If You’re Going to Disagree with Someone, Please do so Respectfully

There is a way to disagree with someone and still be respectful. It seems with everything that’s happened with the mass shootings, really has the U.S. divided. Nobody has any patience, everyone is on edge, everyone else is wrong except you… etc. When did this become the norm? When did playing offense become so important?

As my last post stated, sometimes it feels as though the world doesn’t want me here. I didn’t think any harm could come while reaching out to a fellow blogger (who I thought was nice) for some tips and tricks. They completely trashed my recent writing piece on mental health and mass shootings, which is fine as they are entitled to their own opinion. But so am I. On my own blog.

They stated the piece made her “uncomfortable” and I am “not helping”. The piece was not intended to upset them (or anyone for that matter), it was intended to make you think outside the box. And I am helping to expose ALL sides of mental health, not just BPD, depression and anxiety – though that remains my main focus. They are definitely entitled to their own opinion as am I, but I don’t go out of my way to belittle others’ pieces. If I comment on others’ blog posts, it’s going to be supportive 99.9% of the time. Even if I think you are wrong, I will give you the time of day to hear you out.

I’m not perfect. But people need to hear other people out and not be so close-minded. You’re allowed to be passionate about your opinions, but there is a way to express disinterest in other people’s opinions that is polite. And you cannot just ignore a problem, hoping it gets better.

This person and I have commented and liked each others’ posts countless times, but one piece was enough to make them unfollow me and tell me that I’m not helping the mental health community. THAT is part of the problem (not the unfollowing part – keep reading). Some would rather pay attention to the one “negative” thing they saw or read about someone over the countless other “good” things that this person has said or done. Depending on the degree of this “negative” thing, that may be acceptable. But in this instance – one harmless opinion (backed by fact), left them reeling. Likewise, their response to my piece left me reeling.

Of course I retaliated to this person as I’m going to when I feel attacked. When someone bashes the one activity that I’m most passionate in the world – writing – I’m going to be upset. “Understandably so” as my therapist says.

I will not turn the other cheek to what is happening in society. Sure, it may be easier to do, but I will not deny the fact that childhood traumatic events and good (or bad) mental health have a straight-up relationship to how you develop as an adult. I always stand behind the pieces I write, I am confident in my writing. I will always speak for what (I feel) is morally right and wrong.

I’m not here for a popularity contest, I’m here to speak the truth and fight for mental health rights and killing the stigma associated with it. I understand I have my own issues and flaws surrounding my mental health, but I’m a continuing work in progress and am trying to just use my writing as a harmless but effective outlet for myself and maybe even others. The message of that particular piece was that we have a mental health crisis with our youth and it needs to be addressed. I also stated that someone who kills others for enjoyment is not sane. Can you argue otherwise? If you can then fine, you are entitled to your own opinion.

While the level of illness that is associated with a mass murderer and someone who has anxiety or depression are very different, people seem to clump mental illnesses together. We are not all the same and we have different severities of our illnesses. For example – someone who is suicidal may think of killing themselves while someone who is homicidal may be thinking of killing others. Both may involve taking a life (or several), but the thought process behind the acts themselves is much different.

It’s clear that I express my own opinions and realizations from living on Earth for 30 years (this is my blog), and yes some people aren’t going to like it, but you can still be friendly with someone who holds different views. It’s impossible to make everyone happy. But in today’s society, people get too heated over conversations that are merely started to try to fill the silence. Try to understand instead of judge.

-CJ

Photo credit: here

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