Intolerant of Intolerance

This blog covers some pretty controversial topics. No doubt. And I love love love love to get comments from readers, even when they don’t agree with my opinions on a certain subject…as long as they’re respectful.

This is, after all, my place.

Emphasis on *my*

So be nice to me, otherwise I’ll delete your comment, and I won’t even feel a little bit bad about it.

Like I said, most people who comment are AWESOME! They’re either adding to the conversation or asking really great, challenging questions. They’re supporting my work by offering words of encouragement or praise, and I love you all for it. There are days when a comment or an email from a reader is what keeps me going, as I don’t get paid to write all these posts or record the podcasts. So it’s very validating to connect with readers on a personal level because they’re living an alternative lifestyle are curious to learn more about it…or perhaps they’re suffering abuse or heartbreak, and it’s just nice not to feel alone. Regardless of the reason…PLEASE!!! Keep commenting!

I truly love it!

However…

Very, very rarely, I’ll get a troll-like comment by someone who was offended by something I said or misunderstood something I wrote or just is intolerant of any idea outside of their own.

I’m not a fan of intolerance, really. Not even a little bit. It’s hatred. It’s judgement. It’s bullshit, and I really just don’t have time for it or for those who are being intolerant.

You might say I have an intolerance for intolerance.

Ironic, I know. But there it is.

The other day I got one of these rude comments from an intolerant, insulting, judgmental person (it wasn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last), and I responded less kindly than I normally would. I usually just delete them, but I’ve been practicing standing up for myself after my challenging year, so I did just that. It’s funny because I joked with myself and my husband after I replied by saying that I was “intolerant of intolerance.” This rude person commented back being even more offensive and judgmental than before. Of course.

I deleted all three comments because I learned long, long ago that one cannot argue with ignorance. I wasn’t angry or upset or even offended. I was just bored, really.

As I’ve said countless times before, life is too short to deal with assholes.

Perhaps in my middle-age I’m growing more intolerant across the board, for when it come to loving, intimate relationships, I’m also intolerant of liars and cheaters. I’m intolerant of deception. I’m intolerant of cowards*.

But…I’m intolerant of those concepts, mostly.

Individuals who need help or guidance or just someone to talk to…people who have been liars and cheaters and cowards in the past (because who hasn’t been at least one of these three things?) and who recognize that in themselves and want to find a better way, become better people…others who want to find out how to open communication with their partner and learn who they are…

To those people, I’m very understanding and very loving, and as many readers have discovered, my email door is wide open to chat about whatever it is on your mind. I do love to give relationship advice and clarify things written about in my blog.

…as long as you don’t attack me or insult me or judge me…

Because this is my place, my little corner of cyberspace.

Be nice and respectful when you’re in my place.

So please, please keep talking and commenting and asking questions. If you don’t agree with me or my lifestyle, feel free to tell me and spark a discussion, just do so respectfully. There are some great examples of respectful comments from those who don’t agree >>here<< and you’ll see my respectful responses in kind.

I LOVE debate. I love to think and rethink issues. I love to be challenged. I love to challenge others. I love to push boundaries of understanding. I love to talk with others about relationships, philosophy, communication, and alternative lifestyles.

BUT

If you judge me or my lifestyle…

If you attack me and insult me…

If you come to my place and display your assholery…

I’ll delete you.

So, play nice. Because, yes, life is too short to deal with assholes, and I really have so many better things to do than to argue with the ignorant or the arrogant.

This is a place of safety, of understanding, of honesty, and of open-minded love.

Please treat it as such.

</rant>

-_Q

* re: “Cowards” – I’m using this word coward to describe emotional cowardice. Everyone has fears, and a person’s fears are very important to them and should be to their SO. We all struggle with fears and ways to minimize or overcome them. So being afraid of something does not make one a coward. Sharing fears with a SO/spouse certainly does not make one a coward. A coward is someone who allows said fears to completely dominate their behavior and choices, hurting themselves and everyone around them. When a fear of intimacy or engulfment translates into using people for sex or leading them on emotionally and then casting them aside because one cannot handle deepening emotions or true intimacy, that’s cowardice. When someone is so afraid of losing their family/spouse/SO but don’t have enough courage respect for said person to talk with them before stepping out and fucking other people behind their back, that’s cowardice. When someone is utterly miserable in a relationship and turns to alcohol or drugs to cope instead of communication and counseling, who doesn’t have the courage or respect to either discuss how things could be better or end the relationship so that both parties can move on and possibly find happiness, that’s cowardice. I hope these three examples clear up what I mean when I use the word “coward.”

