If The Shoe Fits….

I was at a party over the weekend, chatting with a couple of friends, when one of them told me how much she had enjoyed my most recent blog post.  She turned to the other friend and asked, “Didn’t you think it was funny?”  The other friend looked embarrassed, and then said, “Actually, I don’t read her blog.”  A few days later, that friend called me an apologized, worried that she had offended me.  She told me that her life was very busy right now, and that she didn’t really have time to read anything, not even a friend’s blog.

I quickly reassured her that there was no need for her to apologize. And there wasn’t.  We’ve been friends for a very long time, and I know perfectly well that she’s not a big reader.  I also know that she is a kind and generous soul who would never deliberately do anything to hurt anyone’s feelings, including mine.  And I have learned over the years not to be offended when I discover that a friend or family member doesn’t read my posts.

I admit that when I first started my blog, I (naively) believed that I could count on all my friends and family to read it, and also figured that they would probably be my only readers.  But I soon discovered that people who didn’t particularly enjoy reading weren’t suddenly going to change their ways just because I had started a blog.  And that not supporting my blog didn’t mean they didn’t care about me, and that I couldn’t count on them in other, equally important, ways.

Our friends and family members are unique individuals, with their own particular strengths and weaknesses.  And if we’re wise, we remember exactly what those strengths and weaknesses are when we’re looking for support or help.  A friend who is chronically late is not the person to ask for a ride to the airport, at least not if you want to make sure you don’t miss your plane.  And if you know someone has a hard time being discreet, that’s not the person you go to when you want to confide a deep, dark secret.

I think the trick is to remember that no one can be “all things to all people,” and to remember that everyone who is close to us enriches our lives in their own, unique way.  Maybe the friend with the loose lips is the perfect person to call when you need a ride to the airport, or maybe the friend who is never on time happens to be excellent at keeping a secret.  It’s a matter of knowing someone well enough to have a pretty good idea of what they can, and cannot, do for us.  Then we don’t set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting something that they aren’t capable of giving. Personally, I really appreciate my friends who take the time to read my blog.  But I also value the ones who don’t.

We don’t do anyone, least of all ourselves, any favors when we don’t see our friends and family for who they really are, and that includes their strengths, their weaknesses, and even just their personal tastes.  And if we really care about them, we’re more than willing to love and accept them just exactly as they are.

111 thoughts on “If The Shoe Fits….

  1. A very good Post, and your comments about friends not reading your Blog can be expanded to include all kinds of circumstances. My experience was with family and friends do not buy any of my books. One just has to accept different perspectives and different priorities. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do too! But I had to realize that people who aren’t creative really don’t get it. They don’t understand how hard it is for creative people to put their work “out there” for others to judge, so they have no idea how hard it is when they don’t support our work. But they are there for us in other, equally important, ways…and we just have to appreciate that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, my goodness, there is so much we could write on the topics of friends and those who are there for us when we need them…. But ultimately, I agree that we can’t judge others by our own standards. Because we all see things a little differently. It helped me to remember that this friend, who doesn’t read my blog at all, was the very same friend who called me the year our first daughter was born to ask what our plans were for Valentine’s day. I told her we couldn’t go out because we didn’t have a sitter. And she said she wasn’t calling to invite us to join them for dinner, she was calling to offer to babysit for our baby daughter while my husband and I went out for a Valentine’s dinner. That was a huge, and very much appreciated, gift!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand your feelings about friends and relatives not reading your blog for more than one reason. I experienced something quite similar. The Klopp family blog is primarily intended to present a record about our family and has at its target our children and perhaps grandchildren. But they are right now in mids of life and do not care much about their roots. Aware of the fact that I showed very little interest in my ancestry in my youth, I console myself with the hope that interest will eventually come. Thanks for your thought-provoking post, Ann. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I would imagine that it is especially hard to chronicle your family’s history (and to do it so well that those of us who aren’t even related enjoy reading the story) and to discover that some of your family members aren’t interested in reading it! But you’re right, it’s still important to get it all down, because you never know when they’ll change their mind and want to know about the family history. One way or another, I think it is important to write this stuff down. We have encouraged our mom to write down her memories in a book we bought just for that purpose, and it is a comfort to know we’ll be able to read it long after she is gone. Keep writing, Peter!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Ann. Most of my friends and family know I have two blogs and only a handful follow me. It really bothered me at first because I felt they weren’t supporting me. After a while I stopped thinking about it. I blog because I enjoy it and it provides an outlet for me to show the beauty around me. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it took me awhile to stop being hurt by that too! But the truth is, unless you are a writer or a photographer, you don’t really understand how important something like a blog can be. Some of our friends and family just think of it as a hobby which really has nothing to do with them. So we have to learn to value our blogs as a creative outlet, and to value the new friends that it brings us! Thanks for being one of those friends….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful. I’ve had to learn this too. My posts appeal to some people and not to others. And if I wasted time worrying about my family and friends *not* reading my blog, I’d be very disappointed. Since I write mostly to help myself learn, it’s just bonus when someone reads my blog and gets value from it.

