Thursday, 1 October 2009

Realising it's not all about me

After yesterday's rather whingey post, I feel I need a little balance.

There are a couple of people I'm close to who are quite tiring to be around, because they assume that everything is all about them. By that I mean that they see people's motivations as being purely "he's doing that because he knows I hate it" or "she said that deliberately to hurt me". It's exhausting, because you constantly have to self-censor and think about how what you're about to say will come across and how it could be misinterpreted.

I feel lately as though I'm turning into one of those people. I take offence at random comments on strangers' blogs, advertising hoardings, television shows... My supersensitive antennae are constantly buzzing to pick up barbed comments and veiled insults.

We went to a party at the weekend for my sister's birthday, and her 2-year-old daughter was wearing a sticker she had been given in the children's liturgy in church that morning. It said, "Are you for me or against me?"

I feel like I'm wearing an invisible version of that sticker - and anyone who doesn't pronounce themselves 100% for me must be against me.

People boast about their beautiful families - it's because they want to rub my nose in what I don't have.

People make comments about selfish hedonistic lifestyles - it's because they want to criticise me for my childlessness and imply that I live only for myself and my own pleasure.

People visit my blog and don't leave comments - it's because they hate what I write. (I know this is stupid - I visit several blogs on a regular basis, and have them bookmarked in my 'Favourites' folder, but very seldom comment on many of them. I'd hate to feel that I wasn't welcome to visit just because I don't comment, and I'd hate to make anyone feel that way here either. On the other hand, I do love getting comments!)

A couple of days ago I posted a comment on Facebook that I hadn't been able to edit a photo album as I wanted to and that Facebook obviously hated me. For the rest of the day, I was unable to get into Facebook, and was convinced it was because someone in some faceless internet organisation was monitoring anyone who said anything bad about Facebook and I'd been deliberately shut out (actually, I'm still not convinced that's entirely untrue).

So for at least the next 24 hours, I'm going to try very hard not to take offence at anything anyone has unwittingly said or failed to say. If anything upsets me, I'll try to understand why the person did it, and why it has absolutely nothing to do with me and the way I'm feeling.

And I'll try to keep the feelings of offence for when people really are deliberately trying to upset me - which, let's face it, is pretty much never.


  1. Now I feel bad for never posting comments! I am an avid reader of your blog (I have followed you over from the baby forum)and really enjoy everything you write. Have everything crossed for you with your fertility treatment x

  2. Oh no, don't feel bad - like I said, I'm not a huge commenter on other blogs and I'd hate people to feel obliged to leave a comment. But thanks for your comment today :¬) x

  3. Excellent post - something we could all do, really. I have to remind myself often that a comment is not directed at me, despite it feeling like it could be! And as for Facebook - pah! It hasn't let me do status updates for two weeks now. Pah!

  4. I think it's good that you're able to be hyper alert about your own issues. We all have issues and most of the time we're all oblivious to our own but super aware of everyone else's. Nobody's perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself though -- you're going through something immensely challenging and it kind of goes without saying that you're not going to be 100% selfless all the time!

    How do you monitor people who find you on google searches and who visits your blog? I always wanted to do that, but I don't know how!

    Hopefully Facebook doesn't hate you too much ;)

  5. Jeannie, I wondered why you'd been so quiet on Facebook recently!

    Sonja, I'm not being hard on myself - I've only said I'll try for the next 24 hours!

    I use Sitemeter to monitor visitors to the blog - it's not infallible, but I do find it interesting. The basic version (which I use) costs nothing - you can sign up at

  6. Hey hope springs! I also followed you over from the baby forum and LOVE reading your blog, but don't make a comment because I can never think of anything to say that would compare to what you have written!!! Now, how's that for messed up??! You raise some really interesting poinys and have a great writing style - if you're not being paid to write already then you should be (and I'm NOT just saying that!!). Hope you're doing ok with all the stress of starting treatment - it must be so overwhelming. I too will be starting ICSI soon and am pretty terrified so reading your blog has been hugely inspirational and reassuring to me. Take care x

  7. Thanks Anon - I'm flattered, and it's great to hear from you. I keep thinking I should go back and post on that forum from time to time and see how everyone else is getting on, but I just don't feel as though I belong there at the moment - maybe once our treatment finally begins. And I'd love to find someone who'd pay me to write (about something other than the rather unexciting subject I teach)...

    I hope all goes well for you with your ICSI - let me know how it goes x