The blogging world has That Guy, too. The one who ALWAYS has to make a comment. The one who has an opinion on EVERYTHING. The one who says "I hate it when bloggers ___" and then does those things. The one who always tries to play the sympathy card.
You're all nodding along with me, right? We've all met those bloggers. And we all agree that they're no fun.
So how do you avoid being That Guy? I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I've boiled it down to four easy steps. (Bonus: All of these rules apply in real life, too!)
- Know how to say you're sorry.
Look. We all say dumb stuff sometimes. We didn't mean for it to be offensive (or maybe you did. if you did, shame on you. be nicer. DON'T BE THAT GUY.) but it came across that way. Recognize when that happens. Be an adult, own it, apologize and move on. I've found that when someone says something jerk-ish, it quickly becomes less about the original statement and much more about how that person responded to criticism. So don't keep saying "yeah but what I SAID WASSSS" or "no that's not what I MEANT!" We all saw what you said, and it kinda sucked. But that's okay! Because we bloggers are a forgiving people. But you gotta keep it real.
And none of this "I'm sorry everyone got offended" crap. That is not an apology. Be genuine and sincere, and more importantly: remember it in the future. We all want to help each other grow, right? A huge component of growth is messing up, fixing it, and learning from it.
- Accept apologies and move on.
This goes hand in hand with #1. If you felt like you were wronged by someone, and they apologized to you, forgive them and move on. Don't angry-tweet about them. Don't unfollow them on all the social networks out of spite. Don't shoot them down every time someone else likes them. If you don't jive with a person, fine. But don't punish them (and all of their other bloggy friends) forever. Just fuggedaboutit.
- If you can't say something nice, just shut up already. (I may be paraphrasing.)
You know, I kinda thought this went without saying, but apparently we need a refresher sometimes. Don't like the way someone always talks about her husband? Oh well. Think another blogger does too many giveaways? Don't read their blog. We get enough thrown at us in life without flinging extra poo at each other for no reason. So just knock it off, okay? We're better than that.
- Get over it.
I've been blogging for 3.5 years, and I've read things that I disagreed with so deeply that it shook my entire soul. But who cares? I could say something. But will it make their life better? No. Will it make me feel better? Doubtful. So just get over it already.
To be fair, I've had some really great discussions with people over things we've disagreed on. Our conversations were respectful and enjoyable, and while we didn't change each others minds, we were able to see the view from the other side. And that's great.
And at the end of the day, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But just because you have that opinion doesn't mean you need to blab it all over the place, right? There are always going to be people you disagree with. And at that point, you know what you gotta do. You gotta just gotta get over it.
You got all that? Good.
Now: go forth into this great world...
and don't be That Guy!