by Madeline Laughs
I see this happen all the time on Facebook. In fact, I could probably write a book about it using real life experience. My outspoken behavior and lack of hesitation to call someone out and/or delete them for behaving badly, tends to make me the object of many flame wars.
You delete someone and they spend the next few weeks, and in my case, the next year, flaming you on their profile page. It doesn’t matter if nothing they say is a fact, they still do it. You will get blamed for everything that goes sour in their lives. If their dog dies, well you must have had something to do with it. Who cares if you live in another country, you’re an asshole, and they want everyone to know it. This includes even the new friends they make that have absolutely no idea who you are. As long as everyone is in agreement that you’re a jerk, then alls well in their Facebookland.
Something they never stop to consider is that most of those friends on their list really don’t care about the flame war and the ones that pretend to care probably have their own issues to contend with and one of those would be self esteem. I’m not saying everyone feels that way, but after a week, trust me, they ALL feel that way.
Pollyanna behavior on Facebook is also something you might want to consider tempering. Nobody likes a Pollyanna after a while either. A Pollyanna is “a person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic“. But that is not the whole story. Their blind optimism is a cover for someone who looks for the bad in people so they can make themselves feel superior. These are the folks that sit in judgment of everyone’s bad behavior in a condescending, pulpit, let’s-all-save-the-world-from-itself kind of way.
Why?! Oh, WHY?! Must you act like a fucktard all the time?
You know the type, like they’re the only person on the planet without any faults. Every single status update is about someone’s awful behavior and most of the time everyone that sees it thinks it’s about them. That’s because it could be about them, but the Pollyanna will never admit that to them, even if they ask.
Of Course it’s not about you! Never in a million, zillion years would I say this about you! I LOVE you! You’re the bestest and thanks for stopping by and adding credibility to my status update with your comment. Hopefully everyone else will chime in to tell me how awesome it is of me to point out yet another awful behavior and we can all condemn these terrible people into a million, zillion tiny bits!
It’s damaging behavior, no matter how you slice it up.
I like my friend CJ’s perspective. If the friendship doesn’t work for you, delete it. You don’t have to be nasty about it and can send an email letting the person know you’re going to delete them and why. They can even respond if they want to.
Not every person is going to be a fit in your life and rather than waste your time and theirs trying to make it fit, just move on. And for god’s sake, do it with some dignity.
1. Keep your friend list private. No one else is going to know what happened unless you start broadcasting it to them.
2. Close it out in private and then let it go. An exchange of harsh words can never be taken back and if those words are also laced with threats then expect some retaliation. It’s Facebook for crap’s sake. Keep your temper in check.
3. Don’t start flaming someone just because they deleted you. If you really disliked them so much that flaming them comes easy, then rejoice that they’re gone. Rejoice privately. No one else wants to hear about it and gloating is not attractive on anyone.
4. Think about how you would feel if you were watching this happen on another friend’s page. Would you tune in day after day to hear the hatred? Or would you eventually tune them out for good? Wouldn’t you also start to wonder what was wrong with them that they couldn’t move on?
Wouldn’t you now realize that if you ever disagreed with this person that this kind of flaming is what you would have to look forward to as well?
I behave myself on Facebook these days. I have been known to write a snarky remark or two, but I don’t carry on and on about it. I have been guilty of refusing to move on in certain areas, but lately I have felt sufficiently purged enough to do my own thing. I do not like or appreciate anyone that continues to remind me of past events in a way that makes me into anything or anyone other than what I was…a victim. Even then you better tread lightly because I have a hair trigger finger and delete is not a word that scares me.
My advice is to never engage in flame wars. Not your own and certainly not another persons. Let them battle it out alone because in the end if they don’t stop what they’re doing that’s exactly what they’ll end up being…alone. Flame wars lose friendships and violates trusts. They don’t make you look holier than thou, they make you look like a douchebag. And who really wants to look like a douchebag? Not me!
I’m going to adopt CJ’s other direction as well. If you find that I am no longer a fit in your Facebookland, then by all means, delete me. I won’t mind a bit.