Ramblings: Am I Wrong?

The story behind my poem, Am I Wrong?


Since the beginning of 2017 I have been using Meetup as a means of socialising and such. For those who don’t know, it’s a website/app where people create groups revolving around particular interests, activities, character traits, etc. which others join and everybody meets up and (maybe) makes friends.

One group I was a member of recently was creative writing orientated; something that I, as a writer of poems, felt would be suitable. On Monday I left the group, after the group organiser labelled me as narrow-minded during a discussion about coverage of mental health in magazines. This was particularly unnecessary, especially as I was the only person involved in the discussion who was actually listening to everybody else’s point of view. I was also the only person everybody else was refusing to even listen to. Obviously when I left the group, I sent a message to the orgnaniser informing him of my reasons and suggesting he either refrain from insulting people in the future, or at least apologise (something he didn’t do for me).

Yesterday (Tuesday) I received the following reply:

Actually, no.

You should be the one apologising to me! Because when I spoke of the MeetUp I had just attended prior to the creative writing one last week, you made an extremely demeaning remark, saying that those kinds of people (which included me!) should get a grip / get a life. Not only was that rude to say to me (an organiser that had accepted your presence at my MeetUps) but it was also quite rightly a narrow minded thing to say, as well as very unaccepting and actually hurtful.

In the spirit of frankness, I’m tired of your constant negative attitude and remarks at the MeetUps and it can be tolerated no longer. There have been several occasions where you’ve offended me and other members of the group. I’ve actually had complaints about you, which to this point I’ve spared you from. E.g one time when people in the group clearly identified as taking photos of what they eat/drink and putting it up on their social media (me included!) you then turned around and said such people need to “fuck off!” How dare you?!

If it truly bothers you, what others say and think of you, and I sincerely mean this, then you need some self awareness in what you say, the way in which you say it, how you come across and make other people feel. This requires empathy. You come across very difficult and stand off’ish. Your message to me today is a good example of this.

The very first meet up you said ”just to warn you, writing groups like this don’t last long”. There are people like me who dedicate time, effort and energy and pay three figure sums every year to MeetUp, in order to organise groups and just connect people together. We do our best and expect nothing in return. Although some support and appreciation goes a long way. It’s people like you with your unsupportive negativity that I believe make it difficult to keep the motivation alive to keep these groups going!

I think my group will be better off without your ‘input’, so you’re no longer welcome to any of my group’s MeetUps. To make it clear you’re banned.

Have a good day.

P.S. Don’t bother messaging back

And then he blocked me from responding, for good measure. So seeing as I can’t put him straight on every single point, I will do so here and allow you all to be the jury.

1)
“You should be the one apologising to me! Because when I spoke of the MeetUp I had just attended prior to the creative writing one last week, you made an extremely demeaning remark, saying that those kinds of people (which included me!) should get a grip / get a life. Not only was that rude to say to me (an organiser that had accepted your presence at my MeetUps) but it was also quite rightly a narrow minded thing to say, as well as very unaccepting and actually hurtful.”

This is just plain wrong. The meetup the organiser had just attended was for Highly Sensitive Person‘s. I made a lighthearted remark that a lot of people today would be classed as highly sensitive, in the way offence is taken at literally everything, and those people need to “get a grip.” I proceeded to make it very clear I was not directing that comment at people who actually do identify as an HSP. Whether he chose to pay attention to what I said is his problem, not my own.

2)
“In the spirit of frankness, I’m tired of your constant negative attitude and remarks at the MeetUps and it can be tolerated no longer. There have been several occasions where you’ve offended me and other members of the group. I’ve actually had complaints about you, which to this point I’ve spared you from. E.g one time when people in the group clearly identified as taking photos of what they eat/drink and putting it up on their social media (me included!) you then turned around and said such people need to “fuck off!” How dare you?!”

What I actually said was that when I see such photos appear on my Facebook/Instagram feed my first thought is ‘Fuck off, I don’t care.’ And obviously the only photos I even see on social media are posted by my friends and people I choose to follow. Which again I made sure to clarify at the time. There was never any hint of malice in what I said, nor could my words have been mistaken by those involved in the conversation as being a general statement. But again, the organiser chose to ignore context and logic and focus only on a tiny portion of what I said.