~ by omgrey on November 30, 2011.

20 Responses to “Intolerant of Intolerance”

  1. Wonderful post. I’m afraid I’ve been known to feed the trolls all too often, but I love how you put thing, including the trolls, in perspective.

  2. For me the use of examples clarified.

    The thing that rattles through my mind is why make the choices.

    There is that old saying “it’s easier to curse the darkness than light a candle” but somehow I think the cost of ducking and covering and hiding is as much as fronting up, just looks different.

    • I think the ultimate price of ducking and covering is usually much higher than being honest with oneself and one’s loved ones.
      Thank you for your comment!

  3. Assholery. I have a new favorite word.

  4. I love so much of this post. Like you say, your space, your rules – so I’m not sure there is irony in prohibiting behaviours that don’t fit your space. You’re not banning (or if you prefer, being intolerant of) intolerance, which is mental – you’re specifying local rules of acceptable behaviour. That’s completely respectful of whatever your visitors may think🙂

    I’m not comfortable with the paragraph on cowardice – though I didn’t have any problem with the choice of the word in the main text, but the way you explained (justified? I wouldn’t say that it needed to be either) using it isn’t consistent with my experience of fear – and I’d like to challenge some of it – an aside, the line “So being afraid of something does make one a coward.” – is there a “not” missing from that?

    Fear, like pain, can overbear the will of people. It’s hard to justify ascribing full moral responsibility to the tortured who gives up a secret under pain that overwhelms their capability to resist – or the sexual assault survivor who freezes and capitulates when threatened with violence (but not actually physically overborne) for the consequences that flow – it’s hard to cast them as “allowing” pain, or fear to dictate their actions.

    And the alternative you prefer – changing ones situation through being a skilled and effective communicator – that’s to some extent a learned skill. How much opportunity someone has had to acquire that affects their ability (and responsibility) to be able to use that skillset.

    If the fear is insecurity, low self-esteem or feeling of value – how much of it the coward is facing is likely something that has been set for them by the choices of others – arguably early caretakers.

    I’m grateful that you don’t define the person as the bad choice they made – and I agree that wanting to move forward indicates a good person. Particularly as I’ve been such a coward, and reasonably recently. And I have to be evolving from that to tolerate myself. But my experience of extreme insecurity was that it took my choices away. I did not have the capability, or skills, or whatever, to manage the anxiety levels, and escaping the discomfort in ways that others suffered for was where I went.

    And, though I don’t like what it says about me, I believe that was genuinely the best I had in me at the time. I won’t tolerate it again, so some self-work is ongoing, but right then, despite having reasonable communication skills and a belief in honesty, I didn’t have access to them – or enough of them. That may be physiology. Stress, fear, diffuse physiological arousal, however you phrase it – it reroutes blood flow, particularly in the brain. Expecting someone who is under those physiological effects to act with ordinary cognitive ability, or concern for alignment with self-actualising values is like asking them to have 100% effective peripheral vision, or digestion speed. The animal can’t. Those parts of the body and brain are not getting the necessary blood.

    I love and agree with everything else about the post. I acknowledge the consequences I had in good people’s lives at that time in my life, and own them. But I challenge anyone who hasn’t stood in those shoes, in that physiology, with those communication skills, that level of self-esteem and social support, to say that they know that they could and would have been able to choose differently.

    Telling someone who was overcome by pain, fear, hunger, that they “allowed” it to happen doesn’t feel consistent with a place of understanding and open-minded love. Fully agree with telling them they’re responsible for working on themselves to try and stop it happening again though – that’s honest and loving advice.

    • There was totally a “not” missing from that sentence. Thank you!! It’s been fixed.

