The Elephant in the Study: Blogger’s Angst

canstockphoto0454563When a long time reader and commenter un-followed me and started deleting my comments when I would comment on their blog, I’d like to say that I shrugged it off and moved on. I haven’t yet. It’s the boyfriend who never called back, the essay that didn’t get picked, the participation ribbon when I believed I would place, it’s the song I warbled horribly through in front of a crowd, it’s the polite applause I got for improv that I thought was hysterically funny, it’s the promotion I didn’t get. It’s deliberate rejection done as passive-aggressively as possible.

Most readers of this blog have a pretty good idea of my schtick. I’m middle-aged, suburban, a parent with ambivalent religiosity and penchant for occasional foul language. I rarely inspire controversy. I comment politely or in kind on people’s blogs. I respond to comments on my blog the same way. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe I’m supposed to be self-doubting and unsure and timid. Maybe I’m not as polite as I imagine. Maybe I should just sit down and shut up.

I’ve gone through the thinking that happens when someone un-follows. There’s so many reasons that make sense to me – they thought I was one kind of writer until the next post when I wasn’t. This is the drawback of writing about anything that occurs to me, as opposed to finding a focus. Or their reader or email notifications have just overwhelmed them and they need to draw the list down. Or they just followed me, so I would follow them and when I didn’t get around to it, went off for more guerrilla following. I get it and I’ve learned not to take it personally.

This time, though, it feels personal. When you’ve interacted with someone over many months, both in comments on their blog and their comments on yours, you think you know a little about them and they you. And it’s weird, too, since I’m not sure what I’ve done to cause offense. This blogger does not want me to exist in their universe now and wow, it hurts my feelings. Is it okay to say that or does it make me too sensitive or wrapped up in the blogging world? I’m not sure. I haven’t dealt with this before, so I haven’t developed a reasonable perspective that doesn’t make me feel just a little crappy about myself.

Admittedly, I’ve hit a low point with blogging and writing in general, so this is just a little “kick me when I’m down” incident. I’ll get over it and move on, but this is, unfortunately, how I started my day and it will weigh on me a bit until I rally my spirits and hit my writing stride. There is always the writing…and a reminder to myself that one person doesn’t negate the great deal of pleasure I’ve gotten from blogging and getting to know so many lovely readers and bloggers. I just need to shake it off, but it’s raw and I’m sitting with it for the moment.

Have you experienced anything like this with blogging?

Administrative Note: The Green Study “Worst Job I’ve Ever Had” Contest is coming to life with some very funny/ horrific entries! You have until Sunday, March 3rd 2013, 12:00 pm (US Standard Central Time) to get your entry submitted.

68 Comments on “The Elephant in the Study: Blogger’s Angst

  1. I’ve been doing this now for a year (this week! happy birthday to me!) and there is no doubt in my mind that you build a relationship — dare I say friendship — with other bloggers. For someone to cut you out with no explanation is no less hurtful than in the real world. Your feelings are genuine.

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    • Congrats on the blogging anniversary, Ross! I appreciate the affirmation on the feelings, too. When I tell non-blogging friends about things in the blogging world, I get the sense they think I’m talking about my imaginary friends.

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        • Ha! That’s a better reference than say, a blow up doll or a teddy bear you’ve had since 2nd grade that you insist eat at the table with company. I’m getting visions of Miss Havisham and Norman Bates simultaneously. I better get some coffee before this stream of consciousness thing runs completely amok. Hence the need to write this morning!

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  2. “Maybe I should just sit down and shut up.”

    No, no, no, no, NO! Don’t you effin’ dare let some passive-aggressive effin’ a-hole suppress you!! (Or yer gonna have me to answer to.) I’m late for work, so I’ll come by later, but I just wanted to tender a quick “don’t you dare” before leaving.

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    • I’m sure I’ll get beyond my initial reaction and keep on blabbing away – it just took me off guard a bit. Thanks for the ass-kicking support – it’s appreciated.

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      • I’ve been following the comments with interest, and part of me wants to answer a lot of them in agreement and in strong support of some things they’ve suggested based on their short years on the ‘web. Yes, short years. I was on the ‘net long before the ‘web was born, and some of the thing people are suggesting I know as long-experienced fact.

