Thursday, April 25, 2013

Handshake of Doom

When you go through very hard times in your life it is sometimes comforting to lash out at those around you, even if you barely know them.

There is a man that I am acquainted with.  Yes, in the real world, not just online.  He is not a friend or anyone I've spent any amount of time with but we have worked on a project or two together.

Out of the blue today he began sending me long notes criticizing how I write emails, what I write in emails, and daring to use the word "homosexuality" when asking the group in the email chain a question about homosexuality.  His emails were very polite but hard and filled with emotional subtext.  I think of it like a person shaking another person's hand but trying as hard as he can to break a bone in the process.

Clearly, this was misdirected at me.  I wasn't at fault in anything but he needed a target to vent his emotions on.  Something is going on in his life and somehow lashing out at me made him feel better.  I've done it before, I admit.  It feels good to feel like you are teaching someone something.  The sad part comes when you realize that it was really an attempt to feel better about yourself at another person's expense.

There was a time I was a terror when it came to email confrontation.  I trolled and tantrumed with the worst of them.  Hopefully I am better in my balding years.

If you are feeling small or inadequate, please take a few deep breaths, go for a walk, visit with a friend and stay off the keyboard for a while.  People will think better of you and not so many feelings will be hurt.

Thank you.