    Also: my blog serves at my own personal “soapbox” and seems to preserve my marriage because my hubby doesn’t have to be subject to my diatribes… and actually he reads it too, on his own time, and when he’s interested in the topic. We all win. 😉

    I enjoy your perspective, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yeah, our blogs do help us to voice our opinions and feelings without having to “rant” to our loved ones yet again! And I bet you’ve had the same experience that I’ve had in that you’ve made new blogging friends who sort of make up for the other friends who aren’t a part of our blogging lives. All I know is you write really well, and need to keep it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yep. I’m lucky my mother reads my blog. I wish my sisters would blog as I think it would bring us closer having a window into each other’s lives. Still I’ve met so many wonderful people who have become friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mom used to read my blog, until we realized that her internet connection was causing her more grief that it was doing her good. Since then, she doesn’t read it….but I’m okay with that. We really do have to just take people as they are. And yes, the bloggers that we’ve met are a terrific bonus!!!! (You included, of course!)

      Like

    • That’s a good thing, Neil! My husband also reads mine, and lets me know when he spots a typo. I have lots of friends who do read my blog, and some friends who don’t. But it’s all okay…one way or another, they are all good friends and I am grateful for their friendship.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Every a family member or close friend asks me a question that has been addressed in my blog at some point or another I throw it in their face, “I guess you don’t read my blog?”. Turn out a couple of hundred strangers no more about me than they do. lol. Which is actually fine with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is what is so fun, but also a little bit weird, about blogging. We have close friends who don’t read out blogs, and we have people we barely knew, and even perfect strangers, who read it regularly. And so we get to know those people rather well. It is a good thing, in the end… But it’s still an odd feeling when we talk about something we’ve already mentioned in a post, and someone we know well says, “Well, I didn’t know that!!!”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting post addressing a topic that comes up probably for most bloggers.

    When we first started writing our blog we shared it only with close friends and family, as a way for them to keep up with our new lives and our move to Central America. After a few months they stopped commenting and even though we were also writing our blog for ourselves as a dairy of sorts, it felt hurtful. We knew many were reading it but weren’t bothering to take the time to leave a comment (that is probably still the case). But once others… (strangers) started leaving thoughtful comments and feedback these people became and are what we think of as our blogging family. We have even had visits from some of them and they are now personal friends.

    Those who write and are creatively expressive know the time and effort that goes into a post, so I totally relate to and get your feelings and thoughts on this topic.

    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

    • Honestly, I don’t remember how I first discovered your blog, but I do know that I am so very glad I did! I love your in-depth descriptions of the countries you live in, and feel that it helps me understand lands and cultures I’ve never visited. I know what you mean about a blogging family: in some ways, we know them better than people we see every day!

      Like

  8. Yes, everyone has their own tastes and preferences that’s for sure. Many of my friends and family don’t read my blog, at all, nor any of travel articles I have published in magazines and it doesn’t bother me now but I’ll be honest, in the beginning it did. I’ve grown to accept it and funnily enough now, some have started reading but really I write for me so I’m okay with it. And despite all that we all understand and appreciate each other. Another very relatable post Ann.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Miriam! I think for most of us, it was a surprise when we started writing and/or blogging and discovered that some of our closest friends and family didn’t read what we wrote. It felt like a rejection. But then we came to accept it, understanding that they had no idea of how hard it is for creative people to publish their work and how much they wanted and needed support. Even better, we developed new relationships with the people who did read our work, and the friendships we’ve made online are more than enough to make up for the people who don’t read! It’s all a matter of just valuing people for what they can give, and not getting upset about what they can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well said, Ann. So true. One of my very good friends doesn’t read my blog. At first I was a little wounded, like how could she know the real me? I had to remind myself that she wasn’t my coffee buddy for nothing and so she probably had a pretty good idea of what made me tick. 🙂 🙂
    Thanks for a wonderful post, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. None of my friends read my blog, I started blogging coz I knew they didn’t want to hear all my blah blah. Now I have my WP family who do listen/read my blah blah as they wish 🙂

