This might be an unpopular statement but that's never stopped me before: If I were not already a horse person who knew the joy of the bond with a horse, that comforting smell of hay and sweat and leather, and the only exposure I had to base my decision on was the people involved with horses, I probably would choose not to get involved.
Fortunately, I ran out of time/steam/energy to write it before it was finished. And then I realized that it would have just been a whole pot full of negativity and complaining, and that's not my MO these days.
And then when I got in bed, I started thinking, and remembered this image that I had shared on my personal Facebook timeline a week or so ago:
I don't know if there is actually any actual, scientific proof to this statement. But I can attest to how negativity or online confrontations affect me at the point of impact -- sweaty palms, cold digits, overall brain numbness, stomach upset. I basically hate to subject myself to it and it would be awful for me to subject my readership to it unnecessarily.
So why do we? Why do I keep looking? Why do I post just one more post? Why do I sneak back to look at that FB page that just makes me roll my eyes and make me angry with how unkind people are to one another? Why do we stay friends with the person that snidely makes underhanded comments about us?
In essence - why do we give others the power to affect how we feel negatively?
Someone once said to me that staying mad over someone is like letting them live rent free in your head. You might be hard pressed to let someone you like do that, so why would you let someone you dislike do that?
I think I used to almost enjoy that dramatic anger, in my "younger days" (insert everyone older than me giving me the stinkeye because I'm calling myself old here), but I have learned that life is indeed every single cliche about being too short to waste it on things and people that do not make you happy. I'm not saying that you should always run at the slightest indication of negativity, but measure the value of it in your life. If something is making your eyes roll or your heart race (with anger) more than it makes you smile, it might be time to cut that something loose, unfriend that FB friend-that-you-don't-even-know-in-real-life-but-keeps-posting-inflammatory-political-posts, make a positive change in your own life.
These days, I try not to get into altercations. Most of the (very few) negative comments that get posted to the blog are responded to with fact, not emotion, and I try to walk away more often than not. I have lived a happier life since I learned to own and know my own truth and get rid of the negative stressors in my life. That is not to say that I don't welcome intelligent conversation - I do, but the minute it turns into personal poison, something that will live in my heart longer than just in the moment, and give me afterburn, I try to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. And I try not to perpetuate it. It's not perfect, but it's the best favour I ever learned to do for myself.