Earlier in the week I received an email from a blogger who had been the victim of a pretty vicious hate campaign against her from a number of other bloggers. She asked for advice on how to handle the situation.
I gave her a number of pieces of advice (much of which was similar to my post on what to do when your blog is attacked) but I also found myself returning to some teaching that I’ve recently heard from a Buddhist Monk (no I’m not changing religions – but yes I do enjoy interacting with people from different faiths).
The crux of his teachings was this…
When someone attacks you with anger and hatred say to them:
“thank you for your ‘gift’ – but I think you can keep it for yourself.”
It is easy to take on the anger of other people and to wear it as a burden of your own but it is usually unhealthy to do so.
Anger and hatred directed at you by another person is their anger and hatred and not yours. While they may wish for you to take it upon yourself – ultimately it’s a ‘gift’ that would be better not received.
The blogosphere can unfortunately be a place of personal attack and anger. While I think there is a place for hearing the critique of others and taking it on board in a constructive way – there is also a time to let it go and move forward.
One skill that bloggers need to learn is how to do this.
One more quote to end with on Anger from Brother Thay’s book Anger:
“If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put the fire out. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames.”