Bloggers told to “Drink a cup of Cement”

My friend Mrs. O’Neill lent me a copy of Sarah Knight’s very funny book The Life-Changing magic of not Giving a Fuck. In it, she dismantles a whole heap of emotions such as guilt, obligations and shame. With modern life dictating to us that BUSY IS GOOD, there are a whole heap of us out there who are struggling to keep our heads above water. This I know to be true.

A couple of years ago I was at a thing where Mamamia’s Head Honcho Mia Freedman was speaking. I caught up with her afterwards and we were chatting about this and that when I asked her how did she deal with online negativity. She looked me in the eye and without hesitating she suggested that I “drink a bowl of cement” every morning. Now I bring this up as yesterday, as I was putting the house back together after the child tsunami swept through, I caught a segment on one of those morning shows. They were interviewing a blogger about online hate, and how she had been badly bullied online, which is perhaps one of my worst nightmares.

I am not so naive to think I should bake a cake out of rainbows and smiles, but then again, I also do not want to follow the cement drinking path either.

When it comes to fight or flight, I am out of there faster than a plate of pork buns at Yum Cha on a Sunday morning. You can ask any of my friends or family, I am one of the least confrontational lass in the world. It annoys the shit out of them sometimes. I would much rather push issues to the back of the closet and deal with them later. Although I do have a certain admiration for those who can confront drama. I remember once, I was having an issue with a dear friend. I had neatly folded it up and popped it into the bottom drawer when she called me on it with these little words…

“Do we need to talk about something?”

Stomach flips, world goes dizzy and my heart raced.

Truth is that we are all walking around with masks on. Some are looser than others while some are strapped on like a that dude from Pulp Fiction. BRING OUT THE GIMP. A few times a week, I write down my feelings on this blog, or spin a yarn. I expose myself and my soft (well, very soft) underbelly. I let my vulnerability bubble to the surface for all and sundry to read and think and judge and smile and scoff and scorn. That reaction, well I have no control over it. So why do I do it?

I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHY!

In a world of online female writers who are brave, strong, opinionated and amazing I quite often see water flying off their backs. As much as I have tried over the years, I just cannot be that tough. Truth be told, it turns out that I DO give a fuck about things. It is the result of being an over-thinker. Perhaps I am in the wrong game, or perhaps the game has changed.

So I am interested in you.

Where would you rate yourself on the GIVE A FUCK scale?

Are you brave or do you bruise easily?

 

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  • Tracey

    I am very much at the I don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks end of the scale (is that 10, or 0, I’m not sure). When I was younger I worried, but as I’ve gotten older I stopped worrying about it. Very freeing!

  • Most of the time, these days, I just don’t give a fuck. Unless it’s someone close to me…then I do, a LOT.

  • Heidi D

    once upon a time I was so quiet (hard to believe I know) & would never have spoken up. I only remember once when I was about 20 & a man outside a shop shouted out “nice tits” at me & I surprised myself by suggesting he may like to take a little trip & offering tips on what he could do when he arrived 😉 It wasn’t really until I was older that I started to become more confident in myself. I began to advocate fiercely for foster kids we had & that boosted my confidence to speak up. I will still avoid confrontation when possible & sometimes have to make an effort to hold back because the massive adrenaline rush that comes with it does not do nice things to the dodgy heart. I have definitely become braver with age on the surface but the big softy lives on underneath

    • You are wonderful FULL STOP xx

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    I give less fucks…still give a fuck and still get bruises occasionally but giving ‘less’ fucks. I think if you believe in yourself and back yourself it’s easier. Sometimes when things really rattle me it’s usually because it’s challenged my thinking. However dicks who suggested it would be ace if I was raped by someone with aids so I could talk about another disease other than breast cancer…well, that shit while appalling is also ludicrous. I think if I get to the stage of ‘drinking a cup of cement’ and not caring then I need a good hug, a cuppa, a Bex and a lie down. Oh, and to unplug.

    • Jesus Jenni! I could not cope with that sort of abuse xx

  • Struth

    Thank you for this post as I often read that you are meant to reach your 40’s and suddenly not GAF (give a fuck). Similarly to you, I do GAF. It is my inherent nature to be sensitive to others and their vibes but the positive is that I am also sensitive when it matters so it is hard to be selectively sensitive. I guess I still GAF but I use strategies to not let it weigh me down. So self talk, avoiding toxic people, consciously letting go, trying to only GAF when it matters.

    • I do think that you do sort of come into yourself after 40 but in a different way. Xx

      • Struth

        Yes I agree. I don’t think my temperament has changed but my self awareness has!

  • Kelly

    I’m giving less fucks and it’s liberating. I don’t like my mother in law but have tried EVERYTHING to get along with her. EVERYTHING. I’ve accepted that I’ll never make her happy and if I keep giving a fuck then her sniping comments hurt more. So last year some time I decided not to give a fuck. And it’s great. It’s taken time to work through to this point and I still have a way to go but, I can say without doubt, it’s life changing and magical xx

    • Jill

      Kelly, same same with me. Something shifted in me one day and I thought, I have nothing left and you can’t hurt me anymore. I accept after 20 years that she is as she is and I now wear my own armour and don’t GAF. It’s liberating!

