Northwest Native: I care what you think.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I care what you think.

...but my name isn't Blurryface.
Have you heard this song? It comes on the radio quite often, and it just resonates with me so strongly. I don't often feel like top 40 pop songs speak to my soul, but this one even inspired a blog post!

Actually, I've thought about doing this post, or one like it, for a long time. But this song gave me the direction I needed to get it right.

I'm an introvert. I'm a people pleaser. I'm anxious in many social situations. I struggle when meeting new people if I don't have an 'in.' I crave approval.

I decided to start a blog, and although I rolled my eyes at bloggers talking about 'the blogging community,' I eventually realized that they're right. I've 'met' so many great people (some I really have met in person!). When I meet these bloggers in person, it isn't like meeting a random stranger. I have my 'in,' and that 'in' is that we already know each other, even if it's only virtual. I assume it would be the same with any of you. But if I met one of you randomly without the 'in' of blogging or a mutual friend or some reason that threw us together for an extended period of time, a friendship probably wouldn't blossom because of my social anxiety.

I consider many of my blog friendships to be real friendships. If it's a blog that I read and comment on regularly and they're only commenting because I commented on their post, then maybe not. Sometimes I can tell when this is happening. There was one blog in particular where I just enjoyed reading her blog, but I noticed this pattern like clockwork every time I commented. Now I very rarely read and never comment.

I also hope that on days that I'm too busy to comment on a blog friend's post (or even read it) that they wouldn't begrudge me if they read my post and commented that day even though I didn't do the same.

A few months ago, a blogger said something in her post that really rubbed me the wrong way. It was a personal view of hers, and I of course believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion, but I so vehemently disagree with this opinion that I unfollowed her on Bloglovin'. A few weeks later, she followed me on BL (she wasn't following me before). So...I felt guilty and followed back. I started reading and commenting...but then I stopped again after thinking it through. She still occasionally comments on my blog, and then I feel guilty all over again. I don't have to please everyone, do I? But that's my nature. I don't want to disappoint anyone or come off bitchy or cold. I am absolutely Monica from Friends. I want to please people and I crave approval. But should I care? Should I be able to stop reading a blog because of a personal reason and not look back?

I clean up my language on the blog. I know I've mentioned that in the past. I cuss pretty often in person, actually...but I try not to offend anyone. I'm guessing this has something to do with my wanting to please people and to get the approval I crave. But does the number of page views outweigh saying what I really would say out loud? Cussing isn't really a huge deal. It's not actually necessary, it's just a habit for me at this point. But there are other things I also don't say.

I don't talk about politics or any issues surrounding them. I don't talk about religion. I don't talk about my personal view on hot-button issues. I guess I'm afraid to lose page views and followers and commenters...but is that compromising myself? Or is it okay to avoid those kinds of topics? My brother and my sister's boyfriend got into an argument about politics at our family Christmas and it was so uncomfortable. Should I continue to keep my mouth shut about these things so I don't have to be uncomfortable? I absolutely hate confrontation. I don't have to defend my beliefs, but if someone commented challenging me, I don't think I could stop myself. [Except I will say that Donald Trump is a joke of a candidate and I don't feel nervous/bad about that at all--but I'm also not the first or second or third blogger I've seen say that, so I think that has a lot to do with it.]

So there you have it. I'm an introvert. I'm a people pleaser. I'm anxious in many social situations. I struggle when meeting new people if I don't have an 'in.' I crave approval. Nice to meet you. Who are you?

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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32 comments:

  1. I hope none of those bloggers are me!! It's okay to have different views than others....I'm Blake by the way :). Have a great day Mattie!

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  2. Oh girl, I feel you on so many levels here! I think the best thing I have realized (and had to embrace and let sink in over the last several years) is that we all have different opinions and that's ok, to me. But it is certainly NOT ok to a lot of other people in the world so unless I really feel like I have a lot of facts to back myself up or I trust the person I'm talking to implicitly, I keep the controversial stuff to myself for the most part. Maybe it's easier for me because I gave up caring about stats and all of that a while ago (not that I'm judging you for caring!!). You totally just have to do what feels right to you! And please, never feel like you have to read my blog just because I read yours if you fundamentally disagree with something I have said, and I mean that!!

