Thursday, November 10, 2005

i have a question

Why are some people so afraid of questions? My opinion is that people who are afraid of questions, of discussing certain topics, of debate, are simply that…afraid. Afraid of what, I'm not sure. Maybe that they're wrong? Or maybe some people just can’t deal with the fact that what they shout about isn’t the law.

In regards to the blog world, it’s real easy to squeak your wheel hiding behind a computer screen. Sometimes this is a good thing: it helps people be honest and forthcoming about their deep-down thoughts. Sometimes this ain’t such a good thing. Sometimes people squeak their wheels obnoxiously and arrogantly. I came across one such blogging personality about six months ago and commented on some of her ideas. For the past few months, I have asked her questions, trying to understand her viewpoint. Turns out she doesn’t like my questions. So to keep her blog free from “argument” (her word, not mine), I emailed her privately with my questions. Some of the email exchanges were cordial, but the majority have been peppered with comments from her like "I am right. And that's just the way it is, Jana" and "I don't need some young woman with a lot of issues yapping at my heels like a dog". She also says "Your poor hubbie - having to listen to your rants about me and anyone else who threatens you." (Honestly, I feel a little sorry for Brandon, too, having to listen to me rant all day long! ha ha!)

This blogger now has a feature on her website where she is able to view comments before they are posted, thus giving her the ability to censor statements she deems as “malicious” (again, her word).’s her blog so that’s her prerogative. She has the right to censor whoever and whatever she wants. I just wonder if she knows the difference between a genuine question and a malicious statement.

Anyway, I recently questioned one of her articles, and she refused to post my comment. For whatever reason, she has prejudged me and tagged my questions as antagonistic. I wish she understood that it is just in my nature to ask questions! I have always wanted to know WHY something works a certain way or WHY someone has a certain opinion. My dad knows about this attribute of mine: when he was helping me with math homework throughout my childhood, I would always ask him WHY a certain equation worked out the way it did. I remember him good-naturedly pleading with me to stop asking WHY so much!

But some people, like this blogger, just can’t deal with questions and challenges and differences of opinion. So again I ask, WHY (there I go again!) can’t people deal with questions? What causes this blogger, along with other folks like her, to get their knickers in a knot when someone questions their beliefs?

P. S. Brandon’s wise, objective viewpoint is that I should stop reading her blog altogether. I think I will. I’d rather read the blogs of folks who can handle the tough you guys. ;)


Blogger Amanda said...

Oh, wow.

I think I know who you're talking about, and all I can say is that if she really knew you, she would realize that you are genuine. I can't believe she's been so rude to you!

And, I know you've tried, but sometimes people have a really difficult time reading tone into someone's words. What you might mean as a genuine question may come across to her as mean and malicious simply because she can't read your facial expressions and hear your voice. Words are really less than 30% of communication, so in the blogging world, people miss out on that other 70%, and sometimes it really shows.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Jana said...

You're right, Amanda. You are so right. I guess that's another danger of blogging.

12:04 PM  
Blogger barbara curtis said...

“malicious” (again, her word).’s her blog so that’s her prerogative.

actually, jana, my blog tech person - aka king of fools - set that page up to deal with spam. It's his wording not mine.

and people who have a lot of traffic at their sites all have some sort of spam protection these days. it's just that Moveable Type is a little more complex than Blogger.

It's true that I occasionally delete comments that are basically unproductive for my readers - maybe two or three a month out of 150 or so I receive.

here's a question: do you think it's hypocritical to post a complimentary comment at someone's site while slamming them at your own? Did you want to drive traffic from my site so people could read your slam of me?

of course, you are free to delete this comment - but then you'd be as monstrous as I, wouldn't you?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

In the effort of keeping dialogue open (which unfortunately is not completely in your control), consider this:

People typically lash out from three underlying emotions: 1)fear and defensiveness. They don't truly have confidence in their position or lack a firm understanding of their position, so they feel threatened.

2) Frustration. They cannot communicate their thoughts effectively or they cannot understand what you are trying to ask or say. This is a primary source of anger and tantrums among children. They get frustrated because they cannot make an adult understand them.

3) Arrogance: They feel they are right and they lose patience or do not wish to have any patience in trying to explain. "Just accept it," they say. The first stage of #3 is often #2)--frustration.