    Great advice about knowing our friends strengths and weaknesses … the best friendships are those where we accept each other warts and all 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. A lovely, thoughtful post! “no-one can be all things to all people” – this is so true and something we must remember. Our friends and family all bring something to the table in our lives and they all contribute in their own unique ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I thought the same thing when I started blogging back in 2004. [Really!] I quickly learned that friends and family come in two varieties, those who support you in your blogging because they care about you & anything you do AND those who don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing with a blog so they won’t get involved. At first I was really ticked off, but I came to realize that everyone communicates and connects in different ways, so why stay mad at them? I still mention my blog when I’m around the people who ignore it/me, but not to be mean. I do it so they know they’re always welcome to follow along. And sometimes, as more mature people now, they do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I looked at it that way too, especially at first. I thought, “Hey, if they opened a bakery, I’d at least a cake, just to show support!” And I would have, too. But then I remembered that those who don’t read or write much truly have no idea how much writers need support when they are starting out, so to them it was more as if I’d just found a new hobby that had nothing to do with them, and why would they try to be a part of it? So I try to focus on the ways they do enrich my life instead. But I admit, it took awhile for me to think about it this way!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s good that you account for people’s differences and don’t take it personally. I know many people who just aren’t interested in blogging. Like you, I understand, knowing that everyone thinks differently and take no offense to it at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t either, now, but it did take me a while to figure out that it wasn’t personal, it really was just a matter of personal taste. I don’t support all of my friends in all of their endeavors either, but I still love them and will do anything for them that I realize they need. I think it’s so much better to focus on each person’s gifts rather than the fact that maybe they don’t always respond exactly the way I’d prefer!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You know what’s funny? Most of my friends and family don’t read my blog, or read it in a limited manner. (They already listen to my inane chatter…do they need to read it too?) and I never expected them too. I always assumed it would be people who didn’t know me that would read my posts…as most know, I don’t share my blog on my Facebook page…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is funny, because it’s the exact opposite of what I expected! I thought my blog would be supported by my friends and family, and that they’d be the ONLY people who would support it. And yet that wasn’t the way it worked out at all. I would say about 1/2 of my friends read it, but I’ve also found devoted readers who I never knew at all before I started this blog. And made many “blogging friends” along the way. So even though this blogging adventure didn’t turn out the way I’d anticipated it would, it has been a very rewarding and positive experience!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alan! And yes, Des looks at it in a very mature and realistic way. I didn’t start out looking at it that way, but I do now. And I’m actually very okay with the way it turned out….I’ve made so many good blogging friends that it more than makes up for the friends I already had who don’t read my blog. And I also recognize that those friends enrich my life in other, equally meaningful, ways!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You really need to know the individual strengths of family and friends. By the way, no one in my family nor my friends read my blog. Although, it does not surprise me as none of them would look at all my photos of flowers either. I started blogging and have found a handful of strangers (now cyber friends) with the same interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann, I hear ya. I thought family would read my posts, but no. Well, my mom would, if she were on the internet. I do have one cousin who drops in from time to time. Friends? Not so much. Maybe 3 of my personal friends read me. Not even my wife, who once had a devotional blog of her own. Offended? At first, but I got over it. Some wouldn’t know a post if they walked into one. The conversation at the party would’ve been uncomfortable for me. I don’t wish a non-reader to feel pressured. Tight shoes. I always enjoy your thoughts on your life & observations. -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s hard to accept, but true: lots of our friends and family just aren’t into blogging. And they look at our blogging efforts as a quaint hobby that we are indulging in that really has nothing to do with them at all. I was also hurt by that at first, but as time passed, I had to admit that these were people I valued and who did so much for me in other ways. So it really is okay. And I also have to remember that there are probably things they are doing that I’m just ignoring, and maybe they’re wondering why? The bottom line is that we just need to appreciate the gifts they give us and recognize that they are also gifts in our lives…. And finally, thanks for being such a good blogging friend! The support I get from people like you makes all the difference!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Really thought-provoking words for me. I just visited a longtime friend in San Francisco, and I am letting her weaknesses (instead of her strengths) permeate my thoughts. This blog came at a really good time for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Such a wonderful post Ann! You are a wise person…not everyone in the world is interested in reading blogs! 🙂 I have learned so much in the blogging world. I am inspired by so many posts by very creative people. But just as some of us like to garden, and others do not, some people read blogs, and others do not. You are right about friendship. We celebrate our friendships in many ways…all the ways matter, whether they happen to read our blog posts or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Linda! And you are so right. Our friends who aren’t writers don’t have any idea how much we yearn for their support for their blogs, but as long as they are supporting us, that’s all that matters. I’m very sure that I’m overlooking areas where some of my friends would appreciate my support, just because I don’t see it. What’s important is that we recognize the gifts that our close friends and family give us, and remember to appreciate that. No one can “be there” for us in all ways at all times…no one merely human, anyway!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m so glad you wrote this, and very glad I read it! 🙂 I’ve had the same thoughts, wondering about people close to me who don’t read my blog but determined not to take it personally. Your perspective on this is very helpful. Thank you! I also struggle with my own inability to keep up with all the blog reading I want to do. The notifications pile up with blogs I really want to read. Finding the time to keep up with it all is very hard for me. Life is so busy! I’ve wondered how others do it even as I am aware that all of us have differing schedules and commitments. I want to read every blog but I literally don’t have enough time in the day to do that. I would love to hear from other bloggers on that topic. Blessings, Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Patty, I understand! I’m not able to keep up with all the blogs I follow either, at least not with every post. So I just do the best I can, and trust the bloggers to understand. I know I don’t get upset when I don’t see a comment or a “like” from someone who follows my blog. Life is busy and we can’t spend all our time taking care of our blogging commitments. So I say just do the best you can, and trust that that is enough!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, sometimes that is easier said than done. Especially, I’ve found, with family members. We are constantly told that “family is everything” but that’s not the truth for everyone. For some of us, the families we make are much more supportive than the families we’re born into. Hang in there, Kathy!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Hi Patti – I agree that there are so many Blogs that it would be nice to interact with, but life tends to present us with many other facets of living which we want/need to address. How do I determine where to draw the line? I don’t draw the line when it comes to being a Follower, because all that does is put more “stuff” in my Inbox. I draw the line at what I actually read … and how thoroughly I read it.

