My professional integrity says that I keep my personal life largely to myself in my work. I find when more problematic/troublesome situations come up, I prefer to work on my art/photography/visual side of things or if I’ve got myself extremely busy then cease blogging all together. I do this because words cannot be taken back once written, and sometimes I just don’t want to write what I’m thinking or even be writing about something else whilst I’m thinking it (include feeling in that).
We’re all learning all of the time and this is about what’s on mind my mind, without talking about what’s on my mind, if that makes sense 🙂
This blog is my combined personal / professional site, so I do sometimes share what’s personally relevant to what I’m doing professionally … also what this post is about.
My friend Opinionated Man recently gave me the heads up on a powerblogging series that he was writing on http://shatteredsmoke.com/about/ (do a search for “Powerblogging” on Shattered Smoke and you’ll find them). Opininionated Man is an inspiration to me. Why ? Many reasons, his pioneering spirit for one. In this instance because I fit his powerblogger definition and there aren’t actually that many of us. We’ve become friends and he helps me out from time to time, as do I with mentions such as this one.
So why OM and “being ignored”? He mentioned in passing in his powerblogging series, some of his earlier experiences blogging. One of which was leaving a comment on a much larger blogger’s blog and being ignored. He knew he’d left the message, but days went by, other content went up on the other blogger’s blog and OM had been ignored. I’m with OM entirely on this, that’s just plain rude really. I reply to every comment on my blog even if it’s only a smiley face to acknowledge that I’ve read it. It doesn’t take a genius to work of that politeness is a social nicety that most people expect. Dale Carnegie 101.
With the caveat of course that people who lack respect for whatever reason, I don’t think about them too much and ignore them (see my disclaimer at the end of this post).
Why reply to every comment ? Well there’s psychology (and empathy) behind it. My belief is that we all want (and perhaps need) to be heard. It takes effort and investment to say something, more-so to say something meaningful, and more-so again to say something that’s TO and FOR the other person and not just to ourselves. What I’ve generally found is that probably 90% of my commenters just want to be heard, a conversation is optional, yes if the opportunity presents, great have a chat. Also most my commenters expect to be acknowledged, smiley face, thank you or yes that’s very pertinent. A lot of them don’t reply to my replies to their comments. This doesn’t cause me an issue, as I said already conversation is optional, shouldn’t be forced.
One of the things that I truely love about blogging and being a blogger is that I do get listened to. It’s truely something I’m grateful for, and I am entirely thankfull for every person that reads my blog. Surely I’m the same as any other blogger, we started blogging because we had something to say that we’d like to be listened to (or viewed or watched, for visual, video blogs)
One of the reasons I stopped going to bars, clubs etc so much and stopped drinking so much, is that I found that a lot of conversations I was having with people they don’t even bother to listen. They’ll have strategies for appearing to be listening, but actually all they are interested in is reeling out the same old shit. They’ve trained their brain to pick out the keyword and they just respond to that as opposed to engaging. Or they just start talking at the same time as me, leaving me to either not say what I wanted or raise my voice to be heard. One guy I know (or don’t now I’ve lost touch), continually goes on about how angry he is. I try steer the conversation in a different direction, and I’ll get ignored and he’ll steer it back to how X did this and Y did that and how he wants to rip their heads off. I try to be a calming influence and a friend, but in the face of CONTINUAL being ignored I eventually dropped him. I don’t need friends like that – why should I accept a one-way friendship ?
In a world of ideals authentic, two way, listened to conversations would take place all the time. But I’m not naive enough to believe that the world is rose-tinted and everyone has good intentions towards me. Bottom line is that a lot of people don’t have good intentions, quite the opposite. There are some really f***ed up people out there. So whilst I try to be as virtuous as possible in regard to not ignoring people, sometimes, I’m the one doing the ignoring.
It would be easy for this to cause internal conflict without guiding principles. “How I can ignore other people when I don’t enjoy other people ignoring me – hypocritical ?”. My guiding principle is this respect is RESPECT. If people treat me with respect, they get it back. If they don’t treat me with respect they don’t get it back. Within my respect comes authenticity, friendship, virtue and in some cases love.