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  3. I have three posts sitting in my draft folder right now that are fairly political and/or feminist and I just haven't gotten myself to post them... Honestly, I think that if it matters that much to you, you should talk about it. It's your space so if you want to talk about how Donald Trump is a woman-hating, unintelligent piece of poop you go right on ahead and say it :) (Also, I agree with you... ha.) I don't stop reading or following blogs when I disagree with the person UNLESS I feel like what they're saying is offensive or harmful.
    I totally get where you're coming from with the nervousness to post certain things. (I know that my super conservative family reads my blog, too, so I keep religion/sex/politics to a minimum and NEVER mention my tattoo. Ha!) I love your blog, Mattie!

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  4. Mattie, I LOVE YOU! First of all, I went and put this song on youtube before I even started reading any further because I guess I had never really listened to the words. Blogging is funny isn't it. It's so weird to explain to other people, that I have "friends" online haha. But truly, I think I do! And in all embarrassing honestly, I might have more online friends than real life friends right now, and that's 100% because I have a harder time "in real life." I am literally the most awkward person on the planet. Whenever go out with Johns work friends (because those are the only friends we ever get lol) I usually have to slam my first drink down before I can attempt to join the conversation. Even worse when women are there because I want them SO badly to like me. And you're absolutely right about having an "in." There has to be some connecting point. I feel like most people who know me in real life don't even really know me because I'm usually talking and saying things that I think they want me to say, I try so hard for people to like me in real life. But here I don't feel that as harshly. I had no idea when I started this blog, that I would connect with certain people and not others. My favorite blogs to read before I had my own were Mom blogs, which makes me laugh so hard now because I literally cannot relate at all and don't even get me started on the big bloggers.....F-A-K-E... I'm mostly drawn towards married couples with dogs hahaha! People who aren't perfect, who speak the truth, who spark conversation, who make me want to talk. (Like how I ramble ON AND ON AND ON in my comments lol.) I don't feel like you hold back too much, you out of everyone I think have the widest range of topics. Also, I've thought this for a while, but you have the most blogging friends haha! Whenever I scroll through your comments (I do this a lot to try and find new blogs) I'm like, "whoa girl has a lot of friends!" Sometimes I feel really bad when I have a certain friend, and I don't click with everyone in her "blog circle." There was one girl, I don't think you're friends with her, not sure, but I thought because she was friends with my "friends" I had to be friends with her, and I tried...but I realized I was trying too hard. I didn't really connect or care for her blog content. And she NEVER commented back haha, so after that I was like, whatever. I can't like everyone and not everyone is going to like me! I think the best part about blogging though it that it's helping me speak up, and just be me without pleasing anyone else. I don't even remember the last time I checked my stats. I do get like nervous when I don't get many comments, but I try not to think about it. Because really, it's going to be pushed into my archives and all by forgotten soon enough. And on the same train of thought, keeping up with comments is hard. I used to think I had to comment on every single thing someone wrote in order to be nice, or I'd worry maybe someone would get mad, but I don't care anymore. Like sometimes I comment here, sometimes I don't. Somedays I don't even read blogs! It's fine.

    Wow, okay, sorry about the longest comment ever. I just really enjoyed this conversation lol. xxx

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  5. Such an interesting conversation because I was JUST realizing the other day that I don't even know most of our close friends political views! Some of them yes, but not all ... I sort of keep those opinions to myself in life and online, but that's probably the introvert in me too. I love that you're keepin' it real over here!

