Monday, November 29, 2010

Can you Tell Your Story Without Hurting Someone's Feelings?



My husband asked me a question today.  He wanted to know, which is more important: avoiding hurting people's feelings or blogging your truth?

I thought about it.  People are always the most important.

But we're not really talking about blogging being more important than people here, in my opinion.  We're talking about being able to express how I really think and feel.  And not saying your thoughts and feelings to avoid the possibility that others might misunderstand is not exclusive to blogging: I wouldn't be able to say my thoughts and feelings in-person, in email, or on the phone either.  I think the question is "which is more important, talking about your feelings or not talking about your feelings so that no one else could possibly misinterpret it and have their feelings hurt?"

Is being honest not important?

There may come a time when I blog something that might unintentionally hurt someone's feelings.  My experience being bullied in elementary school really impacted me, yet today I am friends with some of the individuals who perpetrated it.  There were teachers who I feel didn't stick up for me--I am still in contact with some of them and still think fondly of them.  I was in an abusive relationship with a former partner whose mutual friends could read a story I write of that experience and not understand.  Then there's the general life's hardships.  My families, both by birth or adoption, could read about struggles I've had in life and feel like they could have prevented those things, someway, somehow.

Telling a story can run you the risk of hurting someone's feelings, no matter how well you tell it, if they internalize it.  I can only hope that when my loved ones read my stories, they can see my heart.

If they ever are hurt, I would hope they would come to me and talk about it.  I don't blog because I am mad at any one or want them to feel badly.  I blog because I think it is important.  There are pieces of my story that are both good and bad.  I blog as a form of activist to do my part to give back to the large dialogue of change.  If more people aren't out there speaking about how they really feel about something, how will the world ever know any different?

"Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?"  --Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Photo credit:  Francesco Marino