        I’ll successfully resist the urge to “be all over” the comments, but meet me down below for my 1/50th of a (no doubt) long-winded buck. (This is one of those times when I wonder if writing a linked post might be a better option.)

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        • I’d like to see a post about it, especially given your experience. I was thinking about another comparison to be made about online blogging/offline friendships. If this happened in offline life, I’d call the person and try to figure out what’s going on, at least once. Online there’s less incentive to follow up, less willingness to give the benefit of the doubt and it’s easier to move on, which is probably how it needs to be.

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  3. I’ve unfollowed folks before (quite a few actually). I hope they haven’t had the reaction that you did . . . 😉

    Sometimes we make mistakes about who we choose to follow. For example, I’ve followed a lot of bloggers who characterized their blogs as “humor” but it turns out that their blog is really “angry ranting.” I don’t mind the anger–it’s the part where they’re just not funny that causes me to unfollow.

    Have you never unfollowed someone?

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    • It’s not the un-following that did it. It’s the not responding and deleting the innocuous comment I made on their post – they don’t want to read anything I have to say in any context – my blog or their blog. I have un-followed blogs for some of the reasons I mentioned in the post and for the reasons you wrote as well, so I get that. It’s also that they read and commented on my posts and had “conversation” on theirs for many months and then did the shut out.

      The more I explain it, the stranger their behavior seems, but still, it took me aback.

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  4. Your reasoning sounds very down-to-earth and I don’t blame you for feeling hurt — we do develop relationships even though they are “virtual” — those are real relationships on a certain level, nonetheless. The following/unfollowing I think most folks understand, as you do — for me if I unfollow (or don’t follow to start) it is usually because my reader is full and I can’t keep up with what I already have followed (although I often bookmark a blog I enjoy to periodically check, or remember to check if they check in on me!) — but the deleting of nonoffensive comments seems so unnecessary and frankly, immature (man, are we back in “mean girls” middle school stage again???). Hang in there and don’t dwell on the negative folks, you have many positive ones who enjoy interacting with you, and those are the ones who should matter anyway (I know, easier said than done — I’d be obsessively dwelling on the deletions and shutout as well for awhile!) ~ Kat

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    • I’m going to try not to obsess, because I know how miserable that can be and I feel like I’m too damned old for those kind of ruminations. It certainly gives me pause. It’s like being at a great party, telling some jokes, getting a laugh or two and then someone stands up and walks away without saying anything. Of course, you feel like an insecure wretch when they come back over with their snack plate refilled!

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  5. I don’t really watch the numbers a lot because I don’t want to get caught up in that, but if someone who I had a real back-and-forth with unfollowed me, well that is different. I think that would hurt my feelings as well. I have several people that I have what I would call real friendships with here on WP – I look forward to what they have to say on their own blogs and their comments on mine – to cut one off would take more than simply taking offense, for if that happened I would want to understand and I would hope that conversation would clear that up, or at least we could agree to disagree. To edit your conversations does seem extreme –

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    • I had noticed that I hadn’t been visited in the last couple of weeks by the blogger, but probably wouldn’t have seen the un-following except for the comment blocking/deleting on their own blog. I glance at the numbers these days to indicate if I’m posting frequently enough, since I’m really trying to find a good pace. It would have to be extreme for me to un-follow one of my blogging pals. I’m not even sure of what it would take – I sometimes disagree with something in a post or they don’t resonate with me, but I’ve come to like the overall blog/person and continue to read their posts.

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      • I say that I don’t follow numbers only to say that I wouldn’t have a clue if someone left unless they were a part of my community and that would be terrible – like you I can’t imagine what it would take for me to un-follow and edit someone out of my blogosphere – it would have to be extreme – I’m sad someone did that to you.

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        • Thanks for the empathy. Fortunately, I did some writing and some volunteer work that made me happy today and the day has been pulled out of the crapper. Sometimes stepping away improves perspective.