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  6. I can totally relate in terms of blogging and not wanting to feel rude but also only wanting to do what you're comfortable with!!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  7. I definitely don't talk about many hot button topics on my blog. I honestly hate the controversy that surrounds those issues and I hate when people start putting each other down. I also really don't like when people write about a topic like they are the authority in that arena and if you don't agree with them then you suck- I've definitely unfollowed a handful of blogs because of that. I always think of that quote from Mean Girls about rainbows and smiles and wish the world could be like that! Oh, and I'm definitely an introvert and people pleaser too!

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  8. Blogging is absolutely fascinating to me! We learn so much about one person, but it's only about a snippet of their life. Like we know what most people do for work, but do we really KNOW what they do day to day at their jobs? Do we know people's true personalities and what they are like in person?! There are just so many element of a "personality" that get left out in blogging. Like you say you cuss a lot in person...I would have never known that! Okay, blah blah I'll end my blogging is fascinating and weird and crazy ramble. But blogging is fascinating and weird.

    And the friendships are REAL and totally worth coming back to this space every day for.

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  9. I so get this in all aspects!
    I love getting to know people & HATE when some of my favorite people I've invested in their lives just quit blogging & disappear. I worry about my blog friends :)
    But I also get that you dont have to follow everyone back or strive to make connections when you just know you dont agree with everyone, or you can tell they dont care about comments - just doing it for numbers. (Drives me INSANE) ... you keep making those REAL connections & being YOU as best as you can be on your blog - you'll continue growing & 'meeting' great people.

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  10. Mattie, I love this! I soooo feel ya on being an introvert & having a hard time meeting new people. I have kept an online journal/blog for years and have made "friends" through them. As for right now, I totally consider fellow bloggers friends even though I only know them online! I totally get wanting to be nice and supportive of other bloggers but if they are doing/writing about something you don't agree with, it can be hard. But it's like that in real life too, ya know? We don't always get along or agree with people we meet :). I also think that writing about more controversial topics is so completely different than having an actual in person conversation with someone. Which is why I keep those topics to myself too. This is a great post! And I love your comment about Donald Trump, haha! :)

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  11. I really like this post. It’s always interesting to see what makes people tick and what they like and don’t like and how they feel about blogging, which by its nature (I think) is kinda weird. That’s great that you feel more comfortable meeting people you met on your blog. I LOVE interacting with so many different people and the blogging community is definitely real. In fact, I think people are really nice on it and I love it. But to be honest, I’d almost have more anxiety meeting someone from the blog than a random. Only because if they did like me from my blog, would I live up to that in person? My anxiety comes in that form. Sounds like you see it opposite which is always interesting. For the most part, I’ve stopped posting about politics online at all. Though I will say a few things here and there. I don’t mind if others do but I’ve found that people can’t see past ONE thought you have. If you say you are against Prop X or for Prop Y, people have already made up their mind about the entirety of you. And I think that sucks. There’s no middle ground anymore, none at all. So I tend to shy away from it just because that alone just annoys the sh*t outta me. Most people are more than one vote they cast, etc. Another thing, which I’ve debated posting on, is that I “like” Trump on Facebook. Nevermind that I “like” EVERY CANDIDATE on Facebook to see what they’re posting and stay involved (and it’s not my fault that Facebook calls it a ‘like’ vs. a ‘follow’). Anyway, people ask me all the time like appalled “You like Donald Trump??”, like no, I don’t LIKE Donald Trump, I follow his page for the sake of staying abreast of what is going on. And even though I’m not a fan of his, I still find that kinda annoying that I have to answer people. I guess the whole thing and process just drives me nuts and I prefer to keep my thoughts to myself about it  Or at least offline. In terms of the comments with other blogs, I have noticed this time and time again. There was one blog a few years ago (she no longer writes) who was my favorite blog ever. But she never had an interest in mine. I always commented her and she rarely did mine. It used to bug me, but then I thought: You know what? My blog doesn’t have to be her cup of tea and I really do get a lot of joy from hers. Perhaps she feels the way I feel about her about someone else, so whatever. Anyway, now that I’ve written a novel. Good post, always a lot to think about and I appreciate your vantage point!

