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Only being honest?

(33 Posts)
Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 11:06:37

"How have we arrived in a time where we can verbally attack people and wear them down, with our justification being that we’re “Only being honest”? What about tact? And compassion? What about concern for our fellow mothers?"

I wrote this post after witnessing a horrible exchange in a FB mums' group.

I'd love your thoughts,


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 25-Aug-13 11:13:32

Well I'm not clicking that're just plugging your blog or whatever. this forum is for discussion...this is're using it wrongly.

Mia4 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:18:50

YANBU. Some people use the excuse of 'honesty to bully, deride and abuse someone else.

Just as, on the opposite side of things, some people revile the honesty that is justifiably given and cry bullying.

I also think some people jump on the bandwagon and others look for any excuse to be shitty- a bit like trolling but instead of just to start wank for fun it's to be a cock and be nasty.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 25-Aug-13 11:22:22

what do you mean "arrived at a time"? is this 'honesty' a new thing? confused

Mia4 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:23:51

Although i do disagree about the 'can't be kind keep quiet', someone's honesty may seem unkink in the eyes of those receiving but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be said. It's just defining lines, in the case of Anna those people shouldn't have been so nasty but they were right (despite her saying she wouldn't do it) to reiterate why she shouldn't do something dangerous or at least agree with people above.

The difference is in saying: +1, agreed, etc and 'you fucking twat, how could you think that-berate berate berate.

Given how shit a parent BIL is with his child, making dangerous situations, I would rather someone was honest with them even if it seems unkind to say 'what were you thinking?' which to some, it would seem unkind.

FirmYoungCarrot Sun 25-Aug-13 11:23:54

It's obviously horrid. But I think people have always been a bit like that haven't they? But you're right it's foul. I think kindness is seriously under-rated.

Even with an undeserving horrible, patheic bastard like Nick Griffin I felt umcomfortable seeing him being pounded on Question Time, I don't know why because I loathe him and his bigoted hideous policies but it still made me uncomfortable.

And I can't help wondering what it was she asked in the first place to be so reviled - and wondering if it something I've done

bebanjo Sun 25-Aug-13 11:26:42

Bullying in all it's forms is wroung, but cyber bullying is probably the easiest to avoid. The lady in question could of had her thread deleted.
Maybe it's not as simple as it first appers, why are people coming back to read the posts? Why not just ask someone they know?
Maybe someone with a background in physiology will come along and give us some insight.

Snoopingforsoup Sun 25-Aug-13 11:28:48

Online brings out honesty surprisingly often.

Real life rarely does.

All social etiquette disappears online. Anna's post if said in person would probably have been laughed off, or dismissed immediately.

People need to be mindful of the response they're likely going to receive by posting a question online as much as the responses they deliver.

lilithtime Sun 25-Aug-13 11:40:27

Can't know really unless you tell us what she did! If it was balcony dangling they have a point, if going roller skating - not so much. Context is needed!

TeaAndABiscuit Sun 25-Aug-13 12:02:33

Worst than that is the passive aggressive comment followed by 'I'm only joking'.

jacks365 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:14:15

I agree that its context matters amd reading it it sounds like people read her post and got riled up and responded without reading the rest of the comments. You see it on here where an op is perhaps not focusing on the real issue and someone pipes up with a totally inappropriate reply because they haven't read the way the thread has moved.

One question though if we saw someone doing something that put a child in danger would we be wrong to speak up

cushtie335 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:26:07

It's the internet, people think they can say anything and get away with it from behind a keyboard.

I worked with a woman years ago who was rude, opinionated and downright nasty. She qualified all her unpleasant, unsolicited remarks with the "I'm just being honest" or "I'm only saying what everyone else is thinking". I lost it with her one day and said her relationship with "the truth" was skewed and her "honesty" was nothing more than projected bile and opinion. She never spoke to me again, so mission accomplished.

Incidentally I think you're being a bit cheeky putting a link to your blog here.

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 12:26:51

Wow, thanks for all of your replies!

To NeoMaxiZoomDweebie I apologise if my posting here is against the rules. I recently received new guidelines from the Mumsnet Bloggers network (to which I belong) which stated the Mumsnet bloggers are allowed to share posts in the chat forums. I respect your choice not to participate in this discussion, however.

To Mis 4 I agree, sometimes there's a "sheep" mentality and people do jump on the bandwagon. It doesn't say much about humanity really. In this case there was no question about the bullying, but I do agree that on occasion people "cry bully" when the truth hurts. Not helpful to anyone really.

To StephenFrySaidSo... No, honesty isn't a new thing. Perhaps "arrived at a time" wasn't the best use of words. I just see more and more Internet cruelty (or at least, unkindness) on a daily basis. I believe the more we raise our voices against it, the quieter their voices will become.

