You Said WHAT About Me on Facebook?!
Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here to help, three times a week. Today, the Housewives answer an exclusive BlogHerMoms question!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
When my son started school, I was all set to join the PTA. But I went to one meeting and it basically it scarred me for life. The women that are the top of the food chain basically tore people apart behind their backs if you disagreed with them.
I decided to take on other volunteer opportunities in the classroom and on school trips. Could I make time for the PTA? Yes, but I won't because I'm not going to listen to women backstab each other.
My neighbor is the worst offender. She volunteers and complains constantly about it. So last week, she was again complaining and I asked her, "Why do you do it then?" An hour later, she posted on Facebook, "A parent at our school approached me today and asked why I volunteer." Then she went on to say how she does it for her children, the community, etc.
The problem is that all the responses that followed were like, "What kind of parent would ask something like that?", "A parent like that will only give their time if they can get something out of it" and "I can't believe a parent would ask you that!" She really made me look bad. She made me look like I was against volunteering. I was shocked.
I'm rarely on Facebook so I think that's why she posted it there. I'm not sure how to handle.
Too Much Mama Drama
Dear Mama Drama,
My first idea was that you could immediately send me her name so that I can friend her on Facebook (I'm sure I have the same name as someone she went to elementary school with) and then I will comment on her page, "Perhaps this parent was exhausted from hearing your constant negative attitude and whining over your volunteer work and just wanted to know why you continue to volunteer when you clearly derive no joy from it whatsoever."
Man, wouldn't that feel good? We'd give each other virtual high fives on our cleverness but then sadly, once the Facebook adrenaline wore off, we'd feel a bit dreary. Because it would feel mean spirited. And negative. Exactly what we don't like in those vicious PTA ladies.
Instead, I think you should talk to her. I know, who likes talking?! Not me. I'll tell you that. I'd rather text, email, tweet, tumblr down the hill with Jack and Jill, whatever - just don't make me talk to someone in person! But the problem with all this social media is that it leads to a lot of misperceptions because it's hard to read someone's tone online.
It sounds like you run into your neighbor often. So the next time you see her simply say, 'I saw your Facebook update about volunteering. I'm sorry if I offended you in some way. That wasn't my intention at all. But I'd appreciate if our conversations are not posted on Facebook."
And then let this go. Because all those negative comments on Facebook came from people who were reading your volunteer question out of context and their comments do not reflect anything about who you really are.