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        • Boy, that’s the truth. Your writing is inspiring and thought provoking – don’t change it. I can’t even fathom anything you’ve written garnering that response – but what do I know – I post endless bird photos (so controversial)

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        • I love your bird photos and the captions – you do it so well! I think that cocky cardinal might have offended a few other birds, but unlikely people.

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        • Good! Jays steer clear of my feeders unless the weather is really bad – I see their feathers in the field, but have never been able to photograph them.

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  6. I have been unfollowed, although I don’t know by whom. I have also had people just suddenly disappear. Not comment anymore. You do feel rejected. And confused. And hurt. The worst is, you don’t know why the sudden disappearance. What happened. What, if anything, you did. And that, I suppose, is what separates the virtual world from the real one. Here our conversations are often so ‘personal’, we share so many common thoughts and beliefs, it gets to feel like a real friendship. But then we can vanish, without an explanation. Something we wouldn’t do in real life. So what does that make these ‘relationships’ we have here, in this world?

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    • Usually when people disappear, but still follow, I just assume that they are busy or have some things going on in their lives that make blogging a low priority. I was very sad when one of my blogger friends deleted her blog because she got a fulltime job and just didn’t feel she could maintain an online commitment anymore. She was kind enough to inform her readers, though.

      I think sometimes we’re embarrassed about our connections – so often the online world is the butt of jokes.

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  7. blogging is so weird. it really is. i would be very hurt too if someone who had followed me and developed a rapport with me just left. the thing is, you really don’t know who that person was, not really. and i think their mysterious withdrawal highlights this fact. the unexplained disappearance of someone we assumed a friend is traumatic; in some sense, it makes us question what is real.

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    • It is a strange world, with all its own rules and expectations. As someone mentioned earlier, deleting comments that have been submitted to your post does seem to have a “mean girl” angle to it.

      But one of the things about blogging that I’m really appreciating today is the conversation with other bloggers about this issue. Not just as a matter of support, but also saying things “out loud” seems to lessen the impact. I’ll stop whinging on about it soon!

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      • I understand, I have had some very painful experiences with blogging too, though most were good. Whine away 😉

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        • Fortunately, my whining has a limited shelf life – at some point I get tired of hearing myself! Have shaken it off and continue to blog away!

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  8. “Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe I’m supposed to be self-doubting and unsure and timid. Maybe I’m not as polite as I imagine. Maybe I should just sit down and shut up.”

    No, don’t do that! Pleeeease!

    This is your forum. Your place. It’s your platform of personal expression in the impersonal environment of the internet and it sure is an interesting mix. Using comment and critique to improve your craft is great. But giving over your energy to ponder the actions of others may not be helpful — maybe that’s where the choices of others regarding your work feel passive-agressive to you. Dunno, just thinking.

    I haven’t been blogging long and I haven’t really formed any relationships with other bloggers. I’m still not exactly sure what I’m doing here 🙂 but when I compare what I do with what others do I begin to doubt my content and voice. I just have to remember my goals.

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    • This incident today is new to me, so I haven’t really worked my way through it. I do understand what you are saying and I don’t intend on giving up personal energy or power, but I would be less than honest if I didn’t say “ouch”. I have my ups and downs with doubt, but I also think that is part of the territory when it comes to writing and blogging.

      My goals have shifted in the year that I’ve been blogging. At first, I just wanted to become accustomed to writing in public and develop a regular habit of writing. Now I won’t shut up, but I’m working on improving quality – from content to writing skills in general. Readers become more important then, because that is an indicator that the writing or content is more strongly consistent. It’s not an end all, be all, but one indicator.

      The surprising side effect of all this, is that you meet amazing people and writers that you begin to think of as friends. But it is a different world and one that has to be navigated, bumps and all. Today I just hit a new bump.

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  9. I echo what Ross said, as bloggers we do form friendships and get invested in other people’s lives. So, when something like this happens, it causes you to sink in your chair. To be quite honest, I’ve never experienced an un-follow in this context. Yes, I’ve had people stop following my blog. But, never anyone I personally connected with.
    As for you and your stellar writing, keep doing what you’re doing. The people who know you, who appreciate you, will continue to show up. Like someone once told me, “friends are like jobs.” You only need one. Though I’m quite sure you have MANY quality friends in your court!