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  12. I'm a lot like you in being concerned about what others think. I've decided, though, that I am going to be as open as I can on my blog. It terrifies me but I also love it!

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  13. Firstly, I LOVE THAT SONG!!! And second, sorry I have been such a bad blog friend lately!!! I've been neglecting blog stuff and slowly starting to get my groove back into it, I consider you a blog friend and I love reading your comments!! Just wanted to put that out there just in case :) But I agree, I totally crave approval. I avoid most things on my blog (sometimes I bring up religion, but still try to stay very brief about it) because I never know who will be offended or hate me because of this or that haha I guess it is kind of dumb, a blog is supposed to be a journal of sorts! But I also hate confrontation and yeah. Basically I feel you 100% with this!! But that is so funny you say that about the comments thing because I think the same thing!! Some people I think just come comment (a VERY brief comment that shows they read 3 sentences at least haha) if I comment on their post. Sometimes it drives me a little nuts when I leave this meaningful comment and then they say "great post, sounds like a fun weekend!" BUT why do I care?!! Anyways, again, I agree with this post and love the realness of all the 21 pilot songs!
    xo Candace

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  14. wellll i hope none of those bloggers are me! i totally get what you mean though, i have unfollowed people before because of something they said (one still comments on my blog and follows me on BL but i just disagreed so strongly with something she said that i simply could not take her seriously as a human being anymore), and there are definitely bloggers that i 'know' that don't even read my blog or only comment because i do, and it's a bit sad. not pathetic sad, but like - for me, i want friendships. i didn't when i started, but now i know what the blogging community is, i like the friends i've made (and met in real life) and that's what is important to me. i don't want page views and such. i mean, they are nice, but it's not my goal to quit my job or anything you know?

    i am an introvert as well, and i am the same - if i met people in real life without this blogging 'in' we probably wouldn't get along. i come across as a bitch because i'm shy and when i do talk, it's mostly sarcastic lol.

    but anyway. i don't talk about hot button topics either - mostly because i'm not american and my political views are most likely different because of that, and i definitely don't talk about religion because i don't think most people would understand my views / opinions without feeling like it's an attack on them, does that make sense? plus at the end of the day, i don't enjoy talking about those things, and my blog is for me to enjoy!

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  15. This resonates so well with me. I am an extrovert in some senses, but only in the right situations when meeting someone. More often than not, I stay back and can be known to be more quiet until someone gets to know me. My blog is a way to get the things out that I sometimes can't get out to friends or family. And I feel like I can be my true self (whether people like it or not). I do clean up my language too. Haha. Thank you for sharing this post because it hits home with me. Completely!

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  16. I can relate to you on all of these things. I have social anxiety, I am in introvert, I am a people pleaser, I let people walk all over me most days. I tend to not post about too many things that are hot topics because I just honestly dont want to deal with confrontation from others who are completely the opposite of my views. I dont sensor my language on my blog though because I want it to read like you were hanging out with me at a coffee shop. Ok fine, it would probably be more likely over a beer if I wasn't on whole 30 lol.

    But I am with you. Why do we care what people think? I am 32 years old and I thought I would have outgrown this stage in my life by now but I haven't completely. And I was just having this conversation today with my best friend. I was looking at a fashion bloggers post and saying how I think she looks so damn cute but I couldn't pull off the outfit. Then I was like...but why do I feel that way? It feels so dumb but so real at the same time.

    There are a few bloggers who comment on all my blog friends posts but never on mine and I am like...what is wrong with me? Why dont they want to be my friend too?? In reality I should be like who cares, I have plenty of blogs to read already yet it still bothers me.

    I get it. I completely relate. You know what though? You just keep being you though girl because you are fabulous!

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  17. I am so much better at this now. I am a pleaser but am learning that the people who are worth being in my life love me for me and it is not my responsibility to please everyone. It's hard for sure. But if I am authentic and respectful I have every right to be ME. There will always be people who take advantage but I am better st seeing them now and realizing life is short and this one is mine to live!!

