Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not Open To Discussion

Over the years -- especially the blogging years -- I've made an observation. I don't know if it's merely coincidence or something personal and directed to me, but...

As some -- or many of you know, or have come to realize -- I like to talk. I am very detail-oriented, so that "colors" my conversations or my writings.

I also like to break down barriers.

I can be formal, if the situation calls for it, but more often than not, I'm very casual. When I'm referred to as Mrs. Saban, I say, "That's my mother-in-law. Call me Pearl."

I like to get beyond "Hi, how are ya" and often get to the guts of things.

Lately, I'm of the belief that most people aren't in to that.

While I'm busy writing from the heart and just "letting loose", some other people seem to put up an invisible wall. Am I overstepping boundaries in any way? Am I touching a personal nerve of any kind?

I've corresponded with several bloggers over the years and sometimes the emails are about my blog or theirs; other times it's about our lives.

But I've found that once the lines of communication are opened, they get shut down rather quickly. I write a note, the person writes back; or a person initiates it and I write back, thinking the lines are open, but the person doesn't respond...or is so very brief that it's clear my message wasn't read entirely.

It's like the concept of a "one hit wonder", but in this case it's a "one message, no more" phenomenon.

I guess it's simply the little girl in this grown woman's body who feels rejected. When it's not silence that I'm seeking from others, but it's silence that I receive, it hurts.

Of course, everyone has time limitations, so a back and forth rapport is perhaps not always possible, but if it's the other person who's started the ball rolling, and then doesn't catch it again,
it simply makes me wonder...

That's it. There ain't no more to say. Just as the title says, "Not open to discussion."


... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

That's very courageous of you to share that. Boundaries are tricky, especially when you are the type of person who is open and enjoy extending yourselves to other. It is hard to understand the reverse affect.

I can totally relate to you on this. After all these years of not getting it, I'm finally able not take it personally and to learn better ways of communicating.

Don't let this turn you into a person who has their wall up too, just step back and read your audience better. There will be those that have definite boundaries and others, who will give you plenty of signals that its ok step forward and be yourself.

cruisin-mom said...

Maybe, it's the "anonymity" of blogging (even if you reveal who you are, we are still behind a computer screen), that allows people to be "ruder" (is that a word?) than they would normally. But most of all, I hate to see you hurt in any way, Pearl...

Artful Kisser said...

Hi Pearl. First time visitor and first time commenter on the first post of yours I've read...should maybe read more before I comment!

I've found that many people do behave in ways online they wouldn't dare in person. I think the blogosphere can be a faceless, anonymous arena where certain types of characters are drawn because they feel safe with their walls stacked firmly around them for various reasons. Maybe people are drawn to it because their interpersonal communication skills in the "real world" aren't so great? Some, including myself, have been stung by letting their guard down. Plus I think for some, any possible backlash for bad behaviour online isn't so immediate as it is running into someone at cafe or on the train. You can't block people in real life.

I hope you don't get too downhearted and don't let it impede your blogging. I would say it's not about you and all about them.

Now I'm going to read some more of your posts...

Ezzie said...

It's an interesting question. For me, time has become a huge factor. Whereas when I started blogging I had all the time in the world, I no longer do - which makes keeping up relationships and talking a lot harder. The exceptions are the much younger crowd who come to us for Shabbosos and stuff all the time, which seems to be the only time I have. Also, GChat (get Gmail, cough cough) is amazing, as is Gmail - it's much easier to respond to people that way for some reason. But I used to be able to have longish phone convos with people, and now I can't. Email convos... often not. Etc. It's very frustrating, really.

I'm also a straight to the meat type person, which I think actually makes it harder. If I know I don't have time, I tend to avoid even small convos, as I'm sure I'll make it far deeper, and then I won't have time.

Danny said...

Not that this makes it more palatable or okay, but I bet in most cases it IS because the person doesn't feel they have the time and not intended as any kind of blowing off. We have such a tendency to feel overwhelmed in our culture. Remember the good old days when people took the time to write people long letters by hand?