On blogging and connecting

Last week, a very interesting conversation ensued on Twitter (with those awesome ladies). A conversation about blogging, about connecting, what it means to comment and reach out, and what it feels like if the effort is a one-way street.

I have A LOT of thoughts on this, to say the least.

I’ve never felt so welcome and connected and ignored and disconnected at the same time as I have felt through blogging. This must sound very melodramatic, I am sure, but don’t tell me that you haven’t felt the same at some point during your blogging experience.

It’s the greatest feeling in the world, when you find a blog that speaks to you and where you feel like the person behind the blog is a long lost soulmate, because you find you have so much in common and you think so much alike and it cannot be that you’re NOT going to be friends. Well, and then you start commenting and trying to connect with this person and … nothing. You don’t get anything back. This can be especially discouraging if you see a group of online friends forming (and a lot of us are interconnected these days, or so it seems) and you’re not part of that group. You feel ignored and left out and it’s a pretty tough place to be. Even more so for someone like me who pretty much lived most of my life trying to be friends with everyone.

I realize (now) that this has always been a pretty hopeless endeavor, because let’s face it, you can’t be friends with everyone. Still, a naive part of me insisted that we can at least all get along, we can at least be friendly with each other. I still kinda believe that.

But the point is: I have to accept that not everybody wants to be friends with me. And moreover, that this is totally ok. If I am really honest with myself, I don’t really want to be friends with everyone either. I like the concept of it, – yes, let’s all be friends and have tea! And cupcakes! –  but in all reality, it’s not even humanly possible to be friends with everyone. (I am an overachiever, can you tell?)

According to the Meyers Briggs Personality test, I am a INFJ (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging – The protector). Apparently, that’s the rarest personality type of all (only 1% of the population is INFJ),  but I’d actually rather call myself an introverted ENFJ (Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging The giver). If you are familiar with the personality types (and if you know me a little bit), you’d agree that this is fitting.
While I would consider myself an introvert in many regards, I am definitely  all about other people and their needs. I am a people pleaser, helper, and giver. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to make other people happy, to help and support friends. However, I always tend to put other people’s feelings and needs above my own and if there is a conflict, I first try to find the fault in my own behavior and go to great length to “fix” whatever seems to be the problem. This is surely the reason why I somewhat expect to be on good terms with everyone and why I can’t understand when I get the cold shoulder.

While I know all this and can rationalize it, I still more often than not feel lost when relationships with people don’t work out. It’s a part of my personality that I really have to work on, because it leaves me disappointed and frustrated so many times for no good reason other than the fact that I obviously can’t deal with rejection/being ignored. Since I can’t make people like me and I can only work on reacting to situations like this differently,  I came up with some good advice for myself (and maybe some of you, who struggle with this):

1) Be yourself. Always. If I have learned one thing, then it is that you can only “put up a front” for so long. Sometimes, especially when you meet new people, we think we have to show them the “best version” of ourselves in order to leave a good impression, but it can be pretty exhausting to do or say things that we think we might have to say so other people will like us. And then sometimes, that is still not enough. So, in the long run, we’re better off with just being ourselves, even if that means that some relationships with people will not work out (or even take off).

2) Don’t beat yourself up. There is really no point (in fact, it’s a waste of mental energy) in putting yourself down if a relationship doesn’t work out. It takes two, you know?! If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, then you don’t want to be their friend either. Simple as that (or so I wish).

3) Accept rejection for what it is (a fact of life) and don’t take things personally. Sometimes I think that I must have done something wrong if people don’t respond to me the way I want them to, but I frequently tend to forget that there can be a gazillion different reasons for this and not one single one of them has necessarily to do with me. Maybe the relationship is just not meant to be. Ask yourself why you’re so disappointed/hurt when people don’t reciprocate the interest that you show in them. Is it really about them (which it surely sometimes can be) or is it about yourself? Do you really need this person’s approval to feel good about yourself?

4) Move on. If you gave something a fair shot and you still don’t get anything back in return, let it go. Move on to people who do respond to you and who make you feel worthwhile. (Yeah, that is a tough one for me, as I often overanalyze why I can’t make it work with certain people. If we mutually feel indifferent about each other, it’s usually not a big deal, but if I feel a connection and the other person doesn’t, well, how can I say this? It just blows. Also, I might need some time to nurse my bruised ego.)

5) Appreciate  and cherish the friendships that do work out. Sometimes I forget all the great friendships that have formed through blogging. It’s really disproportionate how one failed relationship can weigh me down so much that I forget about the three new people that I have befriended during the same time. It’s all about getting your priorities straight and focusing on the good relationships.

In life you will realize that there is a purpose for
everyone you meet. Some will test you,
some will use you, and some will teach you.
But most important are the ones that bring out the best
in you. Those are the ones worth keeping around.

(via etiquetteforalady.tumblr.com)


So yeah, theoretically I got it all figured out, but practically I am still a work in progress.



