So Much Negativity! Why?

Negativity?  I’d like to call it what it is…..ABUSE.   It is not even verbal abuse because these abusers do not have the guts to speak out loud but hide behind their phone or computer screens. In the case of professional riders who have been subjected to this abuse I think it is unconscionable. It is my sincere hope that those of us who are in the rational and real world, will recognize this abuse for what it is, and continue to appreciate the riding  and horsemanship of those we look up to and respect.

Last week I encountered an onslaught of negativity. First, a friend and professional rider, for whom I have great respect, received an excessively negative comment on Facebook, on an interview article that told of this rider’s journey through difficult times. The article was inspirational but the person commenting was both insulting and denigrating.

Second, I commented on a post by a fellow blogger who had put up a good post about how difficult it is to ride a horse straight. I commented that I liked the post and thought she had done a good job with topic.  The blogger replied that mine was the only positive comment received and all other comments had been very negative so my comment was much appreciated.

Third, I received a vitriolic comment on my personal Facebook page about a link to a post on my blog Horse Addict. This comment insulted my training, my riding and finally stated that my horse’s training was a product of inhumane treatment. My response was to unfriend the person and remove the post from my personal page. I also posted that I would no longer post links to my blog on my personal page.  I posted on my Horse Addict Leueen page on Facebook , which is a page I manage, that I would not tolerate negativity and that anyone posting excessively negative comments would be banned and their comments removed. I said I appreciated  comments but that Negative Nellies and Nelsons  should go elsewhere.

This was almost a “Three Strikes You’re Out” week for me with Facebook. But I know that there are many people, fellow horse people, who come to my blog through Facebook, especially for my coverage of the competitions in the Florida winter season, the clinics I attend with some of the top riders and trainers, and the coverage of events such as the  World Equestrian Games.  People who are not able to attend these events in person seem to appreciate my blog posts.  I know there are many other excellent websites that offer coverage, scores and appraisal of rides. But I think that some people seem to enjoy my posts as I usually just give information about the atmosphere, the rides without any critiquing, and quotes from the clinicians.  For my blog post on the Carl Hester Masterclass last winter there were more than 12,000 views in the first month and the majority of those came from and continue to come from Facebook. If I was to depart from Facebook entirely I would loose those readers.   I will continue and see how it goes.

I have never had negativity from my followers at WordPress. This group of horsey and non-horsey people are always positive and supportive and I thank you all for that!

I want to state, for the record,  that my two coaches, Belinda Trussell and Luis Denizard are both equestrians who put the welfare of the horse first and foremost. And they would not teach anyone who did not share that priority of horse first, rider second.

I always, without fail, do the best for my horse, and  always consider  his well being before my own goals or ambitions.

I am at a loss to understand why there are people who are so bitter and twisted that they spew out abusive comments on social media.   What is lacking  in their lives that they seek pleasure in doing this?  Are they so frustrated that they seek to bring down those who have achieved some level of success?

For this post I am not showing any photos of horses.  Instead I offer you a photo of a male American Goldfinch.  He is waiting on the star magnolia for a turn at the gold finch feeder in our garden.

As a fellow blogger Avery at AHA Moments always says:  “Walk in love, Dear Readers!” Let us do that. Let us walk in love.

goldfinch-9700

 

60 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m reading it only now, but I have to say … that’s kinda norm for FB nowadays. Horrible.. but there are ppl who is enjoying negativity and negative comments/posts. The world is mad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree about FB and i think there a lot of sad resentful people out there. That’s why I’ve decided to keep flying the positivity banner!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes you are right 🙂
        I’m usually sharing post there, but I do not communicate much. Fb ppl are annoying.. or mad. Or both? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Possibly both in varying quantities! 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alix says:

    One, I think your response to the excessively negative comments on your personal social media was well thought out and proportional. Well done. I’m new to the blogging world and I agree with you. I have experienced nothing but positive comments and support from the WordPress community.

    Two, as a fellow equestrian (although my riding days were long ago) it’s easy to criticize something so subtle and difficult to master. Much of the skill and hard work is hidden within the performance. It takes experience and understanding to look deeper and see the effort behind the grace.

    Third, animal cruelty is a hot button issue. And too often I think those who want to create sensationalist drama use those who act with nothing but respect and kindness towards their equine partners to further their own cause. It’s sad and unnecessary.

    Continue on my friend. I enjoy your work immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much Alix i appreciate this well reasoned and thoughtful comment!

      Like

  3. My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that you and others have gotten negative posts about what you write. I pretty much figure F them and their negative feedback. Post like u would and block those who have nothing nice to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. appreciate your comment and I agree.I do intend to carry on!

