As a stubborn little fiery Irish kid, my mom would say, “You always need the last word!”
“Well you just got the last word by SAYING that!”
Then she’d say, “See?!”
And I’d cover my mouth and point back, showing her she just got the last word—
Obviously so I could WIN.
And I felt the same desire to "win" this past week when it was brought to my attention that the so-called villain on The Bachelor-- Krystal Nielson, was subjected to BRUTAL cyber-bullying.
It’s no secret I’m a HUGE Bachelor fan—a guilty pleasure I indulge in like an addictive sporting event my girlfriends and I can laugh and gab about for FOR FUN.
Krystal, in my opinion, has indeed shown very poor character traits on the show—cocky, condescending, fake, and aggressive—or at least this is how the EDITORS have done a fabulous of job of making us think so.
But I felt SICK when I started to read the ABUSIVE—(yes I recognize this is my THOUGHT about the comments) threads from hundreds of people criticizing her appearance, and saying things like, “No wonder your family hates you.”
I was FULLY AWARE when I started to stick up for her on the thread, that I was ASKING to be triggered even more.
After all, I’m taking the time to argue with STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET who don’t have anything better to do with their time, than to tear down a woman behind their screens from their private accounts, ensuring no one can attack them on theirs...
And I clearly didn’t have anything better to do with my time, than to voice my strong opinion about their comments in an attempt to remind them that Krystal is a HUMAN. BEING.
I was proud of what I wrote. In my opinion, I didn’t abuse back. I offered my sincere condolences to a woman who shared, “my cousin was murdered--you’d lose all faith in humanity if you saw the comments that were made after she died, BUT I DEAL WITH IT.”
I tried to gently offer that such a painful event DOESN’T JUSTIFY HER CONTINUING THE ABUSE TOWARDS SOMEONE ELSE.
We PEACEFULLY agreed to disagree and wished each other well.
Then I actually managed to change ONE guy’s opinion who had a few kids in his profile pic, and I asked if this was what he wanted to teach them when they become adults.
He came around and said, “I see your point and like what you stand for.”
So naturally, I FELT GREAT!
I took some screenshots of a few of the exchanges and shared them on my Instagram stories. I was proud of standing up for what I THOUGHT was "right" and shared how if I shifted one person’s stance on cyber bullying, my work was done for the day.
Well, my loves….
MY WORK WAS ONLY BEGINNING, after a follower of my OWN (now unfollower) shared her deep disappointment in my actions.
First offense: I exposed the people’s names I was interacting with on my own insta-stories, which only subjected them to more wrath from my followers-- another form of bullying in and of itself.
Second offense: I was on my high horse for “changing one man’s opinion" yet when she went back to the thread on Krystal's page, he was apparently back at it.
Third offense: The Bachelor is disgusting. It’s a show that tears down women who are rejected and degraded. She couldn't be bothered wasting her time watching.
Fourth offense: Circling a girl’s story who talked about her murdered family member?!?! Perhaps this was her way of dealing with her pain, and here I was calling attention to it.
My unfollower made some excellent points.
It didn't occur to me to protect the cyber bullies' names because I wasn't feeling so lovey-dovey towards them in the heat of the moment, but still, she was right:
Why bring more attention to who they are, subjecting them to more fighting and judgement from my own followers?
And touché to me if that "changed man" went right back to his bullying antics. I can totally see how off-putting that came across from my self-help-high-horse-- even if he HAD stopped the bullying.
I've always found it to be a tricky thing to navigate--sharing tools and approaches on difficult life situations without coming off as "higher than thou," and was frustrated to say the least, that I know I could have been more careful with my delivery.
As for The Bachelor being a degrading show towards women, I also TOTALLY AGREE. But these women have access to HUNDREDS of episodes to do their research. Yes, there are new twists and turns every season, but humiliation and inaccurate character portrayals are par for the course they CHOSE to sign up for, so it was easy to let myself off the hook on this point--
AFTER ALL, I WAS THE ONE DEFENDING THE VILLAIN!
But the accusation of calling out the girl who's family member was murdered, is where my ANGRY defensive dukes went up.
Yes, I should have blocked her name, but the girl VOLUNTEERED that personal story on Krystal's page with over 60,000 followers to see, so I didn't see it as a crime that I shared the exchange, in my effort to prove the point to my 1500 followers, THAT NO AMOUNT OF PAIN SHOULD WARRANT CONTINUATION OF ABUSE.
But I was vilified for saying the girl "had no shame," as my unfollower interpreted that as me saying the story of her murdered family member was a shameful one to share.
I had gone from feeling so much sadness and disappointment for my blind-spots, to a lot of anger for being accused of something that just wasn't true--
especially from someone who made it clear that she once respected and "looked up" to me through my content.
Because my overall mission through my content and as a coach, has always been to EMBRACE EVERY PAINFUL EVENT that has occurred in your life. To show up, face the pain head on, move through it, and perhaps wrap your head around imagining how you could THRIVE from that challenging experience, instead of using it as an excuse to live out your pain every day.
Was "shame" a dumb word choice? Probably.
Was it also a dumb choice to voluntarily chase these trolls down and preach my uninvited mission to them?
One. Freakin'. Hundred!
And at that point, (shockingly!) it was claire that I was never going to "win" this argument.
I recognize right now, that some of YOU are reading this and thinking:
"I totally side with the unfollower!" Or, "Yeah, there've been other posts Claire's written that really rubbed me the wrong way."
Which brings me to one of the greatest take-aways I was offered in my life coach training program with Martha Beck:
If you're NOT pissing someone off, then you're doing something wrong.
This past week, despite letting at least one person I know of down, I've gained more subscribers, followers, and two new clients.
And I'll set myself up for more judgement by sharing what one new follower reached out to say:
"I don't know how I came across your profile, but I'm glad I did...your inspiration has come when I needed it most."
She and I are connecting for a first session this week.
I've always known intellectually that not everyone will pick up what I'm throwing down. A good number of people I even considered friends have unfollowed me over the almost two years I've been doing this, which of course has stung.
And as grateful as I am to my unfollower for teaching me what I needed to learn, she also reminded me that she's not going to be the last person I piss off.
So I'll keep doing what I do, eyes wide open as can be, while recognizing this recovering inner-people-pleaser will continue to feel uncomfortable along the way as I'll inevitably make mistakes and disappoint, even with my greatest of intentions.
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.
PS I'm available for any questions and comments BEFORE 8pm EST, but for the love of God, DO NOT DISRUPT tonight's new episode of The Bachelor. THANK YOUUUUU!
PPS Interested in working with me? Subscribe for a FREE SESSION and let's get STARTED!