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    • I haven’t ever experienced anything like this before, either. Naturally, I know the rule is to focus on the positive and not get derailed by something that is completely out of my control. I’ll get there, but I’m stewing now. Going through the stages of online rejection grieving, as it were. I’m now at the stage when I’m calling this blogger unflattering names in my head and imagining a basement dweller with no life. It’s so, so wrong, I know.

      I feel very fortunate to have “met” the people I have online, really very pleasant, creative and generous people. So this butthead blogger will be a blip on the radar soon!

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  10. Don’t let one person change your approach. Who knows what kind of detour they chose, but it likely was for their own selfish reason rather than something you did. I have a creeper on my list of commenters that I would like to shed, but apparently that is not possible.

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    • What’s a creeper? I read this and thought, maybe I’m one and don’t even know it.

      I know I’ll write this off and move on, though. There’s not much you can do about other people, only about your own reaction to them. Thanks, Joe!

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        • I have some commenters that challenge me or disagree with me, which I appreciate, but no one yet who autopsies my posts. I’m sure they’re loaded with inconsistencies since I am a walking/writing inconsistency.
          Well, maybe you’ll get lucky and be banished from his/her online universe. Apparently it happens!

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  11. You’d think that they would have at least told you why. But haters gonna hate. Don’t worry about someone who would do that. Worry about the followers who still want to read.

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  12. I think some people forget we are real people behind these words. It does seem strange that person cut you completely off like that. Unfortunately some people are passive aggressive like that. But soon you will several other followers to make up for it. Keep doing what you’re doing. You don’t have the problem. they do.

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    • I think some people do feel a real disconnect with communication online. How else could we explain trolls? Now that I’ve written about it and been able to have some “conversation” about it, I’m starting to feel a lot better. I don’t want to seem like a whiner, but so often when something is bothering me, writing about it is the magic cure for what ails! Thanks, Jackie.

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      • Oh I’m like that too. When something really bothers me I like to see what others think about it. Sometimes helps in understanding the problem. I’m glad you are feeling better about it. It is disturbing, but as long as you realize it has nothing really to do with you, but this other person, it’ll be better. Didn’t sound like whining. 🙂

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  13. I, too, would feel the “ouch” that you did if one of my regular followers who I felt a mutual connection with, just suddenly hit the eject button. There are often no answers as to “why? One thing that has helped me in situations where there are no clear answers, is to allow myself to feel the feelings but absolutely do not assume that I must have done something terrible to cause the break. Likely, you are not ever going to learn why she censored you. She kinda made that clear when she banned you from contacting her. I suspect that it is so much more about her than it is about you. The wound is new and I know that in a day or two you will get your mojo back! Be kind to yourself

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    • I think that’s a great route to follow – acknowledging the feelings without extensive bouts of self-flagellation. When you don’t know the reason, there’s not point in assuming it has anything to do with you at all, you’re right. I’m pretty sure, since I’ve been doing “shared ruminating”, the bounce will be back in my step shortly. Thanks for the great advice and kind words!

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  14. Hey Lady,
    Whoever the blogger is…they are the weakest link, goodbye. I know that when I decide a blog doesn’t fit my reading needs, or it seems my comments don’t mesh with the other readers, or my comments NEVER get a response, I move on. I don’t think it matters to those bloggers. Maybe it matters to them when their follower count drops, who knows, but I can’t see how giving them a reason would make any difference.
    Now, someone who seemed to make a connection just dropping you and actively deleting your comments, that’s weird. I say, Be GONE weird one!
    Just as I am not a compulsive “liker”, I also don’t courtesy follow. I have several readers whom I haven’t followed back. I do check out every blogger who claims to like a post and certainly cruise around the blogs of ones who choose to follow me. I read many blogs which I don’t follow.
    I’m still here. Blog on!

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    • It was weird and the more I write about it, the odder it strikes me. I’m feeling much better than I did this morning. Mostly because I got some good writing done and was able to get outside for a bit. I sensed just a hint of spring in the air – enough to kick any blues out of the way!

