I thought it would be worth posting some thoughts on this for all you more recently arrived blog followers. Here’s how it works.
I don’t expect people to agree with me. It’s lovely when I find someone who shares a perspective, and I really enjoy the further sharing that can come from that, but at the same time I don’t expect it. What makes sense for me, and what works for me may well not work for someone else. If your experience is different, please do say. I love learning, and I learn a lot when people share alternative views. I also know that I can get things totally wrong sometimes, through not knowing, or dodgy assumptions. It is helpful to me when people catch that. Alternative takes on things are always welcome.
I love diversity. I love that we are all different. Dogma is dull!
I know I sometimes wind people up, for all kinds of reasons. I say things that push people’s buttons. Sometimes that’s deliberate, sometimes I do it in all innocence. Usually if I’m writing about someone specific, I will either name them, or contact them privately so they know it’s them. With problems and issues, I try to avoid writing about experiences with individuals, but will look for comparisons across an array of experiences. So if you know me a bit offline, and I post something that in places sounds a bit like you but mostly isn’t… I request that you don’t take offence. It’s not total failure to understand you, or a character assassination, the odds are I was thinking about five other people as well and a thing I read.
If I wind you up and you take it personally and need to vent, come back and talk to me – publically or privately as you prefer. I would rather know. If there is a crossed wire, we can sort it out. If I have messed up, I can do something about it. If you just needed to vent, I’ll survive. I do not in any way censor comments to the blog if they relate to what I’ve posted. I don’t need you to agree with me, and if I don’t know you personally, I don’t need you to like me, but at the same time I would rather deal as smoothly and honourably with you as I can.
I don’t particularly enjoy being trolled, hassled or trashed – having had rounds of those. It really does all come down to manners. I’ve had some fantastic, inspiring disagreements; to argue does not have to be to denigrate. We may bang out the arguments now and then, but it is all about the ideas, not about ‘winning’ or putting the other person down, and I love her for that. Turn up and tell me I’m worthless and useless, and there’s not a lot to debate… and frankly it doesn’t engender the best reactions because I am flawed, and neither saintly nor masochistic enough to actually enjoy that sort of thing. I may respond with sarcasm rather than compassion.
I do sometimes censor comments on those rare occasions when someone is shitty to someone else who posts here. It doesn’t happen very often because for the greater part I seem to get lovely, splendid people with meaningful insight to share, not trolls. Troll me, if you must. Not anyone else. Debate, discuss, exchange – it’s all fab and I get really excited when there are conversations going on in the comments. We had a round recently of someone attacking another poster though, and I didn’t let it through, nor will I.