I think we can all attest to being guilty of all three of the above at different times. I especially have to watch #3. This is when I tend to be the most intolerant and un-Christian, espeically when I am right and the other party just won't believe or understand. This does not happen for me in abstract areas, but in areas of fact, such as triva, math, science, etc. I am right, the other party doesn't accept it, and then at some point I break down and transform from being patient to being intolerant. The transformation always kills any hope of making the other party comprehend.

I guess if you want to keep the communication lines open you will have to figure out which number "she" falls under, attempt to see her side, and communicate in that vain (or in vain).

Or, trust your husband, quit reading her blog.

Sorry, to get so preachy. I'm a fixer. Anita loves that part of me (ha!).


3:10 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Actually, Barbara, I don't think I've been hypocritical at all. I DO think you have some good things to say and some great insight to share. The compliment is genuine.

I also stand by everything I have posted here. I'm sorry...didn't you send me an email this morning in which you wrote: " the interest of using my time for more fruitful pursuits, I have blocked your address"? So why are you reading my blog?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

In defense of Jana, she couldn't have directed traffic away from you site Barbara, because she purposefully left out any identifying information from her post. I had no idea who Jana was referring to until you posted.

And the whole dialogue makes me curious to visit your blog now that I can find it, so I think it will only increase your traffic.


5:30 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Shake the dust off your feet, Jana

5:50 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'm with Tony, Barbara. Since you posted, I know now that I was right about who she was talking about, but that's only because I know Jana pretty well and I've been to your blog once or twice. I put the pieces together.

But she never mentioned anything about who you could be other than the fact that she was talking about a woman.

And if you did really know Jana, you would know that she is sincere and that she isn't being a smart ass. She's a wonderful person and a wonderful mother. I consider myself lucky to call her a friend.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jana, I'm pressed for time but feel compelled to post, just in defense of a long-time friend.

First, I second what Tony has pointed out. (well said, Tony.)

Also, you are a person who wants to figure things out and ask questions. That's okay. Some people don't like that, or see it as threatening, but that's their decision. Overall, it Seems to me you have handled this with integrity (otherwise, you would have named names. And you did not.)

Sounds like you have been misunderstood--at least your intentions/character. That can be maddening, no?

Hang in there, my friend, and know that there are greener pastures to launch your "whys" into.


9:49 PM  
Anonymous Jodi said...

I love you, Jana! And I love your questions!

Your SINCERE curiosity is just one of the many ways that you show your love for others. I know that your questions come from a genuine desire to fully understand people and their viewpoints. I believe that you ask, first of all because you honestly care about and are interested in the person and second, because you want to learn in pursuit of your own self improvement.

Thanks for loving me and for always asking! You help me to ask the questions that I'm afraid to ask myself.

12:15 AM  
Blogger JMG said...

Y'all have given me some really good stuff to work into lessons when I teach argumentative writing next semester!

6:26 AM  
Blogger DigiGirl said...

Keep writing Jana!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Chel said...

Jana and I don't know one another in person, only in blogs, so I wouldn't have known she was referring to Mrs. Curtis had she not posted her own comment.

I once had a blog that I read that drove me to distraction, and I finally had to acknowledge that reading that particular blog did me more harm than good, and I quit. It wasn't easy giving it up at first, but it did give me less stress in the end.

Maybe I like your blog because I'm a 'why' girl, too. My mother says I always, always asked 'why,' while my younger brother always asked 'how.'

Keep on asking.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I found your blog on a friend's blog. Boy, am I glad I found yours! I admire that you question and steer through your frustrations. I was asking "why" questions on my blog and finally removed my blog page because of lack of responses. It seemed as though no one would want to discuss tough questions. I am glad I have found an environment that will. Thank! =)

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I love you and your blog! We've been freinds for some time now and I like your questions! I probably don't question enough things in life!
Keep it up!
-Mindy B.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Mindy!!! Is this your first time to comment?!? I LOVE YOU, FRIEND!!!

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that was my first time to comment. I thought this was something worth commenting about. I just got a little defensive for you when I read your blog and then the other comments.
You know me, I have a blog of my own, but I can never remember the password I chose to get back on it!!! ha ha ha! Therefore, I've never written on it!! I enjoy reading yours more than writing one anyways!!
Love you!
Mindy B.

1:45 PM  

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