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  15. I just wish I had an audience of some kind to unfollow my blog. I believe I have just the one faithful reader, to whom I refer often in my posts. Sadly, I’m an irregular blogger, who publishes less and less. I have lots to say, I constantly think of things to write while I cycle, but rarely have the time to type it all up. I used to comment alot on a blog I follow, but they too stopped publishing my comments, I must say I felt hurt, because without an explanation of how I’d offended them, there’s no closure. I can live with upsetting somebody, as long as I know how I’ve managed it.

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    • I was thinking today that it probably wouldn’t help me to know the reason. What am I going to do? Apologize for being me? Change my ways? It would likely make me more belligerent and intent on offending – I can be immature like that sometimes.

      I checked out your blog and since your focus is on cycling, I’d think you’d get quite a few readers. I didn’t see any tags on your posts, though, so I wondered if that might help. I’m sure there are people who regularly read cycling-related posts. I added my follow to your blog – nothing beats an un-follow better than doing a little following of my own!

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      • Thankyou, I’m afraid that my skills in setting up a blog are much wanting. My son keeps promising to sort bit out, i.e., the physical appearance and it’s accessibility, but I’m still waiting. Patience is something I lack with this technology, it was the same with bikes when I started cycling again 7 years ago, but I can now do things mechanically, I just would have given up on back then. One day, I will sit down and sort out my blog.

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  16. I agree completely with what everyone else has said: your feelings are entirely appropriate. Unfollowing is one thing; there are many reasons for that (love the metaphor about telling jokes, person leaves (WTF?), oh, they just went for food). But deleting comments? That’s personal and rude and childish, and anyone would feel stung. It’s a really crappy way to start your day.

    One thing I’ll offer based on what you said about having long-running conversations until now. People we’re connected to (even just in virtue of many email conversations) can sometimes take some minor thing wrong and feel hurt because they feel close to you. The behavior of the other blogger seems to me like lashing out, and I wonder what perception they might have that warrants that. (They may also just be showing their true (ugly) colors; that’s always possible.)

    Online friends are definitely real. But a lot is lost in text; so much communication comes from tone of voice and facial expression. And people will behave online in ways they’d never do in face time. I think the same thing happens to some from the safety of their car; bet they wouldn’t be so quick to flip the bird or cut me off to my face. I do think that online friendships that develop over time (and so can be trusted) are as real as any other.

    “Maybe I’m supposed to be self-doubting and unsure and timid.” I know you mean that ironically (at least I hope you do), but it triggered a number of thoughts. The modern tendency to put “lol” after any sentence that seems even vaguely original, let alone challenging, drives me crazy. Have the courage of your convictions, people! Stop being so apologetic about using your brain!

    The flip side of that seems to be that if you don’t act that way, then some people will react negatively. (I’m not sure when confidence became a negative quality.) Merely stating your opinions without apology seems off-putting to some. I was taught that, except for obvious recitation of facts, pretty much every word you say is your opinion, so there’s no need to constantly qualify your words. It’s just verbal noise.

    I confess, I frequently and loudly err on the side of being too much for many people to take (this comment is, perhaps, exhibit “A”). I’ve come to realize I was born with a big personality (and, sadly, not a really great one). My parents, bless their religious hearts, had great personalities (well loved by everyone; salt of the Earth; not a mean bone in their bodies), but timid personalities. And so I was never slapped down all those many times I should have been slapped down. And so now I’m a bit of an over-sized bull in an over-stocked fine crystal shop (i.e. lots of damage frequently occurs).

    My point is, I recognize in you a fellow big personality, but you lack my flaws. Your very supportive readership and comments shows this. Tons of people (including me) think you’re pretty cool and pretty damn good. But big personalities sometimes step on toes, and I’m not convinced it’s not the toes’ fault sometimes. Some people just have very sensitive toes, and that’s just how it goes!

    I know what you mean about not knowing WTF. I recently wrote an email to a blog friend offering some thoughts on a piece of writing. That’s something I try to avoid. (I try to avoid fiction and photo blogs in general, because I tend to overshare my thoughts to everyone’s dismay.) I thought this person had a pretty tough skin and that we had a trust relationship, so it would be alright.

