Paging Dr. Freud

Vista, at the ripe old age of 4, is a master manipulator.

She’s smart.  Waaaay too smart.  And she knows exactly how to play people.

I watch her do it with her therapists when she’s not in the mood to work with them.  She’ll play dumb, bat her eyelashes, cock her head to the side, smile, and give a ‘I don’t know’ shrug.   At which point we’ve now trained her therapists to glance over at me, where I can give a slight nod to indicate ‘yes, she knows this.  She’s just fucking with you right now.’

The other day she was throwing a fit while getting ready for school.  It was only 7:30am and I had already had it.  So I looked at her and told her to drop the attitude.  She stopped, cocked her head to the side and gave me the biggest smile.  In return, I rolled my eyes at her.  “Nice try.  That might work on some people, but it doesn’t work on Mama.”

Without missing a beat, she let the smile drop and told me, “It works on Daddy.”


Yeah, my kid’s no dummy.

This morning she was being a typical four year old, running around and not listening to a thing we had to say.  After 5 hours of this, Bil was understandably tired of it and told her “Enough.  You need to start listening to Mommy and Daddy.  You haven’t been listening at all this morning!”

Again, without missing a beat, she turned to him with a straight face and asked him “Why do you think that is?”

That *boom* you heard was Bil’s head exploding.



The Victim

There is a particular brand of women I don’t tend to be friends with in real life.  I have no patience for them.  I don’t want them around me.

funny pictures melodrama cat The Victim

Yet I find it harder to escape this type when I’m online.  Social media tends to breed them.

I’m talking about women who are The Victim.

These are women that have a pervasive ‘woe is me’ attitude… about everything.  And they’re too busy crying about how life has done them wrong to change anything.

I know everyone goes through their ‘things’.  People are entitled to bad days, bad weeks, even bad years.  Sometimes shit happens.  Even I’ve had my fair share of downer moments on this blog in the past few years.

But it’s when you’d rather sit around feeling sorry for yourself, wallowing in your own self pity, that I tend to tune out.

My friends in my day-to-day world tend to be women of strength.  Women who, in some cases, have been dealt a pretty shitty hand lately.  And they’ll talk about their frustrations and what’s bothering them.  Sometimes they even have a good cry over things.  Then they pick themselves up and move forward.  Because life does not stop.  They are women who choose to focus on what is right in their lives and make the best out of what they can’t always control.

Then you have the other category of women.  I sometimes wonder how much of their constant personal drama is locked into a cycle because they feed off the attention of others.  They surround themselves with people who will pat them on the head, tell them how life has dealt them a raw deal,  and constantly confirm to them how wonderful they are, over and over and over and over,… and over and over and … yeah, well… If you’re that type, I probably stopped reading and commenting on your blog about 5 ‘overs’ ago.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I never expect people to agree with me on everything (just like I don’t expect everyone to agree with this post).  My friends regularly have discussions on differing opinions.  I love that.  I feel it helps me learn, grow, view the world as I might not have thought to.

By surrounding yourself with people that will only agree with you, and attack anyone who says the least little thing outside of the acceptable rote responses, you are locking yourself into victim mode.

What I’ve been considering, lately, is how much I contribute to this by not saying anything.  By not commenting that ‘hey, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time, but look at your wonderful healthy kids, your great job, your nice house,’ am I just as bad as those people who smother The Victim with the protective shield that drips with venom for the naysayers?

And I guess that’s why I don’t speak up.  I don’t want to become a target for the whiners posse who are posed to attack anyone who doesn’t agree fully with everything The Victim says.  I don’t feel like causing huge internet drama through one comment.

And so, the next question becomes, as my hand hovers over the unfollow and delete buttons, why don’t I just eradicate these people from my online life like I would my real life?

Possibly because I have learned that in this day of social media that a simple unfollow, a quick delete, a removal from my blog roll (blog rolls are meant to be dynamic, people. Sheesh.  Who I read changes on my mood), can cause just as much drama.  Because for The Victim, anything that can cause drama means more attention for them.  Booyah!

So either way I’m left feeding the addiction for these people.  And I do believe it’s an addiction.  To attention. To blog stats.

So what to do?

Cause drama, or sit back and watch it?

So You’re Not In The Popular Crowd

Quite frankly, get over it. Really.

I just read a post lamenting the fact some big name blogger doesn’t respond to her and wont mentor her.

I am hearing and seeing this attitude more and more.

An expectation of ‘I read your blog and comment and I tweeted you so now you must pay attention to me dammit!’

Um, no. Hate to break it to you, but that’s not how life works.

I don’t follow everyone who follows me. Not because I’m a bitch (I am, but that’s not why). Not because I think I’m bigger / better / more important. I don’t. I comes down to two very simple things.

  1. Interest.  Are you saying something that interests me?  If you’re not, then you’re just noise in my twitter stream and blog reader and I don’t bother.  This directly feeds into my second point.
  2. Time.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I would LOVE to spend all day reading blogs and responding on twitter, but I don’t have the time.  I have a 2yr old that needs to be paid attention to, fed, loved, taken places.  I have animals that need to be cared for.  I have a house that needs to be looked after.  I have a husband that I like to spend time with once in a blue moon.  I have business deadlines.  So, all that stuff needs to be balanced.

I do love getting comments on my blogs and on twitter.  The day I stop loving it is the day I will stop blogging.  And when I have the time, I try to go through and respond to every single one to let people know how much I appreciate them.  But there are days where that’s just not possible.  I run out of hours and steam and have to sleep at some point (why do I feel like I should apologize for that??)

iStock 000006428830XSmall 300x199 So Youre Not In The Popular CrowdAnd that’s just me.  When you look at bloggers and tweeters who have thousands and hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s not realistic to expect them to possibly have the time to respond to each and everyone.  When your time is finite you’re going to respond to those people you have established relationships first.  That’s just natural.

And yes, there are blogging cliques and twitter cliques.  I’m guilty of this.  I have a group of people I gravitate to, because we share common interests and personalities.  Cliques exist in real life.  In a perfect world they wouldn’t, but this isn’t a perfect world.  It’s reality.

So rather than going on about how ‘so and so’ won’t talk to me, focus on people who will.  Build relationships with them.    Those people will recommend you to their friends.  Those friends will recommend you to their friends.  And eventually you may find yourself having dinner with that one person who was at one time out of reach.

Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.  I’ve made amazing friends and connections from people who were recommended to me.  I’ve also been able to network with some great people after being recommended by a mutual friend.

But if you’re only focused on climbing the popularity ladder, being an attention whore, and using people for what they can do for you, you’re going to find a lot of doors closed to you.  People talk.  Remember that.

If I can give people starting out any advice it would be the words of my very brilliant friend Colleen:  “Instead of trying so hard,  just be yourself.”

So, instead of sending emails, requests, comments, tweets to the biggest name bloggers, find people that you can build relationships with.  People you have things in common with.  People who like you for you.  The rest? Will come… all in good time.

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