      Like

  4. Emma Cownie says:

    So sorry that you have had this experience, Anne. There was a lot of righteous anger here, good for you. It’s odd that people don’t consider the impact of their words on others. So many people lack empathy, especially on social media (also in politics too, sadly). It’s interesting that you say that wordpress bloggers have been positive – I have always found people really encouraging and I draw a lot from their comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes. WP comments are always supportive. I also got a lot of support from FB followers and put up a post about the support yesterday. The “Positivity Brigade” is alive and well. Thanks so much for your positive comment Emma.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Rab says:

    Anne, So sorry for the hard, discouraging comments. The old adage of sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me is not right. I’d take a physical beating any day. Having a hurting heart is far worse than a black and blue bruises! One thing about something you said about your horses….I have never even had an inkling of a thought about you not loving, caring for and protecting your horse just as you would yourself! You are fantastic with both horses, and people! Stay strong my friend! I appreciate you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much for this kind comment Jeff. I have had such tremendous support from Facebook followers and fellow bloggers. Yesterday i posted my response and thanks to everyone ” the Positivity Brigade Fires Back”.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tina Schell says:

    So very sad that people feel the need to be negative Anne. I once was blasted by a fellow blogger about photos I posted of workmen at work. I didn’t understand…who did I think I was…blah, blah, blah. I was quite upset but eventually realized he was the one with the problem, not me. And same for you. Agree 100%—share the love and stay positive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think we have to let it go and stay positive and loving. Life is too short for any other approach. Thanks for your comment and sharing your encounter with negativity.

      Like

  7. Lizzy says:

    That’s terrible that you were on the receiving end of someone’s negative and mean thoughts…Biasini, trained by inhumane training methods???!! Well, of all the things!!! You are, seriously, one of the kindest horse owners ever…it is very obvious that Biasini loves you and that you take wonderful care of him and think of him first. We need to just love, and not hate! LOVE not HATE!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I have had such a wonderful response to this post that I have just posted a response….The Positivity Brigade Fires Back. Thanks Lizzy for your supportive comment.

      Like

  8. starboundeq says:

    I have a few close friends who have been dealing with a certain troll for about 4 years now. It’s unfortunate how many people will follow her lead. However, I always say, you know you’re doing something right when people want to tear you down. Just keep your head up and keep doing the right thing. The universe will take care of the rest. ❤
    Thank you for speaking out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      And thank YOU for this supportive comment.

      Like

  9. Tonia says:

    “Haters gonna hate.”

    I am really sorry you experienced this, and even more sorry that this kind of thing has become an accepted “norm” of modern life (a life that is increasingly lived online).

    I like to believe people are mostly good. However I see so many examples of how the worst in people is brought out by the cozy anonymous cocoon that the internet provides. Our ancient brains aren’t made for modern technology, and there are very real side effects when the majority of our connections and interactions now happen virtually rather than in the physical world.

    I know elementary kids who learned to write letters on a tablet first before ever learning how to hold a pencil and put it to paper. And while pediatricians all across the country are calling for ZERO SCREEN TIME before 3 years of age, and EXTREMELY LIMITED screen time before the age of 13, due to tech addiction and the mental health and developmental side-effects, here in WI there is a grant for all elementary, middle and high school kids to have tablets in school starting in Kindergarten.

    Online bullying (and higher suicide rates as a result) is real, and tech addiction (and delayed development, learning disorders, attention disorders, depression, addictive behaviors, etc. as a result–even in very young children) is real, and more than worrisome.

    So, thanks for this post and for not just silently accepting and dealing with this issue. It’s not normal and it’s not OK.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Tonia for this supportive and heartfelt response to the post. It is very worrying to see the addiction ( I’m not using the term lightly!) to the small screens of phones and tablets among young people.I have a four year old grandson and he has a tablet that has games on it. He is not at the addcited stage now and his parents do encourage other activities and read books to him. But I can see how easily it escalates. I am grateful that when my kids ( now 30 and 32) were growing up there were not tablets, and computers did not arrive till at least grade 6 and neither of my kids had cell phones till they were in university. I don’t envy parents now with all the tech influx into their lives. Once again thank you for a wonderful comment.

