Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Perception Check

When I was an employee of “Mortel”, I often took classes that were offered in-house. Everything was good to help better my yearly review. One of the courses I took was “Giving and Receiving Feedback”. At the time I was working as the first contact for the Help Desk and I was teaching karate four days/week. I had to give AND receive feedback regularly. I had enjoyed that class because it gave me certain tools that I was missing, like “perception check”. Being the way I am, i.e. direct and to the point, I’m one who will ask directly if something is wrong. With that class I’ve learned to ask in a way that I’m not “attacking” the other person and don’t rub people the wrong way. But, there’s always a “but”, I still do come across as “rough”, abrasive, or “blunt”. I’ve always been this way and to be honest it’s not something I’m really trying to change; the “delivery” or the “packaging” yes, but the “essence” not really...

I may be wrong in thinking this, and I’m more than willing to better myself (I do work at being a better person), but I also realised sometime ago that we can not please everyone. I’m ok with that. I know myself, my strength and my weaknesses and I also know that I am true, or real. Hubby often says “with you (us) you’ll get a straight answer, it may not be what you want to hear, but you’ll know where we stand”. He’s completely right about that.

I haven’t been blogging for years. I’m happy to see how my circle of “blends” evolved and how well, overall, my blog is doing. I know that there are periods where things seem to be slower; during the summer vacations, most blog less. The same thing happens during the Holidays. Life does get in the way. In the past, I’ve realised that I had lost some readers because of either something I posted that offended them or because my “content” wasn’t “proper enough” to be viewed at the office, etc. I sort of accepted that. I write “sort of” because a part of me felt like I was being judged. Nobody likes to be judge, really. We all want to be liked in some shape or form. It’s our human nature. Even if I don’t really enjoy being critiqued, I still welcome (that might be a bit strong, but hey…) feedback… Here’s where my old class kicks in:

I feel that I’m losing some of my regular commenters and that bothers me. I enjoy and read every comment I get. When I see a “missing regular” leaving comments elsewhere that raises a flag in my insecurities, and can’t help to wonder if I’ve lost that reader. I know, and understand that blogging is a shifting entity; people move around and read different blogs (I do it as well), our taste evolve and change. I do get that. But still, I can’t help and wonder… So, if you haven’t commented in a while, would you please be kind enough to do so and if you feel courageous give me some feedback about my blogging abilities, please?

Yes, I am looking for that tap on the back, that is how I feel today. Humour me, ok? If there is anything I can better, if you’re not coming by anymore because of something specific, I would like to know. I am not blogging for myself, I have a journal for that, I’m blogging for the interaction, because I want to be read, so if you stop reading then it defeats the purpose of me blogging, doesn’t it?


Suzie said...

Hey there....I don't comment very often, but check and read your blog every single day. I look forward to it. If someone hasn't come around, they have their reasons, trust have some idea of how unsettled my life has been, and although I enjoy your blog very much, I often just can't reply. But I LOVE reading about you and Cuzin, so KEEP BLOGGING!!!!

3carnations said...

Hi! I comment when I have something useful to say, but I always read - You're on my bloglines!

You know if I find something offensive in someone's blog I may mention it, but in the end, if I don't like it, I don't have to read it.

While interaction is a part of blogging, in the end we're all writing it for ourselves. If I didn't get any comments that would be OK...Mostly I blog to get random thoughts out of my system. The comments are just a bonus!

If you feel your comments are too low, check out some new blogs and comment on theirs - They might return the favor!

Charlie said...

It seems to me that, even before the holidays, my long-time blogger friends started disappearing from blogging altogether. I have perhaps 12 links on my blog and 4 are active.

As far as you go, SP, I'm enjoying your blog more because you are open and honest. And you always seem to be in a good mood.

If by chance you say something that pisses someone off, that is their problem and not yours. You can't please all of the people all of the time, and you can't even begin to try.

I recently dropped a blog because I got tired of whining and complaining and profanity-heavy diatribes over really nothing. I read bloggers for there interest, not their petty complaints.

My feeling is keep on doing what you're doing. And thanks for writing in English, probably your second language, because I only know about four words in French (typical American).

Grandpaw (no relation)

Purple Pigeon said...

Pologies for sometimes not commenting! But i always read!

I can't think of anything you've said that has offended me. But then again, i think everyone is entitled to their opinion, as long as it is informed, and not designed to intentionally offend, then its all peachy.

Your blog is both funny and thought-provoking, and always a pleasure to read. In short - marvellous. So keep it up!

Marius said...

