Ranting, Bashing and Speaking Before Thinking

rants

Let’s face it we all have bad days. Sometimes even bad weeks, months or years. It happens. Somebody says something or does something, or you make a terrible decision that comes back and knocks the heck out of you. If it’s traumatic, it’s hard to recover – no matter what you do.

And when we’re upset, sometimes our first inclination is to strike back. We’re not doormats after all, right? We shouldn’t take it lying down, right? All’s fair in love and war, right? Maybe not so much.

If someone wrongs you, has inflicted unwarranted pain on you, discouraged you, or flat out attacked you – then you have a right to counter-attack. Don’t you? Perhaps. Maybe if you could keep it strictly between you and the offender. But the problem is that in modern life, nothing is private. Even your disagreements with your spouse are likely to end up on Facebook or Twitter. So attacking your attacker with wild abandon may come back to bite you.

Don’t Click that Publish Button Yet

Too many people allow themselves to be swept away by their emotional response to a slight, insult, bad review, criticism, etc. Since everybody in the world has a blog, the first impulse is to write a scathing blog post about this terrible thing that has happened to you. But wait. Do you really want your mother to see that? How about a future prospect? Thousands of strangers? Your boss? Your clients, customers or readers? How will they respond? Chances are, not very well.

Sure, go ahead and write that post but don’t publish it. Let it sit there. Read it two weeks from now. Still want to publish it? If so, let it sit another two weeks, go back, and read it again. Chances are you’ll end up deleting it. And be glad you didn’t publish it. While striking back may make you feel better in the heat of the moment, there are a lot of reasons you should reconsider:

  • You could be wrong. Maybe you just misunderstood something and lept to conclusions
  • Others will be turned off and think you are petty
  • You may lose readers, customers, friends or other allies
  • You could be perceived as petty, angry and/or arrogant or even a bully
  • It could hurt others who don’t deserve it
  • It doesn’t change the situation and often makes it worse

The Best Revenge is Success

If you have any kind of online presence or your career puts you in the public eye, you’ll have detractors. It’s simply a fact of life. You can’t get away from it and if you try to attack it, things will only get worse because you chance starting a never-ending battle of being right. Think about it – do you really want to be engaged in the fight forever? So, what can you do?

To quote Vito Corleone:

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Depending on the type of attack, there are plenty of strategies you can use:

  • Ignore it
  • Hire a reputation management company
  • File a lawsuit
  • Provide documentation that demonstrates that accusation is false

In most cases, you don’t have to go as far as the above suggestions; generally, you can just go about your business, stay focused and succeed. People who try to engage you in firefights and online spats aren’t succeeding, which is why they feel the need to attack you. In you, they see a threat. It may only be real in their minds but that is likely what is motivating them. There’s no need for you to play the game. You should feel sorry for them and then move on. If you do, eventually they’ll get bored and move on too.

If you really want to get their goat – prosper and flourish. Succeed. Do you own thing. That’s what counts, right? Your own goals and what you’re trying to achieve? Not some petty words or acts committed by someone you barely know. Believe in yourself and carry on. Believe me, there’s nothing that drives naysayers crazier than that.

If you have to rant – do so in front of your dog or another non-English speaking creatures that don’t have access to a computer. You’ll feel better and nobody will be any the wiser.

What do you think about ranting and bashing on the Internet? Do you do it? Do you like it? Hate it? How do you handle such situations?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2015

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4 thoughts on “Ranting, Bashing and Speaking Before Thinking

  1. Soooooo true! I actually went back and deleted a comment on my brother’s Facebook status after reading this. I figured it was a conversation better had over beer or coffee if had at all. I have been stumbling in the dark for several years now to “find my voice” again on my blog, and social media. And really that is just a virtual representation of what has transpired in my “real life.” I have changed so much in the last 5-7 years. So much has happened to facilitate that change: too much death, weight loss, weight regain, birth of two children, battle with deep and lasting depression. I’m still standing. I am pretty sure I am happier than ever before. But many of the people I have loved most of my life don’t like what they see as a “new me.” They loved when I was an opinionated A-hole before as long as we were speaking the same language. But now that I have a (in the scheme of things) relatively slightly different spiritual and social outlook on life, the same family and friends seem to detest when I speak my mind (even if I am trying my damnedest not to be an A-hole). But gut instinct is still to strike, to argue, to lash out – whether in person or on social media. But I think that is just a part of me (one of many parts of me) that still needs to grow and change and blossom. Sorry if this trailed off to a different place and none of this makes sense.

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    1. Hi Wayne,
      I know what you mean about transitioning to the new you. I’ve had similar realizations myself. And I agree that the temptation to strike out or argue is hard to resist. But it almost never yields good results when you give in to that temptation. For me, I realized that my job as a writer is to create stories and to I guess share my worldview through those stories, as opposed to ranting on the Internet. LOL. We touch each others’ lives so profoundly on the Internet sometimes that I think we overstep the bounds of civil exchange without realizing it. And end up with a lot of hurt feelings. For me, my goal is to forward positive things as much as I can. It’s easy to pass bad news and harder to find good news to pass along but I’m determined to try.

      And no need to apologize for trailing off. You’re a writer aren’t you? 🙂

      Annie

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  2. I don’t do social media. My personal life is not the world’s business — and I don’t believe true privacy exists on the Internet. Not to mention how easy it is to misunderstand things because there’s no voice inflection, body language, facial expression, or any of the other cues that research says communicate more than words themselves.

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    1. Hey Girl,
      Yup, I’m not surprised to hear that. And I admire who people who keep their lives private. I am not in a position to do that as my goal is to become a widely read writer – therefore I have to be on those channels. This post came about because someone on my facebook friend list was making comments about people bashing others on their blogs and what a turn off that was. It gave me pause – hence the post.

      Virtual or real life – I think we could all be a little kinder to each other and it wouldn’t be that hard to do.

      Cheers
      Annie

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