Also within this particular conversation arose the subject of coffee. I, jokingly (which everybody understood), said that people who order anything other than a normal coffee can “fuck off.” So basically people who drink cappuccinos, frappuccinos, lattes and the like. This actually became a running joke at future meetups whenever anybody would have a coffee based drink that wasn’t an Americano (that’s apparently what tossers call a normal coffee). So I can only assume that anybody who complained about me did so without understanding the context of the conversation. Which can in no way be my fault.

3)
“If it truly bothers you, what others say and think of you, and I sincerely mean this, then you need some self awareness in what you say, the way in which you say it, how you come across and make other people feel. This requires empathy. You come across very difficult and stand off’ish. Your message to me today is a good example of this.”

When I meet people for the first time, I actually tell them that I am cynical and sarcastic, and negative about many aspects of society today. I am fully aware that I come across as a negative person, because I am. And I know I do not come across as stand offish due to the fact I was forever involved in conversations and discussions in the group, not even initiated by myself. People would strike it up with me, because they knew I would be open to discussion.

4)
“The very first meet up you said ”just to warn you, writing groups like this don’t last long”. There are people like me who dedicate time, effort and energy and pay three figure sums every year to MeetUp, in order to organise groups and just connect people together. We do our best and expect nothing in return. Although some support and appreciation goes a long way. It’s people like you with your unsupportive negativity that I believe make it difficult to keep the motivation alive to keep these groups going!”

I remember that first meetup with the group. Yes, I did warn the organiser that creative writing groups, at least in the Birmingham area, do not last long. I had joined several similar groups beforehand, with every single one folding after fewer than six meetups. And after offering this gentle ‘warning’ I proceeded to state where I felt each group had gone wrong, and how this group could perhaps achieve longevity. I was not negative, but actually positive. I offered advice at the very start. I thanked him after each meetup, offered encouragement to those attending that were unsure of their writing capabilities. I engaged with people. I was actually one of the most supportive people there.

5)
“I think my group will be better off without your ‘input’, so you’re no longer welcome to any of my group’s MeetUps. To make it clear you’re banned.
Have a good day.
P.S. Don’t bother messaging back”

Part of what helped that group last as long as it has was the organiser putting into practice the advice and suggestions I offered at the very first meetup. He then banned me from a group I had already left. And he blocked me from responding to his message, meaning I can’t put him straight on any of his false narrative.


As an extra point, I spent two months suffering from an excruciating back problem which left me in near constant agony. I also suffer from depression, which was understandably made slightly worse due to the physical pain I had to endure. And the unbearable temperatures we’ve had here recently prevented me from sleeping well or really being able enjoy any recreational time. This is likely a contributing factor to my ‘negative attitude’ as I would not have been in the most brilliant of moods. And, as with everything else, I was very open about my physical and mental issues.

I know I am not the ray of sunshine. I don’t spread warmth and joy wherever I go. I see the glass as half empty if it is being emptied, and half full if it is being filled. I don’t pander to the sensitivities of every single person. I don’t go through life as though I’m walking on eggshells, always treading lightly for fear of what could happen. When involved in a debate or discussion I will ensure my viewpoint gets heard, and will always listen to those of others. I’m not the easiest person to get along with, but I’m one of the easiest to know what your getting into with.

The way I see it, this response to me leaving the group due to an unacceptable remark by the organiser, who failed to offer any apology, is uncalled for; full of lies and proof of his own ignorance. And surely if people had genuinely complained about me, it was his duty to raise any concerns with me from the start and ask for me to tone down or something.

So please, tell me, am I wrong?

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5 Comments

  1. Matt, what others think of you should not matter because no one knows you better than yourself. There is no need to justify yourself to anyone. If you think you are right, then you are right. Nothing else matters.
    Not even my or anyone else’s opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ☺
      This was one of those times I just needed to vent. Tired of people lying or giving false representations of the truth, just to avoid acknowledging their own problems.

      Liked by 1 person

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