Support is great. If someone is feeling down, needs reassurance, is worried, wants advice, etc. etc. then this community does a brilliant job of responding to that need.
I often wonder, though, if support is sometimes given that does more harm than good.
Let’s say someone posts about some discipline he or she is receiving. Commenters flock with criticism, judgment, and disparaging remarks about the discipline and both parties involved in the relationship.
It’s easy to see how this can be harmful, right? We can’t know everything that is going on, and so to jump to conclusions can hurt what that couple is trying to achieve. Accusations can get emotional quite quickly.
However, sometimes I wonder if we can be too quick to shut down criticism. Sure, people can say things thoughtlessly. Many do. But does that always mean what they say has no validity?
The criticism that makes me the most angry/hurt/upset is usually the criticism that touches on something I am secretly most concerned about. If someone accused me of being an 80-year-old man pretending to be Ana, I’d laugh. If someone accused me of being a vanilla person just pretending to write about spanking in order to get attention, I’d laugh too.
But if someone accused me of writing sick stories that showed an unhealthy relationship? I’d be upset. I worry about that, too.
I might instead think about how the dynamic of dominance and submission has a lot of layers and very easily can be used for harm as well as good.
Or how the exact behavior in a male dominant is perceived differently that in a female dominant. How a woman who is dominant is generally portrayed as a sexual object even if she is, in name, dominating.
How strong women are viewed as threatening.
Then I might go back to my writing and say, “Wow, I never thought about all of this before.”
It would give a new layer to my understanding.
All because of a criticism.
What gifts have you received from criticism?