      Telling someone who was overcome by pain, fear, hunger, that they “allowed” it to happen doesn’t feel consistent with a place of understanding and open-minded love. Fully agree with telling them they’re responsible for working on themselves to try and stop it happening again though – that’s honest and loving advice.

      What I said was “A coward is someone who allows said fears to completely dominate their behavior and choices, hurting themselves and everyone around them.” Again. Emotional cowardice. This is repetitive behavior that defines someone’s behavior over a significant amount of time. They are responsible for working on themselves and try to stop it happening again.

      The cowardice of which I speak are people whose lives are dominated by this for years and sometimes decades. Not a lapse in judgment. Not being sideswiped by life or being overcome with anxiety. This is for serial cheaters. This is for people who hurt people again and again because of their fear of intimacy. These are people who are so very selfish they seek to meet their own needs at any cost, even through abuse and deception, without care for or by being unaware of how it affects others.

      You’ve been a coward recently, you said. Big difference: you recognize it, admit it, own it, and are actively trying to ensure that behavior doesn’t repeat itself. I’ve been a coward, and recently. I’d be willing to be most people have been. Just like most everyone has some pretty serious issues. The difference is whether said person owns them and actively (consciously) tries to minimize or compensate from them or if they choose to live in denial because they can’t bear to take such a close look at themselves.

      Insecurity and self-esteem issues are *HUGE* — I’m quite well aware on a very personal level. Still. The person with the issues are responsible for acknowledging and overcoming those issues. This (or whatever) issues may be a result of childhood abuse/trauma or it might be a result of something more recent. Certainly the abuser is to blame for causing or exacerbating the issue, but ultimately the abuser will not take responsibility and *can not* “fix” that issue, only the individual with the issue can heal themselves.

  5. eep. Is there a breach of blogging ettiquette in posting a comment where you take up as many screen inches as the author’s original post? :$

  6. […] others – arguably early caretakers. I'm grateful that you don't … … Continue reading here: Intolerant of Intolerance « Caught in the Cogs ← ADHD in Adults: Behavioral Symptoms and Treatment | Testing It Up … Outdoor Group […]

  7. “What I said was “A coward is someone who allows said fears to completely dominate their behavior and choices, hurting themselves and everyone around them.” Again. Emotional cowardice”

    Apologies, I didn’t mean to misrepresent you.

    Just got my teeth into a long post on the tension between ‘allow’ and ‘dominate’ that raised far more questions than it answered – and then realised it was pretty off topic for a post on intolerance. Another time🙂

  8. Great post. Our blogs are like our homes. We have the right to kick people out when they are being rude to us.

    Intolerance usually is a negative thing, but I feel as though it can be constructive (like criticism). For example, I recently declared my intolerance for jokes about rape, cutting, and people’s appearances because those jokes perpetuate hurtful and destructive behaviors. I’m slowly learning when I need to be more open-minded and when I ought to draw the line and say, “That’s not cool. Stop it.”

    • Thank you! I, too, am quite intolerant of rape jokes. Nothing funny about rape. Same goes for cutting and other “jokes” that promote hurtful behavior. Good for you.

  9. Oh honey~ Our similarities are really hilarious! I just posted on judgment and you post intolerance! And now I am working on self explosion~ Our tandem themes really are wonderful. My husband, the St/Vk, now reads your posts too and he is a double Scorpio! I love Scorpios! lol

    Thanks you for being so real and out there with what is going on for you. Your posts are very dear to my heart and it’s almost as if we are totally cosmically connected! Setting limits on people who have negative energy is absolutely crucial for us big feelers and big lovers!!

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

    A/s

    • Agreed, A/s. I think we might just be cosmically connected. So pleased to hear your husband is enjoying the posts as well.🙂
      Go team Scorpio!

  10. I’ve been intolerant of abuse since my teen years. I have always admired how politely you respond to criticism! We don’t have that talent or character.

    • I think it’s very healthy to be intolerant of abuse. I’m much more intolerant of all forms of abuse from the beginning now, even neglect.

  11. […] I wrote this about 14 months ago. I see that I have to repost it now: Intolerant of Intolerance. […]

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