11 June 2011

The Mom Pledge Blog Prompt - Disagreements

If I'd actually been able to post in May, this is the Blog Prompt that I would have written about:

"I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind." How do you react when someone disagrees with your point of view? Do you expect all comments on your blog to support your decisions or opinions?

I'll be the first to admit it.  I can be overly sensitive.  I don't take criticism well.  I'm trying to get better about it, but I have my moments when being told that I'm wrong hurts.  And I've cried a lot of tears because of that criticism.  (Which often causes more tears because I'm angry at myself for getting so upset.)  It's embarrassed me at jobs and in businesses.  And I hate that aspect of my personality.

But at odds with that, I also try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Unless I'm feeling depressed and convinced that everyone hates me, I like to think that people are generally good and not purposefully trying to hurt my feelings.  So I may get upset, especially when someone challenges a strongly held belief of mine, but I eventually understand that it wasn't meant to be hurtful.

The world of the written word enhances both aspects of my personality.  Because with the written word, you can't always tell if someone's tongue is firmly in their cheek or if they really are intending to be snarky or mean.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes I need to clarify.

Despite all of the above, I actually do like to hear differing opinions, as long as they are posed intelligently and respectfully.  I know that my way isn't the only way.  I know that some others have found other things that work better for them.  And maybe their ways will work for me too.  More often than not, it's someone wanting to share their experience more than someone trying to tell me that I'm wrong in my opinion or my choice.

I do my best to understand others opinions, and to welcome them.  Strange as it may sound, given what I've written above, I really do enjoy a good debate.  And I try really hard to welcome others opinions, ideas and suggestions.  I may not always succeed, but I doubt that you'd notice it if I didn't.

Because I've also been around for quite some time and I've learned never to reply in anger.  With the written word, you have time to choose how you want to say something.  And shooting something off quickly rarely ends well.  So I take my time to think about what I have to say when I'm hurt or angry and then form my reply.  And if I can't think of any way to keep the snark out of my reply, I remember one important lesson from childhood.

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.