An article was posted about a woman’s experience with discovering a friend’s betrayal. She expressed feelings of hurt and anger and described things she has done since in trying to resolve the issue for her own peace of mind.
And the comments people left were simply awful. They were categorically disproportionate in negative criticism relative to what the content actually reads.
One person commented (and, this, BTW, was a more moderate comment):
Why on earth would you apologize to her? And even try to continue to be friends? She only is friends with you so she can feel better about herself and make you look foolish on her blog. You are being used. You are stupid. Move on and forget about her. You seem pretty pathetic writing this story. Are you that desperate for friends you need to keep going back for more abuse?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that someone were desperate for a friend. And I am in no way suggesting that this is true in the author’s case because it doesn’t read that way to me, but just to expound upon this point that she is stupid because she is being “used”. thereby she must be “that desperate for friends”.
Conceding this point, hypothetically, that such desperation exists:
Does the commentor believe that this desperation, in fact, *any* human desperation should be responded to with hostility and derision?
I’m curious because it seems comments are made that I, personally, would reconsider if I recognized my comments implied something about me that was, ironically, perhaps, the better candidate for ridicule.
And my response, here, is not directed solely to this one comment, but to the practice in general of responding to human expressions of distress, pain, confusion and upset with sanctimonious condemnations and ignorant dismissals.
We all have opinions about what we observe and read. We also have discernment to choose if and when and how we communicate an opinion.
And the first question we must ask before making the effort (because it does require some effort) is why? why is the payoff from my letting others know this opinion something I will spend my limited time and resources on? People are essentially frugal with their efforts and apply them where they get the largest return on investment.
So, if we also maintain that the purpose of these hostile and mean spirited remarks are not altruistic in nature, and we agree that they neither inform nor clarify for the purpose of bettering the target audience, then we might safely assume they are meant as they seem: as a verbal assault, that intends to hurt, no matter small. It’s the intent that is important.
So, to those of you who choose at the moment of discernment that you are someone who places a high value on your being able to hurt someone who reveals what you find to be weak, desperate and essentially *vulnerable*, you are known by your words.
We all know someone who enjoys kicking others when they are already on the ground. It is probably awkward to realize that our comments reveal us to be that someone.
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