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  18. I could have written this post myself. I sometimes feel like I have more blogger friends than real friends just because it feels like you know someone SO well from their blog and that's what I crave in real friendships...but it takes a while to get to that point with friends. I don't like the transition period with new friends -- I tend to act like I have known you forever regardless of how long we have actually known each other which makes it hard for me when life and friends change! Anyways, I never paid attention to the lyrics of that song...it's a good one :) I hope you have the courage to post about things that are important to you regardless of what people think! And as far as language goes, I swear a lot in regular conversation too, but just to people I know really well and in really social settings. I can't swear at work (because #children), I don't swear when I write blog posts (mostly) because I write more formally than I talk, you know it's just something we sometimes do :) Thanks for sharing your heart today!

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  19. This is a bold post, Mattie! In a good way! To tackle what makes you uncomfortable and address it on your blog is a big step, even if you don't bring up all issues that make you uncomfortable all the time. I wonder if you're as much of a people pleaser as you think because it definitely took guts to write this post!! I can totally relate to being a socially awkward introvert (hello April Kepner HAHA) and agree that blogging and virtually meeting people that way is a great way for introverts to make friends. I wish more of my current blogging friends (like you!) lived closer to me :( ALTHOUGH one of my bffs for the past several years is someone I initially met through blogging--and she's like 20 minutes away IRL! Blogging ftw!!

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  20. Firstly, that fine print was hilarious.

    Secondly, you're only compromising yourself if you feel like you're compromising yourself! If this blog is meant to be a personal blog, who cares what the numbers are? Do what you want to do. Be you. If this blog is meant to become a business in the long run, then it makes sense to make strategic blogging decisions like withholding political and religious views for the sake of gaining followers. I guess you have to decide what you would like this blog to be in the long run.

    As for me, I grew up being told I was an extrovert, but I've finally figured out that it's really not true at all. I'm an introvert who keeps trying to wedge themselves into the extrovert mould that people keep trying to fit her into. I'm guessing I'm far from the only person in this position.

    Also, to echo what many before me have said, I hope I'm not one of the bloggers you mentioned in this post. If I am please PM me on twitter and let me know :s

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  21. I LoLed on the part about the cussing. I don't normally cuss in person...I feel weird. Emma has starting saying the F word (because of Ian), and I plan on chatting about it in a post, and I know I won't actually type out the F word. My mom reads. I'm lame! Haha!

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  22. Mattie dear, I think you're the greatest.

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  23. It really is amazing how the blog community really is just that, a community of people that you become close with online. I've tried to explain that to my husband, and he literally just doesn't understand it. He'll definitely understand it this weekend when we have my very first Blate in Orlando with a few of the girls that live there.
    I totally know what you mean about editing yourself online because you don't want to offend somebody. A girl actually wrote a post about gun control and when I commented on the blog, her response to me was basically that my feelings and opinions on the issue were wrong. I felt like she didn't even try to comprehend what I was saying, and I think because of that I've tried to steer clear of stating opinions on my blog because I wouldn't want to make anybody else feel that way. Plus it just gets uncomfortable!
    I've loved getting to know you through your blog, and I always love reading it!

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  24. I have the same social anxiety and am a total people pleaser! I get so anxious in situations where I got out with a friend and friends of theirs that I dont know very well - I always feel like I'm being judged and that I can't act like myself.

    I met a blog friend of mine on a vacation to Minneapolis once and the second we met we hugged because it felt like we had known each other for years - blog friends are the best!

    I cuss like a sailor in real life and try my hardest to tone down the language on the blog a bit but sometimes I just have to drop an eff bomb in a post and if people don't like it I guess they will just unfollow! There are times where life gets crazy and I don't get a chance to comment on some of my blog friends posts and I get worried that they'll get mad at me - totatly irrational, I know, but the anxiety is always there!

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  25. I love your post. All of these things describe me and I feel like i've done a Color of Life on them at some point. I'm so glad you speak your mind! I mean, after all it IS your blog. I love the blogging community and sometimes feel closer to these friends than my real friends. And i'm thankful for friends like you who make this so fun!

