-my-head kind of sheepish.  I did a fairly major oops on this blog last week and wanted to share it so that you can benefit from my experience without pissing off your own beloved and so that I can publicly eat some humble pie and apologise to mine!

One of the not so awesome things that the internet has given us is a massive surge in the amount of passive aggressive bullshit that happens in relationships.  It's so easy to post snide little Facebook statuses, tweets etc., aimed at having a "subtle dig" at people, without having to have the balls to actually say something directly.  Clearly, this has also happened a fair bit on people's blogs.  And then there's the whole realm of unintentionally passive aggressive posts where you say one thing and get heard completely differently.

Last week, when I posted Stop giving shit, and start giving a shit! it was for me, the culmination of a good two years of navel gazing and contemplating my own utterly ridiculous sensitivity to these things.  If it was sparked by any one person, it would be a friend from some years ago who I used to constantly clash heads with over the issue and in fact, it ultimately killed our friendship.  Some of the issues I've faced with the Spunky Monkey and our relationship had lead me to kick the issue around in my head again and I realised that the crux of the problem with my former friend - and where the awesome Spunky Monkey and he differ greatly - is that my friend was prepared to continue his behaviour, even when he knew it was hurting me.  And, I was struck with what I thought was quite a catchy title for the post I'd been trying to write for two years, and out it all came in a hurried lunch break typing session and I posted it, quite pleased with myself for finally verbalising two years of ruminating.

Unknown to me at the time, the Spunky Dude read it later that day and, because much of it had been a topic of discussion between the two of us, thought it was written about him.  That rather than come to him and say "Dude, I've got an issue in our relationship", I'd chosen to blog it for the world.  In my head, I did have a few other issues along that line to discuss with him, but they weren't in the piece I'd written and I'd intended to deal with them totally separately.  It guts me that I did this for two reasons - firstly and most obviously, because I unintentionally hurt the man I love.  Secondly and more obliquely - one of the rules I made with myself when I left the geeklings father was that this was something I would NOT do again; use semi-public and non targeted internet messages to make a point in a relationship because I was too much of a coward to make my point directly...I had done it with him and came to realise both how utterly childish and ultimately destructive to a relationship it was and vowed it wouldn't happen in the future.  To realise I'd done so inadvertently made me feel pretty crap.

When I realised how he felt about what I'd written, how it had looked to him and how that would have made him feel...well, that's when I started hunting for the big brown bag.  Because I of all people, who HAS been a victim of the non-flattering blog that was actually intentionally about me and a group of online friends, should have had more brains than to post something potentially that harmful, without running it past my Spunkster first and saying "Hey, this isn't about you, but I wanted to clear that up before I published it.  Are you OK with that?".

So, although I've said it to him privately, I'd like to say it here - to the man who holds my heart, I'm sincerely sorry that I wounded yours with my thoughtlessness.  As soon as I realised how you saw what I'd done, and how that must have felt, I had that gut dropping sensation of "oh shit oh shit oh shit I have really fucked up and hurt you".  I make no excuses - it was shit, and I'm sorry.

Fortunately, he accepted my explanation and apology, because that's the sort of dude he is.  Please don't repeat my mistake, blogging friends - think about your pieces from EVERY angle before you post them, and consider if they might be taken badly by people that are important to you.  Post a big, fat warning at the top if you need to, explicitly stating what motivated the post and that it's NOT about anyone in particular. I'll even put a good word in to the HTML gods if you want to put that in neon pink, flashing Comic Sans.  And consider really carefully if you are trying to get a message across to someone you love in a back handed way.

Because honestly, if your motivation is the latter - just pick up the damn phone.  It's a lot easier, if a lot more scary, to deal with people directly.  I think most people who are worth their salts, would appreciate your directness.  I know my man would...which is why he gets to read this before y'all do :-).

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