The other day, someone I recently followed on Twitter publicly and privately criticized me for not being open to his ‘tweeting’ advice. He felt I wasn’t effectively tweeting, interacting, or being a good fellow tweep because I mention my book reviews and excerpts in some of my tweets. He formed this opinion over a five day period. He sent me a slew of direct messages that fired all sorts of ways I could improve my tweets and increase my following exponentially. He accused me of not being open to criticism and of not respecting his advice.
I felt bullied and angry, like someone had just slammed me against a wall and laughed at me. My first impulse was to jump into defense mode and put him in his place. I wasted an hour drafting a tweet that would be dignified and to the point. I drafted all sorts of varieties. Snappy, angry, defensive, and none seemed to sit right with me. I couldn’t stoop to his level. So, instead, I simply said I enjoyed tweeting and was going to continue with my style, which is to let readers know about my books and to inject some positive thoughts throughout the day. Then, I blocked him.
Did this make me feel any better?
Not at all. I am still dumbfounded and hurt. A bully is a bully. Bullies hurt. I don’t understand bullies. I never will. I am sure he would not consider his act an act of bullying, but of offering helpful critique and advice. After berating me, he ended his last tweet and direct message to me with well wishes for success. Maybe he was truly trying to be helpful in his own way. I like to think that was his motive because what else could it have been?
So where does this bitterness take me? Do I let it define me? Do I let it stir up negativity? For those who have been reading my blog all along, you know what my answer is going to be! I decided to take everything that was said to me, pull out any lesson – if any existed, and believe it or not, I found one – and remain dignified by rising above the insults and focusing on the blessings instead.
I know who I am. I define me. A bully will never get to define me. Who am I? I am someone whose personal mission in life is to enrich the lives of others through service and living by the golden rule of doing onto others as I would have done unto me. If I conduct myself in such a fashion, no bully can ever knock me down and make me second guess my actions.
To all who follow me on Twitter, I just want to say thank you for being generous with your interactions, retweets and twitter friendships. I love Twitter and I won’t allow one person to make me lose sight of the almost 7900 followers who act with great kindness towards me.
Here’s to always remembering to take the higher road…