To FirmYoungCarrot, yes, sadly people have always been like this. The Internet just seems to give a louder soapbox (can a soapbox be louder?!) and I worry about where it will take us next.

To Bebanjo Cyberbullying is easy to avoid in theory, but at the same time damage can be done very quicky. Especially when we're talking about brand new mums who are unsure of themselves to start with. The thread was eventually deleted, but unfortunately the hurt it caused her can't be undone so easily.

snoopingforsoup, I've said before that if every fleeting thought I had was made public I'd probably be institutionalised! And I'm sure Anna will think long and hard before sharing her thoughts again. Lesson learned there, I guess.

lilithtime I didn't share the original question because firstly I didn't want to open her up to further abuse and secondly I felt it would detract from the point. There was no question that it was ill advised and would've put her LO safety at risk. But she quickly apologised. If it was my own mistake I'd blurt it out online like I usually do, but in this case it's not.

jacks365 I think if we saw something in real life putting children in danger we should absolutely speak up. A friend recently stood by a car with two stranger's children locked I'm it for twenty minutes before eventually calling the police, as she was afraid for their safety. In this case Anna had a misguided thought which she shouldn't have shared and it went berserk.

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 12:28:51

cushtie 365, sorry if you think I'm cheeky. As I said above a few seconds ago, MN now allow their bloggers to share their posts in relevant forums. However, in future I'll share the body copy from the post and not the link, as I wouldn't want to offend anyone. Sorry.

jacks365 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:30:45

But they are responding to someone putting their child in danger. Ok she since admitted she was wrong but people react without reading everything else when something upsets them so much.

Sirzy Sun 25-Aug-13 12:37:45

Sometimes you really do have to be cruel to be kind though. Of course things should be carefully worded but if someone was posting to say that they were doing something which could potentially harmful to their child which is going to be most help in the long run

"oh hun, don't worry it must be so hard for you"


"I know things are hard but really that isn't on you need to stop doing that, have you thought about x and y? or contacting z?"

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Aug-13 12:46:42

I don't read blogs so I just skimmed it til I got to this part

"Anna asked them all to stop commenting but they carried on" (Or words to that effect).

So Anna chose not to simply click a button and remove her post from the Facebook group?

Why do you think that was?

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 13:06:16

Worraliberty she actually removed herself from the entire group. I don't think she realised that she could remove her post from the group (it was later deleted by an admin). I'm not sure why she would not remove the thread otherwise, what were your thoughts?

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 13:14:09

sirzy actually that's pretty much what my reply to her said, and so did others. That's why she thanked everyone and said she was mortified to have suggested it.

Of course we can't sugar-coat everything. The world doesn't work that way. However some of us have thicker skins than others (mine is paper thin, I'm afraid. I'm working on that).

Jacks I agree again that people react without thinking when it's a safety issue. However, when there are 65 comments below a post, it's generally worth a cursory glance to see how the thread has developed. More pertinent were the comments from the main "aggressors" (if you will). Anna expressly stated that she was regretful and sorry for suggesting something dangerously misguided. They didn't accept that they were being excessively harsh despite several others pointing this out to them.

Conversations spiral out of control so quickly. My main reason for writing this and sharing it is really just to make people think. The whys and wherefores aren't all that relevant, I suppose. Thanks everyone for your views.

Tee2072 Sun 25-Aug-13 13:14:45

Actually, Mummykind what the bloggers rule say is that if your blog is relevant to a discussion you can add a link to your blog.

They don't say you're allowed to randomly start a new thread based on your blog on the general boards. This should have been posted to the Bloggers Forum.

cushtie335 Sun 25-Aug-13 13:20:11

If you have paper thin skin, putting your thoughts in an internet blog for the whole world to tear to shreds if they please is perhaps not the best hobby for you.

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 13:24:00

tee072 I've just checked the rules and you're right. You're not supposed to start a thread with a link to a blog, it's supposed to form part of an existing discussions. My apologies, I wasn't aware of this and will adhere to this I'm future.

Still, it's sparked an interesting conversation nonetheless. Thanks for pointing this out to me.

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 13:28:10

Cushtie that's a fair point. Generally the ethos of my blog is to encourage support and kindness amongst mums, remembering we're all on the same team even if we have different views. So far I've found the response to be hugely supportive, fortunately.

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 25-Aug-13 13:38:27

Not going to your blog, but if someone suggested doing something dangerous for her child then she deserves all she gets. No sympathy.

Mummykindnessrachel Sun 25-Aug-13 13:47:40

Onesleeptilwembley Life must be really straightforward in such a black and white world. Thanks for your input though.

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