      Like

  10. Very sorry to hear about yet more examples of this unpleasant and unacceptable behavior, which just seems to continue to spread.
    I read somewhere, that years ago, Germany was considering a new system of license plates for cars, that would include the owners’ names and addresses. The article indicated that people were driving too recklessly and aggressively on the autobahns, and according to one theory, the dangerous drivers were people who felt too constrained or powerless in their lives, and were taking advantage of the anonymity of the highway, to vent and act badly, as a kind of release,or I suppose, revenge. So publicly displaying the drivers’ identity was proposed, to dissuade them from bad behavior.
    The anonymity is a big part of the problem, but what seems especially amazing, is that some of these “trolls” actually do display their identity, and apparently feel no sense of shame for their rotten behavior.
    I’m positive that you won’t let the negativity win! 🙂 In my limited experience, WP really has been a terrific forum for open, fair-minded discussions and interesting comments. cheers, RPT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robert! Interesting about the German idea of anonymity affecting driving. There may well be something in that! I am certain that the anonymity of social media does lend itself to cyber bullying. But I agree with you that there are some people who thrive on being known for it. In the dressage world there has been a person ( I will not give the the pleasure of naming them or their website!) who has a website that specialized in abusing professional riders and editing videos to make these riders look, at best, incompetent and at worst, as abusive to their horses. This website had 20,000 followers. Then the tide began to turn as others complained to the companies that were advertising on this site and there were enough complaints and threats of product boycotts that the advertisers withdrew their ads. Then the person running the site asked viewers to pay for a membership. The numbers dropped down to almost nothing. WP is a great place to be and a safe place too. Thanks again for your interesting and thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry people suck so bad. I will never understand the internet trolls. They must be very unhappy people in real life to have to bring down others on a public forum whom they have never met. Thankfully most horse bloggers are super helpful and supportive as a whole.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree that the horse bloggers that I have encountered on WordPress are very supportive and positive. I think the negative people are a sad lot who must not have any other sources of gratification in their lives. Thanks for this comment I appreciate it.

      Like

  12. There will always be bullies. Because hurt people hurt people. Just know Anne, that you are a beautiful person inside and out and let those arrows from your enemies bounce right off!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Jo Ann! I agree with you. I have seen the bullies as sad people but hurt people makes a lot of sense. They have been hurt and they , in turn, hurt others. I am fine and carrying on as always. I am grateful for all the support I have received.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ben Aqiba says:

    Sorry to hear that Anne,

    but it is something unexplainable.They’re bombing us from all sides with negative news,about terrorist attacks, about war. But we must stay positive no matter what

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You’re right Ben we must stay positive. Thank you!😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so sorry to hear this, Anne.
    I guess some people get a twisted joy in bringing others down to the same level of misery that they are in.
    But don’t let them get to you! Just keep up the great work! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Gayle! I intend to keep on. Thanks for the support.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Charlotte Gomez says:

    Unfortunately, as you say, some people love to bring others down and nasty comments can really really hurt! All you can do is ignore it or personally message the horrible people and tell them where to go! The worst I received was yesterday, on my recent vlog from the person my mum bought my previous horse of for 10 years. Despite posting a very risky vlog of me expressing my true sad emotions and explaining why I was so upset, he still went on to comment on the video with a laughing face and nothing else. I was so hurt and for sure, I won’t be speaking with him again if I ever see him again out at shows….I have no time for nasty online trolls, but from my experience, there are SO many more lovely people out there than horrible, negative people (who are 99% of the time just jealous). You’re an incredible rider, and you always make me smile with your positive, lovely comments on my blog! Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Charlotte! I appreciate your support and hope to see you back with smiling vlogs!

      Like

  16. Hi Anne! Thank you for pointing this out, people are ready to critique but not willing to uplift. I love reading everything you post and all the pictures you share with us. We are so fortunate to learn from the knowledge your coaches share, we are here because we share the love for horses. Please do not let that interrupt what you generously provide for horse addicts!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and i intend to keep on. I don’t think the negative Nellies and Nelsons should dampen the spirit of those who truly care about horses.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Judy says:

    There are people who are paid to troll others, and there are people who simply enjoy being trolls. There are also those who think they know more than anyone else and are bound and determined to make sure the rest of the world falls in line with their thinking. On social media, I’ve been called a liar and an idiot. I took pleasure in deleting my comment, which deleted their comments as well. As to negative comments on my blog, it’s my blog. I’ve deleted comments before, and I’ll have no trouble doing it again. I suppose it comes from having grown up under the constant criticism of my mother. I let it affect me for far too long. Then I realized she needed to make me small; in her world, we could not exist in the same space, i.e., either I disappeared or she did. Her problem, not mine. Sadly, too many people don’t know how to scroll on by when they see something that doesn’t sit right with them. Ignore them; they hate that. 🙂 Looking forward to more horse posts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Dear Judy! We have something in common….Mothers for whom we could not be good enough or do anything right. I actually moved to another continent when I grew up to be free and on my own. I decided to post this about negativity because in the [ast year I have seen it affecting many of teh best professional riders in dressage and some of them are also friends of mine and I just thought : ENOUGH! Thank you for this comment. It means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Judy says:

