Friday, 7 December 2012

Smug and patronising

The story so far: Nick is accused of being smug and patron-ising. He is in a quandary. How exactly should he respond?

1) He could mount a long-winded and defensive explanation of why he isn't at all smug and patronising and never has been.

2) He could pretend he doesn't care less, that the accusations are ridiculous, and anyway it's all water off a duck's back.

3) He could get very upset and hurt, cry on and off for days, wallow in self-pity, and vow never to write another blog post.

4) He could drink himself stupid, take off all his clothes, and run up and down the street shouting "The end of the world is nigh. Prepare to meet thy doom".

5) He could accuse his accusers of being smug and patronising themselves and projecting their own faults onto someone else.

6) He could whistle loudly and go "La la la la la, can't hear you."

7) He could utterly despair of the decency of the human race and their ability to treat other people fairly and sympathetically.

8) He could decide it's all too much, he just can't take it any more, and commit an especially gruesome form of suicide.

9) He could cheer himself up by buying some new nail polish and lipstick and dying his hair blonde.

10) He could take to his bed and refuse to get up until the astrological alignments are more favourable.

Which response will be opt for? How will he resolve this tangled situation? Will his hair turn grey? Will he lose his sanity? Will he resort to cup cakes? Don't miss the next gripping instalment....

32 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

11.
Sx

kylie said...

i would carry on regardless and pay no attention, unless of course something resonates.....

Wisewebwoman said...

I would proudly agree and then proceed to write the snark.
XO
WWW

Cheerful Monk said...

"Will he lose his sanity?" I think we're all a bunch of nuts. Why should you be any different. :)

Nick said...

Scarlet: And what pray does number 11 consist of?

Kylie: Ah yes, stay calm and carry on. And no, despite a week of soul-searching, nothing resonates.

www: I'm not a very snarky person. My criticisms are usually quite direct.

Jean: You're right, I probably lost my sanity decades ago.

Ursula said...

Nick, first you need to get your lingo (semantics) right: No one "accuses" you of anything. Why not rephrase and say "It has been suggested that I am smug and patronizing" or "I appear to come across as smug and patronizing".

And conclude that indeed you do (both) and there is nothing wrong with it. If anything you should be happy that your views encourage discussion, diverse opinions. THAT IS AN ACHIEVEMENT, Nick. Not something to weep into a hanky about. In one of your recent comments you mention the memory of you being bullied at school. Discussion, disagreement, criticism is NOT to be confused with bullying, Nick.

Let me be honest with you, Nick. and this may help you. And if it doesn't I fear it's your loss. I find you irritating at times yet, and please please please reflect on this: I don't come back for more to use you as a punchbag (what you call 'bullying'). I come back to your blog because I am genuinely interested in both you and what you have to say, and the opinions of your many and varied commentators. Can't you see the compliment in that? We all have only so many hours in the day. I engage with few bloggers but when I do I do so wholeheartedly. I put in as much as I do with any friendship.

You ask how you should "respond". Just be yourself. Be open, welcoming. After all: Why write a blog if we don't invite others' views? Might as well just keep a journal - all to ourselves. The beauty of human relationships is that we bounce off each other. That we enrich each other in all our diversity.

Don't do your No 1 - That's just feeding into what you (in my opinion wrongly) consider 'bullying'.

Other than that I'd follow Kylie's advice and I most certainly recommend Scarlet's No 11.

U

Nick said...

Ursula: That comment is SO patronising in so many ways, I don't know where to start.

Rummuser said...

He should plunk for option 4. It will show all critics that he is neither smug nor patronising, just amusing.

Nick said...

Ramana: It would be amusing at the time, but the subsequent night in a police cell might be rather less amusing.

Bijoux said...

Maybe the better question to ask is, 'Why should I care what strangers on the Internet think or say about me?" Wouldn't a better source be your partner, your coworkers or your long-time friends? If you are truly concerned about how you come off, go to them.

Or, maybe you really don't care what any of us think and you are writing this post tongue in cheek? That's the thing about written word vs real interactions. We can't see your facial expressions, hear your tone of voice, etc. Which is why I don't presume to know anything about your character, Nick.

Nick said...

Bijoux: But I do care what they say if it happens to be true. Except that in this case I'm not sure if it's true or not. Don't worry, I shall move on and overcome this mental block in due course.

What I'm saying is half serious and half tongue in cheek. I'm just stuck in a bad place. Not sure that my facial expressions or tone of voice would tell you very much either.

Ursula said...

Nick, I am sorry to hear that you feel "stuck in a bad place". Why? I don't understand. For some reason (and please read my first comment above with some good will instead of assuming the worst) you focus on whatever you perceive as a slight.

Let me give you an example to illustrate how we differ in how we perceive the world: Kylie recently remarked that I can be "brutal". You know what, Nick? Her comment made me smile. She gave me an honest opinion and she trusted me enough that I'd take it in the spirit it was given. And that spirit was most certainly not "a personal attack".

Why do you fret so much what others think of you? And why oh why oh why do so many people, just like you, always want to be whiter that white? We all come with warts in unlikely places. Actually, I don't. Because I am perfect. Insert smiley.

We all have our inimitable style. You, me, everyone. If mine unnerves you and you'd rather I shut up on your blog just say so, Nick.

