Friday, April 25, 2008

Empathy is us

This is going to make me sound like a dopey job interviewee who answers "I work too hard" to the question "what is your biggest flaw?" but sometimes I think I am too empathetic for my own good. I am so readily able to see the other side of an argument that I can't bring myself to take a strong position of my own. As soon as I begin to form an opinion I am already thinking of all the ways it could be rebutted and countered. I am thinking of a person I know or a blog I read and how "so-and-so would say ... "

Kristen asked the other day about blogs that help us see the silver lining. Understanding more about the challenges that other families face every day--illness, infertility, infidelity, poverty, injustice--has been one of the most moving, amazing, unexpected benefits to me of spending time in Blogsylvania (thanks Jenny for that term). The flip side is that I'm sensitive, to a wishy-washy, mushy-middle fault, to the way others experience tough issues.

I sometimes wish my blog could be more opinionated and argumentative. I'm sure it would be more fun to read that way. But I'd be worried about hurting people's feelings, and--truth be told--about upsetting people I care about. It just wouldn't be me. So I'm trying to be okay with that.

12 comments:

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I can totally relate to what you're saying. I am not one to stir up conflict at all, and sometimes it's to a fault! But I think that's part of what makes Blogsylvania interesting...everyone has their one divere voice to add to the mix.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Diverse...yeah that's what I meant! ;)

Magpie said...

I totally know what you're saying. I rarely veer into anything overtly political or personal that might hurt someone reading. I avoid confrontation.

mothergoosemouse said...

But your blog is YOU, such an accurate reflection of you. I love it - and you - just the way you are.

Julie Pippert said...

Speaking as one who *is* I like you and your blog as is.

Why should you make it more of something someone else is?

I'm sure if you have a strong feeling or opinion you express it. In your own way.

Luckily we are all different. :)

Heather said...

I tend to steer clear of commenting if there's a big controversary on a blog...and I often don't read posts with strong political or religious slants. I just don't want that kind of "entertainment" in my life right now. Not that I don't have opinions, I just don't need to read others' opinions about that stuff.

Suzanne said...

I'm that way, too, and to a fault. Don't worry about your blog not being interesting, though -- it always is!

GHD said...

I run into the same issue with my own blogging...

I don't tend to be argumentative in other aspects of my life. Nor, do I harbor any strong polarized views. At least, I don't think I do... and that's okay :-)

I love your blog just the way that it is. It's so sweet and funny.

Lady M said...

Yuppo. I sometimes delete the funniest phrases from my post because I'm worried that they will be taken the wrong way.

I love coming here and reading your thoughts - empathy especially.

the mama bird diaries said...

I like your blog exactly the way it is.. :)

movin'mom said...

Totally me! I think the only things that I tend to not "think before I speak" would be in the rearing of my children or my faith. But if it came up on any of the subjects you listed....I don't really debate or comment because I am not as confident in my answers and despise confrontation. To me there has always been an ugliness to someone who actually thinks they can change the way i think by arguing, debating etc...

You could always have a Sybil blog. You know like "The Other Side of Mayberry" opinionated, argumentative and Where you tell it like it is.

lildb said...

so, because you're not totally incindiarily (sure, yes, it's a word) running around like you've been stapled to a pile of snakes while on a coke binge (which i equate to the probable motivator for those incindiary types), flapping your mouth opinionatedly, somehow you're -- ? less worthy?

no. not so much.

what you are, imo, is a really lovely person who is caring and kind enough to allow others some stage-time. you're probably a really good listener, too, and i think someone, maybe, no, DEFinitely Socrates, said that the listeners shall inherit the earth. or pie. maybe he said it about pie. a la mode.

the point is that you either land the earth or pie, or maybe both, because you rule, because you're nice and i like you and that is really the important thing, here, MM, what *I* think.

(oy. see? what i mean? about being a loudmouth? etc.)