    And then dead silence for a week. There were fresh posts on the blog, but no reply to my email, and no response to comments on my blog or theirs. I was devastated that I’d apparently offended or hurt someone; certainly not my intent!

    Last night I sent an email just saying I’d obviously caused offense or hurt, and that I was sorry for that.

    My morning started the opposite of yours. I got an email from my friend. Turns out they had a bad internet connection. Those fresh posts were written in the past and automatically posted. In fact, my comments were appreciated and generally agreed with. I wish I could pass along some of the joy I felt to you; I’d be happy to share.

    If you and this person have a history, and if you care, maybe it’s worth asking. Maybe they’ll ignore your email, maybe they’ll nastygram you back, or maybe it was all a misunderstanding. I did have one commenter blast me pretty good for something once. But we talked, and it turned out to be a misunderstanding.

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    • I feel like I should write this big huge response back, since you so thoroughly and thoughtfully covered a lot of issues and shared your own experience, but it’s getting late and I’ve had a long day. Glad that your experience turned out positively for you! I don’t think I’ll contact the blogger, since it seems like a deliberate message and not just dropping out due to unforeseen circumstances. I’ve churned through it enough and got such thoughtful comments from everyone, that I’m in a good place about things and plan on just writing what I like and letting the rest go.

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      • That sounds like a good plan and an end to the matter! I have a post I’ve been trying to write for weeks. In your reply above you mention seeing more about my previous experiences. It’s occurred to me I might be able to tie it into that post, so you may see it yet.

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  17. Kick in the ribs when you’re already down really does hurt, but I hope you’ll be over it by tonight – encouraged by this discussion. Obviously that relationship was not what you thought it was – blocking/deleting/editing comments sounds really strange to me so I agree with my friend Jackie that they have a problem, not you. You are a fabulous writer whose posts I love to see in my reader just because what you have to say is always interesting. I don’t have to agree on everything but I can always learn something…don’t you put your pen down!

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    • I think I’m well on my way to being over it. I appreciate your kind words. I don’t think I could put my pen down if I wanted to – it’s a happy place for me when I write. Thank you!

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  18. Friendships sometimes dissolve for inexplicable reasons — someone takes something wrong, misreads meaning, intent. I’ve found that the folks who let something like that destroy a friendship, wherever it is based, end up being the lonely ones indeed.

    This is your blog, your forum, your heart and soul coming out here. Not everybody is going to like some of the things you say (I know I lost readers when I delved more into politics, but so be it. I also gained readers — go figure.) You won’t please everybody unless you lose yourself. And that’s too big a price to pay.

    But of course it hurts. I would venture to say it sucks.

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    • I agree with you about friendships that crack at the first sign of offense or misunderstanding. Those are the least likely kind of friendships I’d want to maintain – too much walking on eggshells.

      I’ve thought a lot about the reason I don’t write more provocative, cutting edge posts, because some of the best blogs out there are…out there. It’s just not what I feel compelled to do, but I wouldn’t avoid writing about something because of what others might think, so I just need to “woman up” and get on with things.

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      • You’re allowed to lick your wounds to. Hurt, well, it hurts. I lost a good friend under similar circumstances and it still makes me sad months later. But I can’t live my life for someone else. Besides, you can’t trust someone once they’ve hurt you like that. At least I can’t.

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  19. Glad you are bouncing back. I’m sure I would be obsessed if that happened to me. I have lost one follower, not sure who it was, but it still bugs me. I’m not all that good at “forming relationships” online yet; I simply don’t have the time it takes. So I only feel like I have a few friends through my blog. If one left, I’d be terribly sad, let alone the comment deletion! I think your ex-friend has some issues.
    I’m glad you volunteered, glad you wrote, glad you found such support through this supportive community. Your blog is one of my favorites, even though I don’t always have time to read and comment. I will always be a follower!

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    • Thanks, Melanie! I thought of you this morning while I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio. J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy was talking about being at the Keystone Pipeline protest.

      It’s been a difficult, busy week, so my “bounce back” time took a little longer, but I think I’m good now. Onward and upward!