Bijoux and I have our moments. I only 'know' her via your blog because I am not sure she does have one of her own. Every time I click onto her link, I am denied access. So I am on slippery ground. From her comments here I find her quite brittle and who knows what we would make of each other if we met over a cup of coffee. However, in her own way, she gives you some good advice. Where I disagree with her for the umpteenth time, and this is an important point to be taken on board by all bloggers: We are not, as Bijoux says, "strangers" to each other. We get to know each other just as much as we do anyone in the flesh: In increments. Slowly. Sometimes the one we liked at first sight we later avoid. Sometimes the one we couldn't take to becomes one of our best friends. Of course, Bijoux is right, and it is a lament I share: Blogging limits us in that we can't take that shortcut of 'body language'. It is much easier to be nice, sarky or snarky (in a friendly way) when sitting opposite someone with a smile on your face than to do so on the written page. A blazing row or major disagreement also much better conducted in the same room.The written word so much more cumbersome.

In the end, Bijoux, our desire is to communicate with each other, to get to know each other. But the aim can never be to agree all the time. If that were so we'd all become hermits and live happily ever after with out own good self.

U

PS Nick, hot tip of the day I forgot to mention yesterday: Never apologize for your existence. Good luck.

Patronizingly yours,
Ursula

Grannymar said...

I'm sitting on the edge of my chair.... waiting for the next episode where you admit the real identity of Nick!

You know, the alien with two heads, long tail and five feet.

kylie said...

its kind of funny to come here and see myself being talked about :)

ursula, i have visited your blog but feel like i have missed something, i guess i need to visit more and get to understand!

Nick said...

Ursula: Why do I fret so much what others think of me? Because I'm not totally self-satisfied (i.e. smug) and because I might actually learn something about myself.

And surely you must realise by now that I don't want to be whiter than white, I just want to be better at handling all my 101 faults and weirdnesses.

Lots of people unnerve me but that's probably as much my problem as theirs.

I agree with you that long-time bloggers (and Facebook friends) are no longer strangers and may know each other a lot better than some of their "real-life" friends. And even a blazing cyberspace row can be resolved with a bit of patience and sensitivity.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Nick, I have to tell you that I am really torn about responding at all. Not because of your post, but because of the commentary that inevitably follows.I'm not even sure why you have become the subject of such fervent criticism, but I'm not a fan of amateur psychoanalysis. So a suggestion to take or leave (truly - I don't know that it's the best approach, I just know it's the one I'd take) - don't fret about it. It's just flat not worth it.

Nick said...

Grannymar: Oh, the real identity of Nick is either already out there but totally misunderstood, or kept safely inside where it can't be misunderstood by anyone.

Kylie: If you work out the secret to Ursula's blog, do let me know!

Nick said...

Agent: Yes, as a therapist, some of the comments I receive must make you wince. I guess the pungent criticism I'm getting at the moment must result from (a) my willingness to be criticised and (b) the controversial nature of some of my posts. I know I come on like a delicate little flower sometimes but actually I'm quite a tough cookie underneath and I can usually take the criticism on the chin. And don't worry, I'll be putting this particular subject behind me very soon.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Wince, shake my head, rub my temples, say, "Oh, for God's sake!" All of it. :-)

Nick said...

Agent: A very appropriate reaction. I shall do the same.

Ursula said...

Secret Agent Woman: You are "not a fan of amateur psychologists". Good, excellent. Neither am I.

Leaving aside the fact that Nick's psyche is his own affair what makes you the expert? For all you know I am Sigmund Freud's love child, Jung's niece second removed, Reich's chambermaid's daughter, or Oliver Sacks mistaking me for a French beret.

U

Nick said...

Ursula: I would say Secret Agent Woman understands me a lot better than you do, which makes her if not an expert at least someone with a great deal of psychological insight.

Secret Agent Woman said...

For the record, I said, "amateur psychoanalysis." But while I don't pretend to be an expert on the character or psychological make-up of someone I have never met (Nick, in this case), I think I can safely claim to be an expert in psychology.

Secret Agent Woman said...

P.S. Nick - If you do go with #4, will you promise to post the video? For my entertainment, if for no other reason. Thanks.

Nick said...

Agent: Without question you're an expert in psychology. If there's anyone going in for amateur psychoanalysis here, it's Ursula.

If I go with #4, I won't need to post the video. It'll be all over the Belfast Telegraph and no doubt the neighbours will be posting it on YouTube within minutes.

Macy said...

Good grief!! I head off for a couple of months and come back to find some kind of psycho drama going on here!

I have no comment to make until I do some catching up here.

Hi Nick!!

Nick said...

Hi Macy, long time no see! I know, a crazy psychodrama! I'll wait for you to catch up with all the shenanigans....

Roses said...

Is there an option with gin, the Self-Pity Gnome and a bottle of olive oil?

Nick said...

Roses: Olive oil? And what would be the purpose of that, might I ask? Or would that be too much information?

Nick said...

Update: I think I've finally swallowed that troublesome lump of emotional gristle. It's now being vigorously digested.

Roses said...

Olive oil is very good for you.

And should be extra virgin out of preference.

Glad you're feeling a bit better.

Conflict on a blog is tedious.

Nick said...

Roses: Oh, we always cook with extra virgin olive oil, there's no substitute. And yes, conflict on a blog is very wearisome.