I received a Facebook notification that 3 members of the group I left, wished to message me.
I approved 2 of the notifications – One was from the person I saw bullied just prior to raising my concerns within the group. Their private message said thank you for the support, and mentioned that there is much discussion about what I said within the group now. I hope this person is treated with respect by group members in future.
As for the discussion going on within the group now – I can imagine it. There will be vigorous debate over all sorts of minutiae (‘how do we define ‘respect’?’) and in the end none of the real issues will be addressed. It shouldn’t be that difficult to be decent to each other. No debate required.
The second person I returned a message to was another ‘outsider’ who I recently shared a pleasant and interesting bit of conversation with. She said sorry things didn’t work out for me in the group, and asked about the topic we’d previously discussed.
So that’s all good.
The 3rd message request is from a man who is close with the main bully of the group, and he supported her right to bully members. I have not approved his message request and am not sure if I will. Either way, I’m conscious that:
1) It would be delusional to think that he would suddenly begin valuing my perspective.
2) Any energy I expend communicating with this man, is energy thrown into the abyss. Squandered.
3) Though I hold myself to such high standards, I don’t owe this man anything. I can choose not to respond to him and that’s ok.
If I do respond to him, it’s going to be a respectful but very short message. It’s a form of gaslighting, to draw people out and say you are interested in their perspective – when all you intend to do is get into a battle over the matter and ‘win’ by attrition. I’ve recognised this as a fairly common practise online these days. It serves to weaken those with a differing perspective. The aim is to weaken the person deemed to be a threat, and ultimately silence them.
I see the game, and I don’t play it anymore.
Today I celebrate how my horizons are not closing down, but in fact opening up as I learn to walk away from people, groups, and situations that are not a good ‘fit’. It has become apparent that I’ve spent my whole life until now trying to have other people see my worth. But I have been worthy all along. The ones who couldn’t see that just weren’t my kind of people. I was searching in all the wrong places. In fact- show me a wrong place, and I’d be in there in a shot!
I worry about things like confirmation bias, and whether I could end up avoiding other perspectives… but you know what? I’m just going to give myself a break for a while. It’s about time I felt connection with others. I deserve that. We all do.
Best wishes everybody xxx
Edit: WordPress just notified me that this is my 100th blog post here. This is the longest stretch I’ve ever retained a blog, and I think perhaps this one has stuck because I’m finding my true self and my voice here. It’s been such a great space to unpack my brain and work things through. 🙂 Xx