One of the things I’ve taught myself to do is to press pause on reacting until I’ve given myself time to think things through, gather more information about the matter, and process whatever I am reacting to logically.
Of course there are situations when there is no time to do that, when I have to go with my initial reaction and trust it.
Sometimes that works out well and I’m pleased that I went with primal instinct. Sometimes it doesn’t go well and in retrospect I wish I’d reacted differently.
Hindsight can be a real know-it-all pill. It can be hard to swallow just how wrong we were to react a certain way in a situation.
Hindsight can be an ally if used to inform our future reactions. Next time we’ll be more careful, considerate, and mindful. We’ll take more time to think before reacting. We’ll try to be less emotional. We’ll try to be more informed. We’ll pause on amber before seeing red.
Or maybe we won’t because maybe we did that and we shouldn’t have done that.
When it’s us who have made a mistake…
We may have our reasons, excuses, for our behaviour. We misunderstood, we lacked information, we lost our temper, felt attacked and were trying to protect ourselves, and so on.
Sue W of Nan’s Farm wrote an interesting post about something along those lines: Guilty or Not Guilty?
We may be willing to offer apologies, make amends. Hopeful that those who have been injured by our reaction will give us a second chance, cut us some slack because they’re human too and have probably made mistakes too, will understand.
Being human is an experience that comes with a lot of regret and wishes for do-overs.
Being a blogger comes with a lot of that too. Except as a blogger if you make mistakes you regret, you can grant your wish for a do-over, you can kill one blog off and reincarnate as a new blog and do everything right the next time – all in one human lifetime.
This is great post by Renard of Renard’s World about: 8 Things That All Bloggers Should Consider Doing
I’m including Renard’s post here because of one of the items, and what Renard said about it, in my mind ties in with the theme of this post (which I will get to in a minute).
7.) A Blogger Must Always Respond To Comments In A Timely Manner
We all hate being neglected.
Therefore, we tend to lose interest in a blogger as well as the respect for the blogger who blatantly refused to respond to the comment that we made on their blog.
Also, whenever a blogger responds to our comment in a timely manner, we tend to think highly of them and that eventually leads to us revisiting their blog and leaving them more comments in the comments section of their blog.
The biggest irony is that there are bloggers who wished that people would comment on their blog posts, while there are bloggers who receive lots of comments and never respond to them.
I have said on numerous occasions, “If a blogger has no intentions of responding to the comments that were made by others on their blog, they should disable their comments!”– excerpt from 8 Things That All Bloggers Should Consider Doing by Renard’s World
It’s the bit about how our perspective of a blogger is changed by the way they respond or don’t respond to us which stood out to me as being pertinent to this post’s theme.
I’m also including one more post link, which I also think is relevant.
Let me ask you as question first – How would you react if you found out that your favourite blogger whose posts you love to read had not written their own posts but was plagiarising the work of another blogger?
Laura of Lauravent69 shares her reaction to finding out that a post of hers had been plagiarised by another blogger: Passing off Originals as Your Own
I’ve had posts of mine plagiarised. That sort of activity happens a lot in the blogosphere for varying reasons. It also happens in journalism, in publishing, and in the other arts.
There have been quite a few artists, singer-songwriters, authors, etc, who’ve been involved in scandals and lawsuits regarding the matter of plagiarism, and it has affected public perception of them and their work, whether they were found guilty or not.
Which brings me to a question that is the theme of this post:
When you learn about highly regarded artists being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior, especially with minors, can you separate the artists from their art, or would you refuse to listen to, watch, or read the artists’ works?– Fandango’s Provocative Question #18
The scenario has escalated. More is at stake.
You might be ostracised by your community for not toeing the line of popular opinion and reaction, and your public status might drop like a lead weight into a deep ocean where you’ll sleep with the fishes.
There is less room for understanding and cutting someone slack for being human in this situation.
If you accept this behaviour from someone else towards someone else – does that mean you’ll accept this behaviour from yourself towards someone else, or from someone else towards you or a loved one.
However the basics are the same – What someone has done (or allegedly done) has changed the way we see their work and the way we view them and who they are.
While it is possible to see the creation as a separate entity from the creator…
While it is possible to just approach everything from a perspective of cold logic which pops things into separate boxes: This is work, this is personal, this is private, and never shall they overlap nor meet… because if they do the mind might go crazy due to cognitive dissonance.
And while it is possible to detach ourselves from our own instinctive reactions, emotions, biases… perhaps to keep our other more important to self biases safe and sound.
Ultimately how we react to something says something about us and if it’s saying something negative we may forfeit all else to make sure it says something positive.
I have some personal insight into this matter, albeit without the inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a minor or an adult. My father was a professional artist. How he behaved in private with me definitely affected how I perceived his work.
It also affected how others perceived his work – they regularly disregarded anything I said about him and who he was in private because they loved his work and loved him because they loved his work, they didn’t want their enjoyment of his work ruined by my reality and experience of him as a person.
I envied them for being able to see his work without my cognitive bias.
Eventually I was able to detach from my own bias and see his work with fewer personal filters. But still…
What we know, we know and it changes how we see… even when what we know may not be the whole truth or even the truth at all.
How we react is most of all connected to our perception and evaluation of ourselves – we react that way because of what it says for us, to us, about us.
“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”
― Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning