Thursday, November 1, 2007

TFT hiatus

I've been thinking about things this week and I've decided I'm taking a break from the Thoughts for Thursday thing. Possibly from commenting, definitely from posting.
I've discovered that among the last few posts I've done, I have left some people with impressions that I'm not comfortable with. Whether they've thought things I've said have been intentionally directed at them or whether they just feel I'm sounding harsh and judgemental in my posts, I have never meant things that way and I hate that readers would take that from my writing or be insulted.

Nicole and I started doing Thoughts for Thursday as a way to organize some thoughts on a topic of interest each week and get a little blog conversation going about it. Different opinions and different points of view and a way to get to know all of each other a little better. Here's where I originally introduced the idea and what we were thinking to better explain.

I love that this TFT thing has really caught on. I'm coming across blogs of people I don't know and some that I don't even know how they link back to my or Nic's blog posting great things on Thursdays, posing questions, needing advice, giving perspectives, and it's so fun! All the different women in the comments with their own two cents and things to add or challenge and conversations started from these topics is great.

There have been just a couple of times that I'm aware of where comments have gotten "heated". One time so much so that Nic and I laughed about having to post reminders about playing nice, everyone's entitled to their opinion kind of thing and we are not here to attack each other.

I've never had any real "arguments" in my comment section or been challenged in my opinions. However, it has come to my attention that outside of the comment section, things I write about have been discussed and feelings have been hurt and someone or other may be left thinking in the way I wrote things that I am referring directly to them or that I think I'm better than them or would look down on them or judge them in some way.

Please let me take a minute to clarify...
In talking about kids' bedtimes, I am not judging the way you do things, I am talking about my personal experiences and opinions.
In talking about accents and differences in new areas, I'm not trying to imply my way is the right way; I am making fun of myself and the differences in demographics.
In talking about what goes on in your family, whether you wear your wedding ring, what you name your kids, whether you have a blog or not, whether or not you read for leisure, how you balance your being a mom and being yourself, whether or not you got and give an allowance, whether or not you use a four letter word here and there, how you manage your time...
in all these things I am not trying to judge, I am not meaning to come across condescendingly, I am not trying to point fingers or saying that I think any more or less of you one way or another. I am simply starting a discussion. My perspective is not the only perspective.

And to know that I've made anyone feel that way, to know that someone might think "man, I hope Heather never knows such and such about me or she'll think such and such"... that makes me really... sad.
I have never proclaimed to be a writer. I know I am not the most eloquent or graceful or even any good at getting my point across all the time. But if I am coming across "harshly" or judgemental then I need to just stop.

I paused for just a minute to think on whether people who would think I was being accusatory or judgemental were just put off because maybe they're feeling guilty about something I've said in some way, or if it was really the way I was writing that was coming off that way; that I was honetly saying that anyone I came across who didn't do things "my way" is below me.
I don't know. But in the end, it doesn't matter. Because regardless of who is reading it or the way they feel about what I've said in regards to them, I don't want to be judgemental. I don't want my writing to come across as people reading my thoughts being left saying "ouch". It's just not sitting well with me that that might be going on and be my fault.

My thoughts are my thoughts. And sometimes I just blurt them out.
I'm not sitting here thinking that I'm honestly better than so-and-so, or that other people are immature or ignorant or doing things the wrong way just because they're different than me. I'm just giving my point of view. And with that, I don't like people feeling uncomfortable or as if I'm trying to convict someone.
I'm sorry if I've ever come across that way. I'm sorry if you have read my musings and been offended or insulted. I would never mean to be judgemental or harsh.

Things can be especially misunderstood in the written word and apparently it's easy for my writing to come across differently than I mean it. So since it's seems I don't know how to write, I'm turning off the keyboard, so to speak, for a while concerning things like this. I've decided I'll be keeping my thoughts to myself for a while on Thursdays... and most days I think.

And so you can read better thoughts to think today, here are the other TFT posts this week:
Nicole
Jessica
Heather S.
Kristi S.
Mary
jenny
Denise H.
Ashley
Jenny
Michelle

12 comments:

Kim said...

I TOTALLY know how you feel... I feel like things happened the same way with me last week and the whole guilty mom posting we all did. And that was pretty much my first TFT! I liked reading everyone's opinions, but I also don't want anyone to feel like I'm judging. Of course, I also feel like, if they don't like my blog, they shouldn't read it... but... you know, you don't want to hurt feelings. I was going to post something again today, but I don't know if I feel like it now. For what it's worth, I always like your writing, and I liked your TFT today... or, NON-TFT as it may be. :)

Jessica said...

I'm right there with you, Heather. I am quickly realizing how easy it is to have things taken out of context or blown out of proportion.

I think we could all do to realize that between typing and talking sometimes attitudes and true meanings get "Lost in Translation".

I hope you'll continue to post, and I promise I won't be judgemental! :-) Hugs!!!

Amie R said...

BOO!!!! It's not you or your writing!!! It is the weird world we have concocted on the internet that has no emotion except for silly :P or :) stuff. I am very close to writing off (no pun intented) the blog world all together. I should just stick with calling my friends and writing snail mails. It is not worth it when it takes 2000 times longer to get your point across because you have to recheck your writing over and over to make sure you are not offending anyone.

We were talking about the power of the written word yesterday at church. One person said that if they have something critical to say or a strong opinion that they speak it to the person. They only write down words of encouragement, so that writing can be remembered. I am seriously considering adopting this strategy, for just the reasons you mentioned in this post. In fact, I should be calling you right now instead of typing! :) :P ;) :0)

Denise H. said...

I also agree and hope that people don't take anything out of context that I write about. In all, blogging is just another way of sharing your opinion, feelings on a topic, life story and events and also a great tool in journaling. WOW! I never knew where this TFT posts came from. Thanks for starting the trend.

jessica said...

You know what? This makes me sad. I love getting to know people better, getting to know the substance of their thoughts and what makes them tick. I think there is a certain courage in being able to say, "I think x, even if you think y." And a certain courage in not taking it personally, but appreciating the different ways we all think and feel. I get the point, though, about not wanting to hurt people. I wouldn't like that either. Maybe I'm not sensitive enough, but I'm sorry to see it go.

Kristi *sweet* Sauer said...

Hi Heather, I just jumped on the TFT bandwagon a few weeks ago and I have really enjoyed it. I have only been reading your blog since that same time, so i wasn't aware that the subjects were meant to be controversial at first. I do not have children so any of those big topics never apply to me.
There are so many thing to write about and ask for others thought and opinions, but it doesn't necessarily have to be about parenting, does it? I think that is probably when people get the most defensive. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts and will be going back to read some of the old ones, they look like good topics!

jenny said...

just so you know - i have always enjoyed reading your thoughts for thursday (or any day). i found you through nicole's blog. i had been nervous about sharing my thoughts for a while, but i finally jumped in. i enjoy seeing other opinions - even if i don't agree i understand just that - they are someone's opinion and we are all entitled to that. :)

Amy said...

thanks for your post, heather. i really love what you started with tft. i think you should be able to say exactly what you think. we don't all have to think the same way. i learn so much here. even though, i may not agree with everything, i still find it very informative. i like everyone's honesty. i think you should continue to speak your mind. you deserve it.

heather said...

Thanks for understanding you guys! You're all awesome and I love the new bloggers I'm "meeting" through all of this stuff.

Don't worry, I'm not completely zipping my lips, I'm just taking a break from the heavier things (but then again it seems almost any topic can become a hot topic these days) and try keeping things more neutral and not so opinionated around here for a bit. I'm looking at it as a fun challenge to continue to let the blog world get to know more of the real me but to try to do it a little better without being snarky or sarcastic or with so much of my bumbling honesty. lol!

Really, thanks for understanding my thoughts today.

Christy said...

I always love reading what you guys write- I read everything on blogs with a grain of salt-- it's your blog- you are allowed to speak your mind in HONESTY! Tooo many people don't speak honestly about the troubles of parenting. I appreciate your realness. Know that you don't have "judgement" coming from me.

ck

Michelle Leigh said...

If people are offended or feel like they are being attacked I don't see that that is your fault. Maybe they are simply realizing something about themselves that they may not like and in the process become defensive about it. I understand feeling bad about it, but really, I love reading about parenting and how others do it and manage their day to day lives. Even if that differs from how I do things. I'm sorry that you are feeling badly about some things you may have posted, but you are honest and to the point, something I appreciate in people. Why sugar coat things in a TFT post? They are meant to stir up thoughts and opinions, right? I hope to see some TFT's from you soon!

Mary said...

Sorry you are feeling this way. It's unfortunate that some people have to take things so personal out there. I love the TFT blogging! I think it's a good way to mix up the day to day blogging and some of the blogging slumps. It's also a great way to get people thinking. I hope you'll continue :) And thanks for starting TFT:)

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