    For example – If I Follow a new Blog based on some perceived common ground for conversation, and after a few Posts, that common ground is not touched on, then I will probably Unfollow. If the first few Posts are very lengthy (1000 words +) and complicated and/or confusing … then I will speed read them, and all future Posts unless I note some changes. If however the Posts are well formed and to the point, then these become my favourite Bloggers.

    I love a Blogger who can not only express themselves well, but also has respect for my time. My time is very important to me, and I therefore want to use it as effectively/efficiently as possible. Does that help you? Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is an excellent point, Collin! Like you, I’m quick to hit the “follow” button to support a blog I like. But if the posts turn out to be difficult to read, or the blog is difficult to navigate, or I find that we really have very little to say that interests each other, then I’m not going to waste my time thoroughly reading each post. And on my blog, I try hard to keep it short, simple, and engaging. I know I don’t always succeed, but I always try, because we absolutely do have to respect our reader’s time.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I have been in a very similar position, Ann. Before I started my blog I used to write ‘posts’ and send them to a group of friends and family. Once the WordPress blog was established, some of them came along as followers but most didn’t. To be honest, I am surprised that the same group of friends still are along for the ride. It amazes me that they would be interested in my jibber-jabber although the travelogues were always popular for prospective trips. I get embarrassed when friends apologize for not following my blog, especially since I don’t even use Facebook so I have no idea what is going on in friends’ lives unless we meet virtually or on WordPress.
    Great post that resonated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the hardest part of being a writer, and especially a blogger, is how we relate to those who read us. We want readers, or we wouldn’t put our writing “out there” but on the other hand, we also want to write what is of interest to us. And the good thing is, for every person we know who doesn’t read our work, we eventually encounter at least two people who do read it. So we have the audience we want, even if it wasn’t the audience we anticipated.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. A great reminder, Ann! I’m always surprised when a friend says they read my blog. And even more surprised when sometimes weeks or months later they will clearly remember something I blogged about (often better than I remember it!). It feels like such an honor when anyone–friend, acquaintance, stranger–reads and comments. It’s great to be part of such a supportive community.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I read all your posts Ann! I think your an excellent writer! I admire that and you have inspired me and I would like to write a blog someday! Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I think that writing a blog is a great way to grow up, regardless of our age.

    We slowly learn not to allow the number of daily visitors to shape our mood for the day. We learn not to look too closely at those who follow us, not to crack our heads wondering what on earth interests someone to read us – if they really do. When someone follows me, I’ve learned to not reciprocate simply for that reason alone (and to fight down the resulting guilt!)