A thousand pardons, my blend. I visit daily, but have been a shlubb in the commenting department. I don't think I'm bipolar exactly, but I do go through cycles where I get it into my head that people are sick of me and what I have to say, and I withdraw a bit. I greatly enjoy your blog, and your refreshingly 'blunt' opinions. As far as that goes, I dare you to offend me. ;-) As a blogger I know I should read more blogs, and whenever someone comments on mine I check out theirs. Very few hold my interest, but I keep coming back here. I shall attempt to lurk a bit less, and be more interactive. You rock, oh Paw of Stink, and I look forward to your posts no matter the subject. Besides, I need more groovy recipes.


tNb said...

Quite honestly, commenting (like blogging) is a direct function of time & energy for me. There are days when I feel inspired to write & comment on what I read, but there are other days when reading is just about all I can muster.

Tammie said...

Hi, Stinky. While you and I have only recently gotten to know each other through our blogs, I feel like we've become quite good friends. I see a lot of myself in you (take THAT for what it's worth!), and I really like what I see. So please keep visiting my blog, and I promise I'll always read yours! Coming here is a real treat. (And to answer your question, your blog is all of the above!)

Kara said...

i'm a newbie to the blog...but i live for commenting (slight exaggeration) so you have nothing to fear from me.

i've also lost a lot of readers over the last couple years...but i'm gained some awesome ones. ebb and the economy...and my bank account.

Brave Astronaut said...

There is a part of me that keeps my blog going because there are people out there who find it interesting. I never thought I was that interesting, but I am having a great time and love the people I have met through it, including you.

I just love how the Internet brings people a little bit closer. In another time and era, we would never know one another and that seems wrong.

hasarder said...

I hardly ever comment on anyone's blog any more. I might read ten a day and make one comment a week. But yours is always the first one I read each day!
I've lost most of my commenters, mainly because I hardly ever post, so it's not surprising. I must admit I felt a twinge a couple of times when I saw I had been taken off people's blog-roll. But I'm not too worried - if I was, maybe I'd post naked pics of myself - that'd make them flock back!
I enjoyed blogging so much when I started, and I still do, but as you know life is getting in the way. I'll pick it up again when I'm a bit more settled. And comment more too !

lizgwiz said...

You have completely offended me and I'm never commenting again!

Just kidding!!!!

I'm still here, just been in something of a funk, but I always enjoy finding out what you're up to, and reading your "blunt" opinions. And I rely on your Friday Smile. :)

Anonymous said...

I still love you Stinky. And, I have never been offended once on this blog. I am sorry I have not been commenting enough. I am buried with grading and am just trying to make it through January. BUT! You are in my blog reader and are a dear blend.
You are right- we cannot take these relationships for granted anymore than the ones in "real life."

don't call me MA'AM said...

It must be fate... today's the first time I've been able to spend time posting AND reading, and I happen upon your request for a comment.

So here I am. :-)

I'm not staying away on purpose. Trust me on that! Keep blogging. I do check in now and then, and I would be sad if you chose to stop!

Stinkypaw said...

suzie: Thanks, I'll try and happy to read that you're still reading.

3c: I'm actually surprised to read that you do read me... I thought I had lost you last year. Happy to read that you're still reading, thanks for "delurking"!

charlie: I've noticed that as well about some of my links, people are disappearing.

Thanks for the compliment, you noticing my mood, honesty and openess is a BIG compliment!

And yes, I'm French-Canadian so English is my second language.

pigeon: Happy to read you're still reading, thought you might have flown away...

marius: Get out of your head and into my blog! (That almost sounds like a Billy Ocean's song, doesn't it?!) Happy to read you're still visiting. ...and I've got more easy recipes!

tnb: It would make sense... Glad to have you as a commenter.

tammie: Thanks & ditto!

kara: Just like me! ;-)

astronaut: You're right, that would be wrong! Thanks!

hasarder: I thought I had lost you somewhere... Happy to read that you're still around.

lizgwiz: Thanks girl, and now get out of that funk!

monkey: Aaaww, thanks! Hope to read you again soon...

dcmm: She's alive! Hope to see more of you (well... you know what I mean!)

Ananke said...

I hear ya about the comments. I love them but I just don't get that many these days. That's even when I decide to circulate it on the blog exchanges. So I've come to the conclusion that I'm vain enough to want comments but boring enough not to get that many. ;-)

Paisley said...

I haven't been commenting as frequently because I'm lazy AND I have been a little more careful about what I do at work, which is when I read blogs in my reader. I'm trying to be better.

Rest assured, you are one of my favorite blends and I read EVERY post except sometimes I skip the jokes. I always appreciate YOUR comments and have never been offended by anything you write. Hopefully most of your readers are mature enough to realize that you don't have to agree with everyone 100% of the time, just like any "real" friendship.

You rock, Stinkypaw.

Mousse said...

Hey Stinky...DITTO what Suzie (my sis) said...I'm in the same boat....but I also visit every single day !!! :-)