Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Who cares...? (And who cares if they don't)

I posted a while ago that I was struggling with what to put here these days. With the time to put anything at all. and although I've posted a few times since, that remains unchanged - I've still been wrangling in my head with the same old "nobody's interested" thoughts - which is why THIS POST from Jen over at My Make and Mend Life really struck a chord with me yesterday. Her phrase about comparing other people's beautiful outsides with her own scrunched up insides especially - that makes SO much sense!

It's easy to lose sight of the fact that, online, what you see of a person is what they present to you, what they want you to see. That person who's so upbeat, so cheerful, so damned GOOD at everything they turn their hands to - in real life might possibly be full of gloom and not achieving half what they sound as though they are - it's just that the bits they show you make it all look shiny. Remember "Friends Reunited"? Remember how utterly implausible it was that everyone you'd been at school with had ALL landed these high-powered impressive sounding jobs, and how it made you feel ever so slightly like perhaps YOU should have done that, too? Well here's the thing - I bet you anything you like the majority either didn't have the job they were leading you to believe that they did, (case in point, the lass who I was at school with who I knew full well was working on a florist's stall at the station - suffice to say that was NOT what her FR profile claimed she was doing!). It's not all about people trying to "big themselves up" though - sometimes it's the way we read what people have written, the way we interpret it. Sometimes it's the very fact that we compare ourselves to others, and to how they're making their lives sound, without sparing a thought for whether that life would make US happy, or whether it would be a form of torture for us.

Blogging is a funny old thing, and I realised recently that the thing I've lost sight of comes back directly to the way I am about things in real life. I said to a friend recently that my default setting is to always assume that people won't want to hear from me. I'm rubbish at suggesting phone calls with pals, for this very reason - there's a bit of me that always thinks "they'll make an excuse, they won't want to chat with me, they'll have more interesting folk to speak/spend time with" - it always surprises me when someone suggests a phone call for a natter, in fact, it AMAZES me. If I don't phone you, it's not that I don't want to speak to you, it's that I assume that YOU won't want to speak with ME!  I hesitate to tell people when I consider them a good, or close friend, because I'm always wary of the fact that they'll be embarrassed because they don't feel the same - that to them I'm nothing more than an acquaintance. I'm reluctant, a lot of the time, to suggest to friends that we go places, or do things, for the same reason - I assume that while they might well want to go to those places, or do those things, they won't want to do it with me, and will then feel awkward about refusing.

I have a friend - yes, I'll go as far as to say a good friend - whose "default setting" when stressed, or busy, or unhappy about something, is to shut themselves away from the wider world. I know they will be keeping in contact with the people who are absolutely central to their everyday life - partner and parents - but beyond that, radio silence. I've spent years feeling each time this happens that it's their subtle way of telling me that they don't want to be in touch any more, but they're uncomfortable with actually telling me that, and only recently have I realised that actually, it's just their coping mechanism when things are tough, and that the best thing for me to do is to be there - to drop a text every now and again, a tag on social media with something of interest to them - just little things to let them know that I'm still here, still on their side. And as and when things settle down for them, we'll be back to normal. I don't like it, but it's part of that person, part of the way they are, and while when they're quiet I miss them like mad, ultimately, it's not a reflection on me, it's just the way things are.

Confidence can be such an issue for so many people - and we should all remember that the person we see who appears to be absolutely super-confident may actually be anything but. I started blogging in the first place not because I thought anyone would want to read, or to look at the pictures I posted, but for me, as a record of things we'd done, places we'd been, small triumphs, that sort of thing, and I'd really like to get back to doing it for that reason. I actually like looking back on my blog posts, I can get lost for ages in stuff I've written before, and so often that reminds me of things I used to enjoy but I've lost sight of. So I guess the bottom line is who cares if anyone else wants to read my ramblings. If I can look back on them in a few years and think "Oh yes!" then that's as good a reason for carrying on, as any.



Jenni @ NotReallyAFarm said...

Ah yes, I think we all compare our insides to someone else's outsides (after all, we mostly don't go around showing our own insides to everyone else, so they're busy comparing themselves to OUR fabulous outsides too!) And you're not the only one who thinks nobody will want to hear from them, I promise :)

You're also not the only one who spends hours reading back over their own old blog posts. I love doing it, and I do it all the time. I keep my blog cheerful on the whole, and there are whole giant bits of my life that never get mentioned on there, but I do that because that's what I want to look back on - I want to be reminded of all the cheerful things I've done. But then, oh dear, that probably gives the impression to people who read it that my life is all fairy cakes and gardening and days out, which it most definitely is NOT! I suppose we all present different bits of ourselves in different situations - if only we could make ourselves that's what other people are doing too... :)

Just write your story lass (or at least the bits of it that you fancy writing about, or want to look back on). Doesn't matter if nobody else ever reads it (but I'm sure they do, even if they don't say anything!) x

Robyn said...

You're right - on all counts - so thank you for taking the time to say it. When you look at it "cold" as it were, the logic is overwhelming, but it's taking that step back and seeing this stuff that is the hard bit, I guess. Confidence is a funny old thing! xx

Marksgran said...

Hi Robyn, long time no hear!! I just went back to my old blog and decided to look at some old blogs I had listed on there and decided to read a few of your older posts. I remember a while back thinking you'd given the blog up and as I don't get notifications of blogs by email I actually have to go and look, so for a while I didn't assuming you had gone. I know exactly what you mean. I read some blogs and think, wow, why is my life not like that! I have, in my opinion, a fairly good life, there is little I am jealous of (other than folks who have homes overlooking beautiful scenery or the sea!!) but I sometimes find myself coming away from blogs feeling like a failure in life. I stopped my own blog for various reasons. I tend to be way too open and honest and as I am a trained typist, it is very easy for the keys to take hold of me and rabbit on about stuff I really shouldn't put on a public forum. I also became aware there were relatives out there (some I like less than others) watching in the wings (never commenting but making sure you know they know!!) and it all got too awkward so I decided to stop. I've done a few more posts on it but not pressed publish but like you I love looking over all my old stuff. It was truly like a diary with photos and I find I don't even take as many photos now either. I've fallen under the iphone spell of photography and they languish on there unloved and rarely looked at now. It is very easy to misunderstand the written word and for people to take a very different meaning from what was meant. I think all we can do is accept some people will always fall by the wayside but I would encourage you to phone people because I for one have stopped calling a 'friend' now because it always had to be me to phone her she never phoned me and I assumed she didn't want to hear from me or she'd call me sometimes and I'm sure the situation is probably similar to the one you find yourself in. I feel I should go and phone her now!! If people don't want to chat to you they will either make an excuse or just not pick up. You certainly seem to lead a very interesting life and sound like you'd be worth chatting to even if you don't think so. Sorry I rambled on!! x

Robyn said...

Aww bless you MG what a lovely comment! An idea for you on the blog front - I have a private blog I write on - nothing on there ever gets put out there publicly but it's helped me untangle my head about stuff on more than one occasion and it's a pleasure to look back on it now, as much as it is on this one!