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  20. I would feel the same way, though it hasn’t happened to me yet. Just seems to me this forum makes it easier for the passive-aggressive, just as some people mis-use email and SHOUT or talk rudely to one another, because they can, from a distance. Reminds me of what it was like to work the drive-thru: seems more customers were rude out there because they’re talking to you through a box. You’re less a person. Et cetera. Just shake it off. And give me the same (or better) advice please when it happens to me.

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    • I will send it right back, but I hope it doesn’t happen to you. As you pointed out about awful jobs in your post today, there’s always something to be learned from a bad experience. I’ll let you know what that is when I figure it out!

      There is a sense of false anonymity when people are online and they let their baser instincts guide their behavior. But as usual, the squeaky wheels get the attention when the majority of people online really are respectful and polite.

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  21. Sorry to be late weighing in here but I think there is a certain anonymity in blogging, the same way there is with Facebook. That ability to put something out into a reality without boundaries can be dangerous. We tend to forget that the purpose for communicating is to connect with others. When we write, especially about what is personal and important to us, we are asking and allowing others in and I think as bloggers, we do it with a certain level of unwritten respect. Having said all that, I have been “unfollowed” and I take a moment to wonder why. But you seem to have made a connection with this person and so it is hurtful. We humans rely on those connections. But we cannot change others, we can only change our response to them. Time to let it go and let the douchebag go blithely about his/her business. Yes, I said douchebag. It’s a term from my son that has so many great applications. Be well and be comforted in the knowledge that so many are still here, still connecting with you through your words.

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    • I have bounced back from the incident, especially since so many people kindly weighed in. “Douchebag” is one of my favorite profanities, but I’m not even putting that much energy into it. Sometimes once I write about something, the power it has over me dissipates and I can move on. Thanks so much for reading the post and taking the time to comment.

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  22. Is there a way you can ask the person what you did to offend them? Or do you have a mutual blogging friend who can ask for you? If yes, ask. If no, mourn a bit then move on–there is nothing you can do about it. Posts are meaningful it others n vastly different ways, and each person sees them with a unique perspective, Something you said in a comment or posted struck this person very hard to have dropped you. But without explanation there is nothing you can do to mitigate, apologize or explain. I had a school friend unfriend me on FB without explanation. I went to school with her for 7 years. Then one day she wasn’t there. Nothing. That is personal. I was hurt, but if she didn’t want me there, so be it. And I moved on. Sad, though, our world is so Internet focused that we can drop and unfriend with no conversation, like we really aren’t there. This disconnect is very concerning and I fear holds social ramifications now and in future generations.

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    • The strangeness of it all lends me to believe it’s some issue on their end. I don’t want to carry it any further, because if this blogger is the kind who would take offense and be so passive-aggressive, it’s better I know now and not farther down the road. Also, since my transgression was simply being who I am (really so middle of the road and civil), I’m not going to have a good connection with them, anyway and will feel like I’m walking on eggshells. I feel better about things now, since really that’s all I can do.
      Sorry about your friend on Facebook. I think you’re right about the nature of internet connections, but I believe in conducting myself as I would offline and so do a lot of other people, I think. There are always those that won’t and it’s hard when that happens.

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  23. I wrote a similar blog post about losing followers, so I feel your pain. This though, is more than just losing a follower….this is just rude! It’s baffling too, and that’s the part that is truly troublesome…the ‘not knowing.’ It’s happened to me in real life too; I’ve had friends that have simply vanished…dropped off the face of the planet so to speak. And the truth is we’ll never truly know “what happened,” or “what we did wrong.” At some point it’s not worth agonizing over. But hey, I’m not saying I wouldn’t be upset either…I would be, definitely would be. Don’t worry though, you write fabulously engaging posts and you have a lot of fans 🙂 Who knows what this person’s problem is…but that’s the thing to remember…it’s HER problem, not yours.

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    • I saw you post on the following issue and by the feedback, a lot of people struggle with that.

      I’m past this particular incident, but have also decided to not look at stats for a month or so, just to get myself “unhooked” and to focus on improving my writing and post content.

      Sometimes, too, when stuff like this happens, I make a concerted effort to give others a boost. I’ll do blogger awards or a gratitude post to lead readers to other bloggers. It’s a little positive karma to fend off the bad!

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