    • Its good that you have freed up your emotional space by getting rid of your MIL xx

  • So it depends on what frame of mind I’m in, that time of month and who it is. You see I have WAY too much empathy and sometimes cry during TV commercials. I take a teaspoon at times but most of the time I don’t. I feel things, that’s just me, it makes me who I am and it shapes the way I live and parent. Sure it’s tougher feeling ALL the things but that’s who I have ALWAYS been. Love and light to you gorgeous woman xxx

    • Some days I cannot even watch the news!

  • I am a ‘feelings led’ person & as such cannot abide personal criticism & I have not toughened up over the years. In fact, I’m more vulnerable now than ever & try to appear confident to confuse my anxiety. It is not something that pleases me at all but I’ve been brave enough to share here. I am also my worst critic. Over-thinking? Yep. All.the.time. It’s what it is and I recognise it & my default is this.

    • Well I think you are terrific and very caring. We need more people like you x

  • Jess

    On the outside I’m mostly “I give no fucks,” but on the inside i give waaaaaaay too many. Overthinker, non-confronter, hider of emotions here too. It’s not healthy.

  • Zoe

    I really try not to GAF but of course you always do, particularly if it comes to personal criticism. If it’s people saying “that’s not my style, I don’t agree” etc then I’m good at rolling my eyes and moving on. But I hate bitching and personal insults. Lately everyone in a group of good girlfriends seems to be bitching about the others when they’re not around. Which makes you think, what are they saying about me?! I try to safeguard myself by thinking okay, what could they possibly say? A bit lazy, talks a lot, loud, slight online shopping problem. As long as I know I am a good person I can handle the rest!

  • Bee

    I’m hopeless, probably worse than you with a softer and wobblier underbelly. I gotta say that there is a different tone to a blog of giving an F and not and I prefer the former. That’s why I like reading what you have to say Mrs W and your blog feels safe so I feel I can comment from time to time. Nice to communicate this way. I used to read Mamamia but it got too big, too many different voices fighting (really fighting) for attention. Too many just not giving a flying F about anyone else. Make sense?

    • Well I am glad to have you here Bee xx

  • When it comes to writing, hitting that publish button is the most vulnerable thing – but I do it anyway – is that brave? My jury is still out on that one. I bruise terribly – once again I do it anyway. I’m not ‘the bold and the beautiful’ so I guess I’m happy to live with being a version of ‘the brave and the bruised’. Maybe we could start a movement! Love your work. 😉😀

    • Emma

      love that term ‘brave and bruised’ I may just have to use that in future

      • Think it should be my motto actually, ha! Use it when ever you need it Emma! Xx

  • Not many people know I’m there Mrs Woog (my blog I mean), so I’m doing alright thank you very much. How will I cope if it does happen? I really don’t know. I know the blogging experience itself has made me much braver than I used to be, but I could easily have the wind knocked out of my sails. Time will tell. I have learned a lot though from those more experienced than me, from bloggers like yourself. Like you I know ‘I’m not everyone’s cup of tea’ either and ‘haters gunna hate’. If it ever happens I’ll just know I’m in good company and do my best to move on.

    • I love this Shauna! Xx

    • It is really the only thing to do. Keep on writing darling xx

  • Sally Rose

    Did you manage to have that talk with your friend? Was the issue resolved?
    I don’t blame you for trying to dodge that. Confrontation is unpleasant, but now I’m old, it’s not “I don’t GAF”, but “I should not let them get away with that”.

    • Yes it was sorted quite quickly!

  • I very much give a fuck but only about opinions by people i truly respect, know and trust. When i write for online sites I mentally prepare myself for negative comments and try not to dwell on them. I put them into the Everyone’s Entitled To An Opinion file and reason you cant please everyone and they couldn’t please me either. Namast-fuckin-ay 🙂

    • The few times that i have written opinion pieces on min stream media I NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!

  • Getting braver every day. I asked a question on Q and A on Monday! Now I can do anything!

  • I’m the biggest sook ever. However, I think some bloggers who complain about people being mean sometimes seem to invite it. There, I said it. I think everyone should be able to say what they think but if you know it will be an inflammatory issue and you don’t want negative comments then don’t write about it. But that’s just my very humble opinion.

    • I believe that the writer sets the tone of the community THERE I SAID IT xx

      • That is so true. But i reckon sometimes the community doesn’t quite get the tone. That’s the trouble with the written word. I agree that when people say “There, I said it.” it’s annoying and dickish. Sorry. I wasn’t thinking.

  • Sue

    I’ve was always around the middle of the GAF scale then in my 30s after years alternately worrying about and in despair of my brother’s behavior I ‘invented’ NMFP (not my fucking problem). If I started to worry or dwell on it I’d just remind myself NMFP and I could let it go. I’ve used it ever since to help myself stop worrying about stuff I can’t change or which just isn’t important for ME.

  • Mother-of-six

    I actually own a DILLIGAF t-shirt, and wear it with pride. Nope, not one single fuck given. (But I am old. And a goddess. So….pffft!)

  • I generally DGAF but that doesn’t mean things don’t sting. It means they don’t linger and fester.

  • Gah, I am also a give a fucker. But i figure trolls aren’t coming after you unless there is a certain level of (perceived) success. So I celebrate it as a win that helps.