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  26. Of course it's okay to follow the bloggers you want to and to not follow anyone you don't want to. That's just how it goes. You shouldn't feel guilty if you don't want to read what someone else has to say.

    I sometimes find myself in situations where I don't feel comfortable sharing my opinion about things because it's not exactly a "safe" environment. I'm not in danger or anything, it's just not the type of situation where my opinions would be well received and so I feel like it's kind of pointless to speak up. There are other times when I go ahead and argue, but those times are rare.

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  27. I love that song and this post. Super relatable! Especially your point about feeling guilty for getting busy and not always being able to comment. (Here I am catching up on my blog reading for the week on a Saturday night). #momlife. ;)

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  28. Great post and I can really relate. I am an extremely introverted person who feels a lot of anxiety in social situations. I don't think it affects my writing or blogging as much because I've always felt a lot more freedom to express myself in writing than in conversation, and I probably have more of a tendency for oversharing than is strictly wise or proper. When I was in college, in-real-life friends that read my blog actually expressed surprise that I had so much to say. They didn't know I had it in me because they knew me as someone who was extremely soft-spoken.

    I do know what you mean about censoring myself on my blog too, in my case, mostly by avoiding certain political or social issues. My viewpoints are fairly progressive. My blog is, however, more focused on minimalism, fashion, and personal finance, so some of those social and political views would be off-topic.

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  29. this sounds like i could have written it! and i take it so, so personally when someone stops commenting on my blog but they'll comment on others. i notice. it sucks. just know you're awesome and that you're not alone. a lot of us feel this way. hugs!!!

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  30. I know a blogger like that! She only ever comments on my blog if I comment on hers, but I still read her blog because I like it- I like her writing style and she makes me laugh. And like you, I don't begrudge it when blogger friends don't get a chance to comment. Sometimes we need time to catch up (as in, I'm just now seeing this post- sorry!) and sometimes we need more time than is available to write out exactly what we're thinking (this happens to me often).

    I think it's okay to avoid those kinds of topics you mentioned if you don't have an opinion on them. A lot of "hot-button" issues I don't know enough about to have formulated an opinion yet, or I just don't care, so I don't feel like I'm compromising myself. But it's all about comfort too. I mean, they're "hot button" for a reason. They're controversial, and not everyone who reads is going to agree with your stance on it. So to avoid talking about it because you hate confrontation totally makes sense. I kinda think bloggers in general crave approval- that's why there are pageview stats and the ability to follow on multiple platforms and entire articles about "how to get more followers/comments/traffic/etc." That's why we get excited when someone comments or follows- it's like a sign of approval. Anyway, I think it's awesome that you spoke out about this topic, and in such an honest and heartfelt manner!

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  31. I am finally catching up on reading past posts, and came across this one from your Friday Favorites. Sometimes I think it is hard to tell with bloggers who is actually commenting because they care, or who is commenting because you do. Or if someone doesn't comment for a bit, is it because they are busy or because your blog doesn't interest them anymore...anyways, I have a ton of these insecurities. Like you I am an introvert and definitely like to please people. I stay away from controversial topics on the blog, because I don't know if I want to expose myself like that online. The idea of backlash is kind of terrifying, but at the same time, I don't talk about topics like that with many people period. I feel like as long as you don't pretend to be what you aren't online, then even if you don't touch on those personal topics, you are still being true to yourself. At least that is what I think for myself!

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  32. You know I can definitely relate to this sweet girl! It is true, being in my 40s I can tell you the older you get the less insecure and anxious you'll be. However, I'm also here to say that the relationships I have made blogging are some of the best relationships I've ever made in my entire life. There's just something about a fellow blogger who gets you. And why is it that I like a lot of these bloggers better than I do some of the people in my own life, LOL! This post was so spot on and I know it comes from deep within your heart. Introvert or not, you're an amazing person!

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