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It’s been a while since I wrote a personal Industry News kind of post, mostly because if you are a frequent reader of this blog, you’ll realise they only come about after something bad has happened to me (pouring my heart out here is cheaper than therapy). While things have been good since I’ve turned blogging into a career, they haven’t been perfect. And with this full time commitment comes attendance at more and more events, which at first was so exciting and recently has become exhausting. My silence on the matter is because I haven’t come up with a solution for dealing with the bitchiness and politics, the dark side of blogging until now. And even then, I’m still figuring out the details.
An important thing to understand is that the negativity we feel doesn’t actually mean that yours or my thoughts are ‘wrong’. Often they can be very accurate – for example, I feel that our blogging industry is incredibly calculative, catty and cliquey. And that statement makes everyone feel down particularly because it’s true. I’m here to ask how we can do our jobs/continue our hobbies and resist the temptation of a bitchy gossip session, feeling dejected by our peers and not to mention, the extreme anxiety that often comes with the first two.
Let me confess my sins: I used to get really sensitive when people I’ve met or had long conversations with on DM decide to use me and then unfollow me, seemingly out of the blue. Although it sounds justified to be annoyed, I realised that granting myself permission to retaliate and block them, then getting riled up whenever their name is mentioned, is more damaging to my happiness than theirs. The presence of these individuals in or out of my life makes zero difference to… anything, yet here I am upset and reliving that tiny, petty moment of ‘betrayal’. Writing this I’m kind of laughing at myself, mostly out of embarrassment but I’ve got to own up to my wrongdoings if I’m going to start afresh.
I also judge others way too quickly. Name drop too much? Out. Tells you one thing then does another? Out. Stops talking to you as soon as a big blogger enters the room? Out. And why would anyone want to be friends with these kinds of people, right? The thing I got so wrong is that blogging is a business and I realised I was trying to build real relationships with people who only saw me as a networking tool with a follower count attached. I mean duh, we meet at work events, not a mutual friend’s dinner party. However, here I won’t take all the blame because I still believe it’s important to look out for yourself through distancing from the disingenuous. This is more of a reminder that I can’t see everyone as potential besties to explore cute cafes with and send funny memes. Imagine if you have an office job and you try to braid your colleague’s hair while trying to bring up childhood memories, as they’re looking at some spreadsheet. It’s like the equivalent faux pas. Not to mention virtually impossible to find anyone who will let you style them like Scary Spice (trust me, I’ve tried).
So here are a few of my thoughts on how to address it:
- I think a huge part of finding your tribe is saying, “I don’t feel like I fit in and I won’t pretend that I do”. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves when we think we aren’t as good as we want to be that makes us reject one another.
- Know that you’re worthy. You were invited to that event, you’ve earned your place there. You don’t have to put up your defences.
- Try super hard not to indulge in gossip. This is a big one for me, whenever someone says something rude or insincere, I’m on Whatsapp telling all my blogger friends. This is a form of seeking validation from people who might have faced similar and sure it may be a bonding experience and make you feel better in the short term, but it’s based on ‘bad feelings’, for no better words. And in the long term it’ll just encourage you to keep telling those titbits and those ill sentiments become even worse.
I mentioned to a blogger friend that on the rare occasion, it’s actually the PR people hosting the events who belittle us and create the toxic environment. She said that it’s about everyone doing the job they’re meant to do. And I guess that applies to us too, because a bad attitude never came with anyone’s job description.
And if you think that I’ve personally ever done any of the above to you, this is my apology.
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