So what about people who have some “power” over me ? I’ve come across people who think they have some kind of power of me, could be because of status, wealth or that they carry a firearm, for instance – Haven’t we all ? Do I respect these people because of they are running a company, rich parents, have a lot of money or they are the chief of police, NO, NO. Without their respect I do not. I will however play the game with them were I have to. And I believe that every person should train themselves how to play this game. It’s called “f*** you back”. It’s not a childish rebellion game, it’s a game of SELF-RESPECT and of good interpersonal boundaries … how can you expect other people to respect you if you don’t even respect yourself ? RESPECT YOURSELF nah, nah, nah, yeah !
Having power over me purely by force or circumstance I WILL NEVER HAVE GENUINE RESPECT for the other. They’ve forced me into inauthenticity by their own lack of respect. All other people are my peers bar none. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir, whatever you want sir … but no you’ll never see that look of respect in my eyes, if you continue to delude yourself that you’re superior to me.
I like how Harrison Ford handles this in one of the “Indiana Jones” movies. He plays “dominated” in the face of insurmountable “authority”, but soon as he has his opportunity, he takes the power back again. I don’t remember which movie, maybe one of my readers has a better memory than me 🙂
So I guess that’s another angle, being ignored can be a covert or overt dominance strategy. Try to dominate an already dominant force will always cause friction and conflict. F*** you back, covertly or overtly, as far as I’m concerned, as I said that already.
Respect and humility are linked. Depends on the context and severity, but as already mentioned I don’t take kindly to being ignored. For instance if I say “no you can’t have my wallet and the money in it” and that person then takes it, I’m doubly annoyed. Firstly they stole and secondly they ignored my wish, my feeling, what I want.
Sure there’s a need for compromise and compassion, and for good humour and fun. People are forgetful and sometimes don’t reply to comments for any number of reasons that aren’t “being ignored” on purpose. Maybe they are sick. Maybe they are busy. Maybe they just missed it because they had a mountain of work to do. Maybe they don’t monitor that social network so much. There are a million authentic reasons that are not disrespectful as to why someone might not reply (or listen). My point is that not all “being ignored” is a lack of respect, sometimes it’s lettable-offable. Usually if it’s lettable-offable the other person will just say “sorry” or least say why they weren’t able to respond. What I don’t find lettable-offable is where the other person is defensive or argumentative about it or try to justify their rudeness adding to it with arrogance.
So where’s the SEO ? SEO is one of those buzz-words that way overused. Generally people seem to mean marketing or promoting. My promotional point is that acknowledging and responding to people builds good will. It sub-communicates values of respect, humility and a “not-trying-to-dominate” attitude of a peer relationship. Good will builds mentions on other people’s blogs/websites and therefore links and Google presence. It also in my opinion builds trust, trust is also a valuable commodity in promoting, or sales for that matter. I have a friend who works at one the main Swiss banks, I think he’s a “Trust Director” or some BS job title like that.
In summary, being ignored is something that almost all people don’t enjoy, and may become annoyed about. There can be a lack of respect or a lack of humility present, which is generally why people get upset about it. It can be a “trying-to-dominate” strategy. Alongside this, not all being ignored is malicious or with a bad intention. It can be that the person doing the ignoring has entirely good intentions.
From an SEO/promoting perspective, responding to genuine readers of your site, as their peer (or with as much humility as much as possible) is important and will help your site be successful (or not). As OM likes to call them “Powerbloggers” know this, although it’s not exactly rocket science.
And lastly from a professional perspective I believe one can include life’s difficulties in what one is creatively doing, with a positive outcome for both reader and writer (or artist and viewer). That’s writing alchemy, or creative alchemy. Charismatic creativity. Or maybe Creative Charisma. I don’t know, I’m not a writer, pick what you like best.
Resources & Sources
OM’s Daughters – aopinionatedman.com
See, Hear, Speak No Evil Photo – morgueFile
Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin & The Staple Singers – wikipedia creative commons
Dale Carnegie Book Cover – wikipedia/stephendriscoll.wordpress.com
Notes for commenters:
Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button.
Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.
I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.
Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.
Warm regards, Don Charisma