Live and Let Live: Butthurt and Bubbles

‘Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect – and I don’t live to be – but before you start pointing fingers… Make sure your hands are clean!’

– Bob Marley

Yesterday, The Bloke returned from town with an interesting story. A group of Morris dancers (folk dancers who are usually white, middle aged men) were doing a performance – this is not uncommon in lots of areas of Britain (and indeed, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and has been a tradition that has lasted for hundreds of years – and The Bloke had stopped to watch. Within a few minutes a rather angry man with a microphone rushed over and started screaming at them that they were ‘devil worshippers.’ This angry man is present in the city every weekend – he brings a mic and an amp and yells passages from the Bible at people walking past, and most of the time he is simply ignored and left to get on with it. However, the shouting really irritated one of the performers after a while and what ensued was a verbal scuffle,Β ending with the angry man packing up his things and storming off.

080While I never condone violence, I was pleased that somebody confronted the angry man and won, even if the victory was a small one. It won’t stop the man returning next weekend and continuing to shout, but it quietened him temporarily. I dislike having to walk past him when I am shopping as I resent the fact that he is continually allowed to use his religious beliefs to hurl abuse and judge anybody who passes by.

The issue of judgement continually rears it’s ugly head and I have certainly noticed it in the online world. In the last few weeks alone, several posts have prompted enormous reactions from readers who feel that they are being personally attacked for their choice of lifestyle and their response has been to chastise and even vilify the original author. Some of the responses have been enormous paragraphs, some have been a barrage of insults, but one stood out for me in it’s simplicity and explanation:

“Who are you to judge? Don’t you tell me what to do!”

I, like many others, dislike being told what to do. It’s a rather childish sentiment, but I have worked hard to build this life for myself and therefore feel that I have a right to choose how I live it and everyone else should be allowed to do the same. In the past I have been known to become extremely defensive when comments are made. The judgement of others is part of human nature and society – we live within a code of written and unwritten laws and morals that differ according to nationality and religion and as a result there are always going to be differences of opinion, and lots of examples of ‘butthurt’.

29zcyehI don’t like the term ‘butthurt.’ Being new to the blogging world (my blog is less than a year old) I only became familiar with the word a few months ago in that it generally refers to an extreme reaction to a thought and/or opinion, often prompting quite long and aggressive comments or posts in response. However, the more I immerse myself, the more examples of butthurt I see, and I may be controversial by saying that a large amount of it is counter-productive, rude and pointless.

I’ve written posts in response to others and had posts written in response to mine. In fact, my most successful posts have been created after I have read something that have prompted me with an idea. I love the discussion that can generate from seemingly controversial posts, and I’ve really enjoyed chatting with bloggers who have completely disagreed with something that I’ve written as I have been able to hear another point of view. However, I’ve sometimes found that the dialogue that follows is not about what is said, it is how it is said. Comments that are rude and personal (often made easy to do so by hiding behind a computer screen) instantly make me switch off and I usually avoid responding to these as I know the resulting paragraphs will become longer and move further and further away from the initial point.

I read a fabulous post by Kenneth Justice, AKA The Culture Monk this morning, in which he summarised my thoughts perfectly:

‘Is it too much for me to hope that the Western World can return to a place where we can have positive dialogue over topics that we don’t always agree on? Is it too much for me to ask that we all stop being so nasty when we find out someone believes something that we ourselves reject?’

While we have a right to disagree, I believe that we also have the right to be able to offer our responses in a polite and respectful manner. We all live in our own little bubble, but perhaps the thoughts and opinions of others may open our minds a little to the big wide world that is out there.

And for those who still feel hurt, here is a wonderful form that you could fill out…

formWhat do you think? Have you been a victim of butthurt?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

47 thoughts on “Live and Let Live: Butthurt and Bubbles

  1. Yes, I have experienced all kinds of butthurt when I offer a point of view which is different that the author. Occasionally, the anger at having the audacity for disagreeing with the author is just asinine. It’s amazing how many people think that they’re point of view is the only one that is right and that everyone else is wrong.