        Good for you! I had the opportunity to move to England, and I sometimes wish I’d taken it. Water under the bridge now. I think of the adorable video of the little 4-year-old girl barrel racing. People complained about how mean she was to her horse because she was kicking. She’s four. Reading the horse, he was clearly having a great time, and the girl was more along for the ride. It really was adorable, but people who have no clue viewed it through their narrow lens, proclaiming judgment. People are so desperate to stand for what they think is right they’ve forgotten about doing their homework to make sure they know what they’re talking about. They’re offering their opinion like it’s God’s truth. A painfully difficult lesson to unlearn from my mother. She was wrong, about a lot of things.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thanks for this comment Judy. I am so grateful for the suupport. And you are right people rush to judge when they should not.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “Ignore them; they hate that.” Sage advice, Judy.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. The reason i hate facebook.

    People on wordpress are angels i swear.

    And you are doing great job. I admire you as a human and the life you have lead so far.

    Some people just are like that. We all love you for your passion.

    Ignore and move on. You and your friends are greater people than them.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Juli Hoffman says:

    I’m so sorry you and your friend had a rough time! I don’t understand the troll mentality…other than I feel like it’s a mental health issue on the part of the negative commenter. (That’s what I usually assume, anyway.) This DOESN’T mean I roll over and take the abuse, but it’s easier to delete without the emotional baggage. “Wow! I hope this person finds some help!” Delete comment/Inform Facebook Admins.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think they may be a half a bubble off trim . I felt it was time to stand up and say something however. Thanks so much for your supportive comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. aghisla says:

      Maybe not medical “mental health”, but “mental well-being”, or “mental balance”? I feel that it’s really easy to get into heated discussions about principles and big ideas on Facebook, to forget the practical situation it started from, and to make everything into extremes.

      Anne, I find that shielding you from negativity by being firm against bad and unproductive comments can work well, even if it costs a bit of time and energy. You showed to care for Biasini’s health and mental well-being, and to pay attention to other people’s points of view, so those negative comments have really no place to be 🙂

      Good vibes from sunny Germany!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. anne leueen says:

        Thank you for the good vibes! They are much appreciated.😀

        Liked by 2 people

  20. I know what you mean and it is all too sad that this is what society has come to.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. DressageAddict.ca says:

    You are so right! There are more than a few people out there who seem to find “success” in creating controversy, and who thrive on negativity. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and even easier to do so anonymously with strangers on the internet. Thank you for continuing to promote positivity and open, productive discussions about the ups and downs of the dressage journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      And thank you for this positive comment!

      Like

  22. I hear this so often and never understand it. It’s so sad that people find it so easy to post negative comments and to just be generally mean to others online. 😦 It does say far more about them though than the person who they leave the comments for.
    I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with it this week, but I am glad you have decided to keep your fb page as me and Dizzy greatly enjoy seeing your posts on there. 🙂
    And this little goldfinch is beautiful! xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this supportive comment. I agree that it is the abusers who are the dysfunctional ones! I will keep on with the horse addict leueen page so don’t worry! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Robyn says:

    I am so sorry you and the others mentioned had to go through all that negativity. I got attacked once and it really feels awful. I really enjoy your blog and even though you got some negative feedback – I say it is that person and not you or your posts. Please continue to share as I feel tons of people love your blog and that negative nilly can go fly a kite!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robyn! I do believe that the negative nellies are sad people. But there is a lot of it around and i thought it was time to stand up for positivity! I appreciate your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Avery says:

    ❤ Keep spreading the love and positivity! Thank you Anne Leueen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Avery! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Nilzeitung says:

    Oh my God how cute is the color the color; !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes they are very bright. The males are attracting the females with this yellow!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nilzeitung says:

        Oh a my God man learn always to (nature has a boss on every way)! great great great PIX!

        Liked by 1 person

  26. WolfSong says:

    I’m sorry you and others were treated badly. 😦
    I know it all too well. Been there, had it happen.

    People forget, I think, that there are other people on the other end of the computer, and forget how to speak to them respectfully.
    It’s okay to disagree with people, but it’s never okay to be an a**hole…sadly, there are far too many of the hole-d variety of humans out there lately.

    All we can do is try to counteract their hole-iness with positivity, and not let the holes win. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Thank you for the support and i think we must stand up and be positive!

      Like

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