Let me start by saying, I’m not a master communicator. I make errors in judgement. I take contextual clues out of context. I can mess up even the most benign conversations in a way that would make Donald Trump gag on his own reflexes. I freely admit it. I don’t get other people. I never have, I never will. I try to relate. But for all of my trying all I get is anger and conflict. Well, that’s not entirely fair. Sometimes, people will understand my standpoint. But far often than not, others seem to think I’m trying to tear them down.
The truth is, I don’t know why that is. I might be making a post that completely agrees with the blogger of the moment. But the blogger will think I’m attacking them and disagreeing and being a troll. Yet, that’s not what I’m doing at all. And it’s disheartening. Because I try really, really, really hard to relate to people around me. But more often than not, they just think I’m being an asshole and putting them down. Even when I try to explain my thoughts, it’s completely misconstrued as some sort of attack on who they are. It bothers me to no ends to know that my words can be taken so badly and out of context. And to know that no matter what I say is irrelevant. Because there is no way to explain what written words on the internet mean without verbal context.
I think we miss out on a lot in this day and age. We’re an internet society anymore. We try to relate to one another, understand our points of view, try to hold a conversation on the topics that matter to us. But without being face to face and voice to voice, our meanings are lost to the nihilistic reality that is the internet.
More than once I’ve lost a potential friend online, an ally even, due to a misunderstanding of the written word. Generally it’s completely due to a misreading of language when communicating one on one. Generally this misreading is due to the fact that words as we read them translate in our minds as certain dialects and inflections. This misreading too often leads to arguments and heated debates where they didn’t need to exist. And what really sucks is that there is no way to undo them. Pretty much this is due to the fact that we’ve dug our heels into the sand and have interpreted what we’ve read as absolutes. Ignoring the potential that it probably wasn’t what we thought it was all along.
I’ve lost a lot of friends and allies along the way as the result of the impersonal nature of the internet. It makes me sad and makes me wonder what I could have done different to change things. And the saddest part of all of this is, I don’t think there IS anything I could have done different. Sometimes, people just see what they will and won’t bother giving any sort of benefit of the doubt to fix what has apparently gone wrong in the relationship.
We all want to connect with one another. I mean, why bother with this whole blog nonsense if not for that one simple fact? We want that connection. But when we say something that is taken wrong and we’re not given the chance to correct that error, how can we ever say we truly understand where each of us are coming from? As a writer, I want to connect. To establish a bond. But when others don’t want that same bond, too often we find ourselves adrift in a sea of uncertainty. And too often we want to quit. Give up. Throw in the towel. Wander off into obscurity and ball up into the fetal position because we know we’ve fucked up somehow.
But, at the end of the day, we’re all just human. There’s not a one of us who hasn’t made some sort of mistake at some point in our lives. Those regrets always linger. But what makes us stronger is when we take that extra step in correcting that mistake. And when that person who’s been offended rejects that attempt at reconciliation, we feel all the worse for it. However, we shouldn’t. Because we’ve tried. If they don’t want to reach for that olive branch, at that point, the onus is on them. There’s only so far one can go to heal a wound. And if you’re unwilling to accept that fact… well, I guess there isn’t anything else to say, now is there?
I make mistakes. I always will. But I will always do everything I can to make amends. This in the face of the fact that there will always be those who refuse to accept those attempts to correct what was made in error.
With all my heart, I apologize.
Because I’m not perfect. I’m always evolving. Always changing. Always looking for better ways to improve my being. If you don’t want to be a part of that process. Well. …Okay. But don’t say I never invited you along for the endeavor. I can’t change who I am anymore than anyone else can. However, I can do some soul searching and figure out a way to connect that doesn’t end in us all hating one another.