  2. I have lived most of my life where my opinion doesnt matter, at school, in the RAF and 32 years of marriage. When I was doing my placement I had been in this one school for 2 weeks and I was to go to a primary one class as the Scottish Parliment sent out to every pupil in Scotland a tent fold card which had a series of questions and we had to help the younger ones decide what to and hiw to vote my explaining. Now most of the question even I didn’t understand and neither did the teacher. So I kept a spare one and I was going to write this in to my placement report. The next day I came into school and this woman who I had never seen before who never introduced herself either took me into a side room and said “Did you take away from the school a voting card yesterday” I replied I did, She said “You have denied a child of a vote, you have disrespect the school, disrespected me and disrespected the teacher in the class, have you got that card?”
    I handed her the card which I had planned to return that day to the class after I had photocopied it. I apologised and left to my class.
    At college next day I reported what had happened to the head of the course I said that im my opinion the cards were not suitable for the younger children to compkete or understand and I was writing a report that the Scottish office didn’t think about it when they wrote these cards. her reply was “I agree with the school and I am also telling you while you are on my course you have no opinion so get used to the fact”

    Talk about being fecking angry, but I needed the qualification so I kept my mouth shut. Just because I was a student I was an easy target for that woman at the school I never did find out who she was, the course leader was asked to take early retirement so that attitude was noticed somewhere else.
    I would never think of speaking to people like that, as for the woman at the school, it ruined the rest of the time I had there and lost my trust of everyone there as someone had to have reported me. That was four years ago and I am still annoyed at the fact and annoyed that I had not stood up and told both of them just what I thought of them and annoyed at myself for being to mild mannered
    Life eh!!!!

    • You should write a book Pete – your comments are always so interesting!

      It’s such a shame the way people think they can talk to each other, particularly when they’re younger than themselves…

      • I speak to everyone as I wish I would like to be spoken to, unless your a cold caller trying to sell me something over the phone while I am watching a good film, I know they are just earning a wage but there are better ways then prising the pension out of the cold geriatric wrinkly hands of old people, then you will get the choice of me screaming abuse down the phone, a loud whistle or complete silence until the voice of Special Agent Smith advising the caller that this is a government protect number, the call is being traced and recorded for prosecution purposes and then ask them their name. They soon hang up and I go back to my film.

        Seriously people are living their lives as a wound up spring that jumps out its housing and wraps itself round the first person it touches. My wife says I am so laid back she has to keep poking me to make sure I am still breathing, even the surgeon said that just 30 minutes before what turned out to be life saving surgery, he found me sitting on the edge of the bed reading a womans magazine with tubes everywhere unable to speak proper because of lockjaw and septicaemia and had to be operated on using a local anaesthetic and a sedative as the lockjaw wouldn’ allow my mouth to open to get a breathing tube down. He asked me why I was so calm, I replied saying “Well nothing I can do about it, the surgery had to be done and won’t know much about it” Mind you I didn’t know another 24hrs I would not have survived and I lost the next three days under sedation lol.
        Anger the the result of a troubled mind, get your head sorted out and you will find life sorts itself.
        As for a book, I think your the only one interested so you will have the first edition hahaha πŸ™‚

  3. Great post as usual. I agree with you. I’m looking forward to confronting the angry man should he harass me during my visit. The internet does produce far too many people that are too comfortable attacking rather than learning different points of view.

  4. I love the form haha! I’ve never heard of this expression before and thought your post would possibly be about, er, something else. I’ve never had anyone hysterically rant on my comments page and I would also promptly ignore anyone who did.

  5. I don’t really worry about it. I haven’t really had trolls, most of the comments on my site are pleasant enough, and even the disagreements are at least civil.
    As far as other sites, I’ve disagreed with authors, but tried to be generally respectful.
    And if all else fails, it’s easy enough to stop reading them.

  6. Until a few moments ago I had never heard of the word, I have no idea what it means. They tell me there are angry street preachers in Adelaide but I have never come across them. Likewise, I have never had anyone nasty on my site,If I did I would probably just ignore them, or ban them and simply move on.

