Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trying to be Kind, But New at Blogging Ettiquette

Over a decade ago, I accidentally hurt a friend. He took what I said wrong and then waited over a year to tell me. When I explained what I had meant, he understood, and we were straight again. It was a misunderstanding that could have easily been cleared up if he had said something immediately. I wish he had. At the same time, a coworker filed a grievance against me through our union for an innocent statement I made that she took wrong. Later, everyone involved, including that woman, agreed that I had intended the statement as a compliment, and that she misconstrued it, and blew it out of proportion. She should have just come to me and said "What did you mean by that?" After that I went through a period where I carefully watched every word I said. I was extremely careful to analyze whatever I said and to make sure that nothing offensive came out of my mouth. My personality changed. I think people sensed my defensiveness. They knew I wasn't being my authentic self. I think God made me to be a forthright, open and direct kind of person. I try to be uplifting and encouraging and positive. I'm gregarious. I know that my outgoing personality offends more people than if I was quiet and shy. That's why the blog worries me. I know that although I intend it to be a kind blog, people who appear in it, may take it wrong. They may be embarrassed or offended, even when I mean it for good. Like my post about the teachers I work with. I meant it to be uplifting. They took it that way. But if they didn't would they say so? When something is written, it's risky. Or it's boring. My other alternative is to write neutral posts. "Weather's great here in Ventura. Yes, siree. Sunny." I have to just hope people will be honest when I've mistakenly hurt them.

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