The Journey to Publication · Writing

Exorcising Emotional Burrs

So maybe it’s just me, but have you ever encountered something like a vexing email, something on the news, something in a blog post that just rubbed you the wrong way? And after it starts to bother you, and work on you, did you for some reason keep it around?

I write this since I recently read a blog post that really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt discouraging, a bit arrogant, and frankly made me feel lousy most of the day. And the silliest bit – aside from letting something else influence how I felt when that’s up to me – was that I didn’t immediately just read and then delete it from my email account. So next time I opened the account, there was this item, off to irritate me all over again.

Now certainly it could be that my skin is feeling a bit thin, or maybe I was looking for something to be irritated about. But actually, I suspect the post bothered me not in its fallacy or attitude, but because I saw some part of it that confirmed a truth I didn’t want to believe, that it stated something I couldn’t believe because it would, in small part, murder hope.

Thus of course, my reaction was less to the post, and more to my own reaction, this confirmation of the bogey-man. (And frankly, I’d much rather some days he just stayed hidden in the shadows and left me alone, thanks.)

So why then keep something that inspired those negative feelings?

Maybe because I still needed to think about it. Maybe I needed to assess for myself my beliefs on the topic, and decide if I believed it or not. And, because maybe I wanted to poke at the wound and hope that with enough salt, the pain would be numbed and couldn’t hurt me anymore.

Now it’s your turn: have you ever received something that annoyed you and for some reason kept it? How do you react to such encounters with the burr that gets beneath your skin?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙂

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