  7. So far I haven’t been a victim of butthurt, but I do tend to keep my more “controversial” beliefs to myself. πŸ˜‰ It really is a shame that grown folks can’t have a calm, rational conversation about a topic. I hate to be judge-y, but the people who resort to insults rather than intelligently defending their stance or oprinion tend to get the mental heave-ho from me…don’t feed the trolls (or the angry people) and all that. πŸ˜‰

  8. There is always something that someone doesn’t agree with. I don’t agree with everyone or everything. Unfortunately it is human nature. But a lot of people, religions and governments have gotten really carried away with how things “should be”. As a Christian I don’t agree with a lot of lifestyles and religions that don’t meet my expectations, or my belief, I don’t try to force my religions on anyone. And I don’t like someone to try and force theirs on me. I try to present it to them, which I am not very good at, and let God take it from there. The same should be done by others. I may not have presented this very well, and I don’t want to offend others. And I agree with you Suzie, do it in a polite manner. I am not always good at doing that myself, but I like to think I try.

    Oh and I had never heard of butthurt before either. I got a good laugh from that one!

  9. WOW Suzie. WOW. you have no idea what this post means to me. none. but, i always am drawn to your words…especially today. the words..LIVE AND LET LIVE…are inspiring and send chills up my spine. (there is a reason for that). Your words from there were much needed.
    Thanks!
    And for the record…i have never heard the term…butthurt. lol….thanks! And you and I have been blogging about the same.
    funny!

  10. This is so funny! I don’t like the term “butthurt” either, because it’s just vulgar. I saw a blog recently that was horribly offensive–racist, sexist, and homophobic–and so, of course, I left a clever comment about how ridiculous I thought it was. Some commenters who were in favor of the blog’s opinions were pretty “butthurt” about it, and one in particular trolled my blog! The lengths some people will go to because they’re “butthurt”…

  11. Your post makes me think of a lovely and, unfortunately, rare conversation I had on a blog recently. One of the blogs I followed posted an article about Belle Knox, the former porn star who enrolled in college. What our conversation ended up being about in the comments was about the rights and wrongs of slut shaming. My comment received a reply from another blogger disagreeing with my opinion. This person did so without sounding arrogant or disrespectful. I took a chance and decided to respond. I mentioned my understanding of his reasoning and further explains points of my opinion I felt he misunderstood. I braced myself for what would come next. Knowing the internet, he’d probably write a scathing comment, calling me a whore or some such. Instead, this commenter continued to be respectful, and acknowledged that my opinion was valid. Now, we never did see eye to eye. Instead, we had what I saw as a healthy, enjoyable discussion about a controversial discussion. There’s no reason to be butthurt when some disagrees with you. If all parties involved discuss their opinions respectfully, everyone can enjoy the conversation.

  12. Pingback: Social Studies, Blog Trolls, and Lemurs | Nerd in the Brain

  13. I left Kenneth a link to the Butthurt Form before reading your post… I see you were already brilliant and clever, and included it here. Well done! And I noticed your blog has a new look… it looks great.

    I have sciatica, so my butt literally hurts. To be more serious and on topic, that near-constant pain really does lead me to be a little more vulnerable to butthurt, so I have to watch it. Some days go better than others.

  14. Nice article πŸ™‚

    I like this line, “I, like many others, dislike being told what to do. It’s a rather childish sentiment, but I have worked hard to build this life for myself and therefore feel that I have a right to choose how I live it and everyone else should be allowed to do the same.”

    Here in the U.S. that type of thinking is actually in the minority unfortunately. Instead, our two major political parties both want to create a way-of-life and force people to live a certain way…..independent thinking and being left alone are sadly going out of style.

  15. great post. I had never heard the term before nor have I been subjected to it but I know of those that have. I read a great line the other day “Peace is not the absence of conflict. Peace is the ability to deal with conflict in a” non-violent fashion. I fear that as the focus goes off society as a whole and focus becomes centred on “me” that there is going to be no stop to these kind of reactions as many think that their opinions are the only ones that matter. I loved meeting my first Morris men in the UK on a visit there in the 90s and enjoyed your reminder of them. I’d never heard of them in Australia but no doubt they will be here somewhere but not on the street corners as they are in England.

  16. I haven’t had too many nasty comments – one from someone who thought I was just horrid for not liking rude little children who should be excused from the need to act appropriately in public because they have received a label from a doctor and therefore are immune to good behavior. Other than that, bring it on. I have much different political views from most of my followers and all of my friends ……… they love Obama. Me, I’m crowing over the last election on Tuesday. They crowed in 2012 and now it’s my turn. I just say what I think …….. that’s why I blog!

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