In a world filled with social media, filters, bloggers (hands up) and newspaper scandals, it's easy to assume that the edited versions we see of people a true reflection of reality. However smoke and mirrors can be deceiving...
Recently, I received a wonderfully biased comment on my public blog page (I would like to stress that this person does not know me personally) regarding my estranged ex husband - it's been over 7 years since we last spoke - our children and the circumstances surrounding parental contact in the fallout of our divorce.
Erm, what?! This is a private matter and not something I have ever - nor will - discuss the details publicly out of respect for our children and mutual families! The people directly involved know the facts; the rest is simply a matter of opinion.
I can only assume that this outburst occurred due to said person receiving some rather dubious 'facts' about the entire situation and taking it as the gospel truth - not only did they then seek me out via my page (rather than maintaining a little dignity and dropping me an email or personal message) but this entitled keyboard warrior - who's relevance to the original situation still remains a mystery - also decided that it was of course their given right to publicly preach, all based on these incorrect and even damaging allegations before even thinking to verify the cold, hard facts! Wow...
The temptation to scream: 'Ha! That is utter bulls**t - I'm sure our solicitors will confirm the truth...' was overwhelming but when I went to reply privately, the original poster had vanished (Bye Felicia...)
This is a prime example of why it's important to remember that there are three versions of every single story - yours, mine and the truth! When it comes to less favourable situations and fall outs, of course every party involved wants to paint themselves as the good guy,the victim, the innocent one. Emotions run high and the facts become tainted. How many people talk highly of their ex-lovers or friendships that have gone sour? Not many, I can tell you.
The general tone tends to be: 'Ooh she/he is such a loser. They did this, said that, blah blah...' Just how many of these opinions stem from the solid truth is debatable.
Instead of deleting my blog, curling up into a reclusive ball and crying, I did what a writer does best - I used this odd little incident as inspiration for an article...
After ruminating on this random comment for a few days, it got me thinking; how much do we REALLY know about other people?
We are quick to react to the 'headlines' of peoples lives but often skip past the relating 'article' containing the full story.
Woman Leaves Husband For Female Lover
Woman is peer-pressured into a traditional marriage by her family, despite being homosexual. Woman spends 26 years miserable. Woman meets the love of her life, finally discovers her inner- courage and leaves to pursue true happiness.
Rebel Child Runs Away From Home
Child has inherited a new-step family. Childs step-sister is abusive. Child is struggling at school. Child feels lost, alone and runs away through sheer despair.
We all have our own stories to tell but can be quickly defined by our labels:
People love to gossip and rarely stop to think about the relevant yet dull things such as 'facts' and 'emotional damage'. So what can you do about this kind of behaviour? Pursue a case for slander? Get offended? Pity them and their small minds?
My personal mantra works well: 'Chuck it in the f**k it bucket and move on!'
We all make snap judgments on occasion but next time you find yourself speculating, perhaps take a step back and remember that there may be more to it than meets the eye. After all, you really don't know what goes on behind closed doors; the good and bad.