be quiet hushErnest Hemingway was quoted as saying, “There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  (Sidenote: If it’s possible to have a crush on a deceased man, I do. He’s a genius and degenerate at the same time.  Precisely my type).  Writing is exactly that, bleeding, giving yourself, your insides.  There are days, even weeks, when I feel I have absolutely nothing to give and I’m not one to speak just to hear my own voice or to make sure that everyone knows I’m still alive (Don’t worry, I am).  Quite the conundrum for a blogger, when oversharing is sometimes a crucial part of the game.

Which leads me to this post.  If you don’t have something nice to say, well, don’t.

Sadly, bullying is nothing new, but it seems the Internet has only exacerbated the problem in recent years.  Have you ever perused the comment sections below articles on the web?  People are vicious, aggressive, and just plain mean.  While most commenters tend to be anonymous (read: cowardly), Internet drive-bys aren’t confined to websites and blogs alone.  Social media has created a virtual verbal battleground as well as the ability to peak into every aspect of another human’s life.  Along with all the positives, like reconnecting with old friends and sharing special moments (your cat’s christening), come all the passive aggressive comments, the just plain out aggressive comments, and snarky, backhanded compliments.  When did our “friends” become our enemies?

I write a blog, a public forum, making me a target for this kind of thing. While I’ve been fairly lucky avoiding complete ridicule, I’m not immune—like the one time someone said I had no eyebrows (I’m sorry, I have light hair.  Blame my dad.  His eyelashes are clear).  I don’t write a blog to be mean. I write it to help other people be it with love or leggings and hopefully make somebody, anybody, laugh in the meantime (with me or at me, doesn’t really matter), which is why I could not comprehend why people just had to be so nasty to one another.  I used to get so hurt by the negativity of others to the point of it affecting my mood, my day, and my own actions. And then one day, I started to realize where it came from.

Sure, I see things all the time that I don’t like. I mean, do I want to see another photo of your pregnant belly or hear you say, “rise and grind” again?  Not really.  And while I may roll my eyes, sigh a heavy sigh, and shake my head, I’m not going to hold onto it and let it ruin my day.  Any time those sneaky feelings of jealousy, or hatefulness towards someone else pop up, I stop for a moment and ask myself, “What’s your problem?”

You see, having taken the time to self reflect, I started to realize the times I felt most affected were the times when I felt there was something missing in my own life.  “It’s not you it’s me,” couldn’t be a more accurate statement. Sadly, it’s hardly ever used in this context.  Most likely if those being cruel knew it was “them”, they wouldn’t be acting that way in the first place.  They’d be rescuing kittens or painting pictures of sunsets.

Bottom line: the people trying to break you are actually the broken ones.  Once you make this connection and switch your way of thinking, your life will be changed forever.  Pinky promise.

If we spent less time worrying about other people’s lives and more time worrying about our own, we could be doing something amazing for ourselves leaving no room for jealousy because our own lives would be so rad.  Be honest, how many times have you found yourself lost in the lives of others on Instagram, the king of passive aggressive behavior?  That’s forty-five minutes you’ll never get back and you have nothing to show for it except maybe a bruised ego.

If you don’t like something, move on. Don’t obsess over it or waste your precious time putting someone else down when you could be doing something positive for yourself or someone else. Guess what?  Putting someone else down is never going to lift you up.  It’s a time and energy suck that just, well, sucks.

So, the next time you experience someone spewing venom, say a little prayer for them that their void may be filled and perhaps they’ll pick up a hobby along the way.  And don’t you be the toxic one.  Mom always told me, “acid spoils the container,” and you’re way too pretty of a container to be ruined.