  1. You are most lovely. A wonderful post, unfortunately as I sit here and sip (inhale) my coffee, my brain isn’t at a cognitive level to respond with insight. Instead I merely offer you adoration. Xo

  2. This is a great list! I would also add: Have fun!

    Sometimes we shouldn’t take life or blogging so seriously. My brother has a great mantra. It goes like this.

    Just fuck it.

    I repeat it to myself when I feel like I’m taking things that don’t need to be taken so seriously, seriously. It makes me laugh and I feel so much better. :)

  3. I know what you mean. When I first started blogging I felt so close to many people. Then I wrote to one woman, who just said the most hurtful things, and I realized how naive I was. Now I write for me, my friends and family. If I hear back, great. But I don’t expect it any more. I do try to write back to my commentors, but sometimes I just run out of time.
    But you my dear, well I think you are marvelous!

  4. Great post San! I really like your advice about it too. Sometimes blogging friendships won’t work out for both people, and we really do need to just get over it and move on. Can’t be friends with everyone, and that’s definitely a lesson we’ve all had to learn through blogs. Nonetheless I think the friendships we do make are wonderful & so worth it! :)

  5. I hear you and definitely feel like I’m on the same page as you. I think my problem is that I am a regular blog reader (thank you Google Reader) but I don’t participate on Twitter as often as some of my blog friends… So while I’m still reading and commenting, a lot of times the interaction doesn’t go much further… which is MY fault, but then regardless I still feel left out. Like, I want to have these strong connections, but I don’t do enough to make them stronger. Am I making sense?

  6. This is my first time on your blog but I’ve seen you tweeted by so many friends, I thought I’d finally get off my butt to check you out. Funny, Ashley (@writetoreach) mentioned INFJs were rare “except for on the internet” when we did Myers Briggs on our youtube channel. 2 of the girls on the channel are INFJ. I am ENFJ.

    Anyway. I just wanted to say hello!

  7. I went down that road several times… The one where I tried to make a connection with someone and nothing happened in return. It can be disheartening, but you’re so right. We have to move on and put our mental energy elsewhere. That’s sort of why I let my blog shut down instead of renewing my self-hosting plan. I need to figure out what kind of blogger I want to be, and I want to have fun doing it. I also want to make sure I connect with the people trying to connect with me.

    I’ve made many great relationships through blogging (and twitter); it’s hard to turn my back on it!

  8. I think you are right. I had a similar thing happen in the beginning. I was following someone, liking what they had to say, and commenting very thoughtfully. Also, this blogger was friends with several of my other blog friends, so I guess I just assumed she would be my friend too. But, she never responded. Ever. Not on my blog, not to my comments. So I unsubscribed. I don’t have time to waste trying to make friends with someone who doesn’t have time for me! Such is life!

    I am an ISTJ.

  9. What a great post! I know I have taken that personality test before, but I cannot remember what I am. I’m like you though… I try to be friends with everyone and I’m seriously puzzled by people that do not like me. I know I can be naive, and probably too nice… That left out feeling is the worst. It’s actually one of my biggest pet peeves of twitter. People that do not respond to @’s are just rude in my opinion. (Unless you get several mentions a different, then that is different). If I interact with someone several times and they do not reciprocate, I unfollow. With very little to no guilt.

    I must have missed the conversation last week – but I noticed Stephany’s tweet earlier!

  10. I love this post. LOVE. Great tips – especially “don’t take things personally” and “move on”. I just wish they were easier to do, sometimes!

  11. I totally, totally, TOTALLY agree with those post! Ahhhh. I get so bummed out sometimes when I’m trying so hard to create a friendship with a blogger, only to get completely ignored. & then I see them tweeting with other people I consider friends & it just confuses me, ha. “Why don’t they wanna talk to me?!”

    Those 5 points are SO great. I absolutely love this post, San! :)

  12. I got it all figured out as well, but practically I’m still working on it as well! I have been there so often, just like you’re describing it, but I guess I just have to accept it.
    So glad we “met” and became friends! You are very special! Thank you! Awesome post! Hugs xxx

  13. Sandra, this post really resonates with me. So much so, that I think I’m going to have to write my own post in reaction to it. But, the gist is, you don’t have to be friends with every person who comments on your blog. But, as a blogger and a blog reader, I think it’s pretty disrespectful when you don’t respond to any comments. It doesn’t have to be every comment. It doesn’t even have to open the door to a conversation. But, acknowledging people who read your blog is pretty important, IMHO. Stay tuned for more…

  14. I love your post, lady!! Such great words of advice. I loved our conversation, too. I hope to have more of them in the future!

  15. Great post, San. I do not know what my Myers Briggs personality is – I took a test years ago but do not remember the results. I should do it again!

    I think like any community, there can be cliches and people feel left out. And that makes me sad. I think it’s tough because as we get older and busier, we have less time to devote to things like blogging. Like I have way less time to spend reading and commenting on blogs, so I have really paired down what is in my reader and what I comment on…

    It’s tough because you can’t be friends with everyone. And when I first started blogging, I had SO much more time to spend fostering relationships… Now? Not so much… I still meet new people each year that I connect with (like you) but it’s not quite like it was when I first started out and was exchanges these novel-like emails with other bloggers, etc. Which I guess is just a natural progression of life.