    And I’ve learned so much from the comments. To think harder and longer before blurting something out. To be honest but not to hurt – it’s okay not to reply if there’s no way around hurting someone.

    To be myself, and yet find the courage to change what needs to be changed.
    To be myself, and yet find the courage not to change simply to fit in with my readers.

    But if you ask me what is the greatest lesson blogging has taught me, it would have to be not putting a noose around people and keeping them tethered to me – and strangely, I learned that important lesson by learning to give more than to expect to receive for myself. I learned that in a huge way from you, Ann, as well as from a few other precious readers, themselves bloggers too. I will be ever grateful for that learning because it is a lot of unnecessary suffering both to be yoked with others as it is to put the cuffs on others ourselves!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you are so right! The longer we blog, the more we realize that writing posts that please others isn’t important at all…what’s important is to write our own truth, in our own way, and just let the pieces fall where they may. And the crazy thing is that the more we do that, usually the better the response we get. I think that readers relate to the honesty, even if they don’t agree with everything we say. Because the greatest gift we can give each other is our genuine self. Honestly, that’s what drew me to your blog in the first place: you put your heart and soul into every post, and I can’t help but respond to that in a positive way. Please keep it up!! It’s a gift to all of us….

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I certainly can relate to this, for I did expect my closest friends and family to read my blog! I did not hold it against them, but I was disappointed. Oh well-you are so very right that to really know someone, we must take in to account who they are. The same can be said for ourselves. I have finally learned this. And, no one will call me when they need a ride to the airport, for more than one reason-Haha! You are so very sensible-thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I agree. All of our friends and family bring their own special contributions to our tribe. As for readers, I don’t think I have personally met anyone who reads my blog but feel like a great many I have met through blogging would be someone I would invite to my table often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a nice way to put it, Barbara! I’ve met some terrific people on the blogging world as well, and I’m also quite sure that they would be people I’d “invite to the table often” if they lived nearby. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  27. I usually don’t care if my family and friends read my blog, but I get annoyed if I send them a link and they do not read it. For example, someone asked me about my studies (I’m doing a 2nd University degree), as I knew it will be a while before we meet, I sent her a link to a round-up of my first term. When we met it was obvious she did not look at the blog at all. I don’t need to talk about University, but she asked and seemed very eager to know everything. Otherwise I’m not bothered. I have 3 blogs, on different topics, and I don’t expect anybody to read them.

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  28. I love this, Ann. Understanding our friends and family and adjusting our expectations to their strengths is the way to go. Having unrealistic expectations about someone stepping up or being discreet or getting us to the airport on time leads to disappointment. Better to be wise. And of course, that applies to friends and famliy reading our blogs. I have some who read it, but others don’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Barb! It took me a while to figure out that I can’t shape my expectations of friends and family around who I wanted them to be, but instead had to just accept and love them for who they really are. And once I did that, my expectations stopped being so unrealistic. I think a lot of misunderstandings can be avoided that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Even my wife rarely reads my blog, although once in a while she plays catch up. So it’s hard to get upset if others don’t. Although, once in a while I’ll run into a friend or family member and they’ll mention enjoying it, although I’ve assumed they don’t read it.

    If they do, great; if they don’t, that’s fine too. (But they don’t know what they’re missing. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hello.

    Great post. My daughter and son never read my posts. My daughter has read some of posts many years ago, when I posted some riding posts of her daughter. My friends they are not interest in in my blog, because they have other interests. Happily, I have some blog friends, nearly since the very beginning, who continue to read and show that they liked posts.

    My wife helps me with my posts, read them and tells, if the text was good enough. She also gives ideas for next posts!

    Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. None of my family or friends read my blog, so I’d have nothing but resentment if I made that a precondition for a real life relationship. Apart from not wanting to bum myself out by wallowing in anger, it’s helped me to realize it’s being able to say something and have anyone listen that’s the real important component.

    I was part of a church group once where it was obvious that everyone else there was starving for someone to listen to them…and I wasn’t. It’s a more profound need being met than many people realize, I bet. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you so much for this great write up,most of your post is inspiring, not quite long ,before I started reading this post I was caught with the thought that I have no friend who really care about me but after reading this post I understood that nobody is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Very true, Ann! I remember having felt a little disappointed when I learned that none of my friends and family were interested in my blog in the beginning. But with time learned exactly those things you’ve written about here, and that now it’s me who even thinks it’s actually quite good that they don’t read my blog – just in case I need to let out some steam. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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