    Great post!

  16. Great post! Sadly blogging is just very much like high school, there are cliques and some of them we just can’t get in. I’ve done the same thing regarding finding a blog that I think is awesome, leave comments and try to engage but get nothing in return. And by nothing I mean not even tweeting back when you @ someone. My policy, after 4 attempts at engaging and not an acknowledgement in return, I move on.

    I have so many friends who came from blogging, and I like to think that I’m open and receptive to new people who happen on my blog and might like it, you never know when another fabulous friendship is going to form.

    p.s. I’ve never taken the Myers Briggs test – maybe I should, that’d be a good blog post! :)

  17. those tips are so great, i completely agree.

    and yeah it’s hard to find a happy medium with blogging i find, although i think after five years i’m finally on my way to getting it and connecting with my peoples, ha.

  18. Great Post…and I totally agree! I have mostly made “friends” through Facebook as I rarely blog and not even a handful of people read it. I have had my fair share of friendships who didn’t turn out good in the end and have been disappointed by a lot of people on Facebook. As you know we are a lot alike when it comes to pleasing people and trying to be nice to them and helping everyone. I often take things personally and I also always want people to like me and am really dibsappointed if they don’t like me. I blogged about my friend P once if you remember and we ended up not being friends anymore because she insisted I change for her. I was really hurt and it took quite a while to get over it because I couldn’t understand why she didn ‘t like me the way I am.

  19. And I forgot…you seem like a very nice and lovely person and I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t want to be friends with you…sending you a virtual hug :)

  20. Oh, I can absolutely relate to this. It’s hard to feel not liked or rejected, even by people you’ve never met before. You make some great points in this wonderful post. It’s best to just keep being yourself and moving forward! If friendships are meant to form, then they will!

  21. You know how much I relate to this! Realizing that not everyone is going to want to be your friend is a tough lesson to learn but I think once we do, we release our expectations. I think for every non-response I get from a blogger, there are also a TON I get great responses from. Some bloggers, I can leave one comment and immediately get a response and a follow on Twitter, etc.

    “This can be especially discouraging if you see a group of online friends forming (and a lot of us are interconnected these days, or so it seems) and you’re not part of that group.” THIS. THIS. THIS. THIS. I see this ALL the time and I have to work HARD not to let it ruin my day or define my “Internet worth”.

    I’ve learned to release my expectations on blogging. Blog for ME, blog for FUN. When it stops being fun, when I start defining my self-worthy by Twitter replies, comments, and stats, then it’s time to step away. When I start questioning my worth because some girl who has a blog doesn’t want to be my friend, that’s when it’s time to slow down and refocus.

    *I* know I am a great person. They do not. And it is their loss if they don’t want to make the connection.

    The truth is, I have met a TON of amazing bloggers. People who have commented on my blog or connected with me when I commented on theirs. These are the people I need to care about. Not the ones who could care less.

  22. I love this post and can relate to it so well. There have definitely been times when I’ve reached out, time and time again, and gotten nothing in return. And going to Vegas for BiSC last year there were people I thought I would click with immediately, who had been super friendly online, and then who ended up giving me the cold shoulder. It was a learning experience for sure, but I walked away with a whole handful of friends I didn’t even expect to click with.

    Even though I understand, logically, that I can’t be friends with everyone, that not everyone wants to be friends with me or even should be friends with me, it’s still hard.

    Also, I’m an INFJ as well. :)

  23. I’ve tried to reach out to some bloggers that have ’email me I’d love to hear from my reader’ on their blogs, only to find they didn’t really mean it. I’m left wondering, are they busy, is it me, am I too small a blogger to give a hello back. Oh well, such is life. I get a bit stroppy & avoid their blogs for a while, but really what can you do. I find connections with people often come in waves. Might have lots of chats with someone to find after a while they fade into the backgroun. Although I’ve made some awesome connections that are strong and ongoing. For those I am grateful.

  24. some very solid advice there, lady. I totally know what you mean about sometimes feeling the connection but not receiving it back. When I first started blogging, I found a blog and was felt like screaming omg we’re long lost twins… but she never even responded to my comments or read my blog (maybe she did, but never commented) It can be frustrating but there are so many other wonderful bloggers out there, Sometimes it’s the ones that you didn’t realize you would click with that are the most impactful. xo

  25. hi there, I found your blog on iBlog4me. Great post, wonderful to know I’m not alone in feeling rejected like that! Actually, I really thought I was! I’ve tried to connect a few times with bloggers who seemed like we had SO much in common, and just like you said…nothing. I was very disappointed some time ago when I tried to connect with a lady who was promoting coeliac awareness on her blog after her son was diagnosed. Very few gluten free bloggers do that. And I thought we ho do should…stick together. But, no. I moved on, but still think about it.

  26. Great article to read! sharing us your knowledge is really a big help and i will surely follow all the advice that you’ve shared with us here. Thanks for the post and i’m looking forward to read more from you.

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