Re: Breastfeeding for comfort

Pam Sorooshian

On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 9:44 AM, Mary Kocak <> wrote:

I am new here and I am almost afraid to post. Afraid I might say something

If you post something inappropriate for the list, moderators will let you
know on the side. But, otherwise, the worst thing that can happen here is
that some people strongly disagree with you and respond with criticisms of
whatever you said. That's the worst! And even if that happens, you would
have said what you wanted to say and a couple of thousand people (probably)
would have read it and they can decide for themselves what they think about

AND if it happens that people do critique what you said or how you said it,
then you get a great opportunity to examine it yourself from a different
perspective. That is a good thing. If we can get over being defensive, it
really helps us learn and grow. It is unlikely that you have friends or
relatives who are going to critique you in that way and it is a gift to be

When this gift is offered to people who don't expect or want it feels
personal and hurtful to them. So we try, on this list, to be as clear as we
can possibly be that we are here for the purpose of engaging in active
critical analysis of any and all ideas posted.

There are times I think the criticisms are completely off-base. There are
times I think the critiquer has misunderstood the original poster's idea.
There are times I think the critiques could be offered in more helpful ways
- explained more, been a little gentler, been a little more to the point,
etc. In other words, there are times I feel the urge to critique the
critiques. But I resist that urge. I have learned to accept and appreciate
that there are different ways of expressing ideas and that what seems
brilliant to me might seem worthless to someone else. I have learned, over
time, whose ideas are generally most useful to me and I tend to pay more
attention to those and less to others. I have learned that what I have to
say will not be appreciated by everyone and that no matter how good my own
intentions, there will be people who take offense to the exact same posts
that other people appreciate.

I have also learned that people often do not read carefully. They very
often skim and don't see qualifiers. When I say, for example, "Maybe you
should consider that your stepson might be angry about the divorce and
blame you, " a person will respond angrily and defensively about what a
great relationship she has with her stepchild. But the word "maybe" at the
beginning of that sentence means what it says - "maybe" this is something
you should consider - maybe. It doesn't mean I'm accusing her of being a
bad stepmother - it means that this is an idea to consider, that he might
possibly be angry. That seems a lot better advice than saying, "I'm sure
you are a wonderful stepmother and he's got no reason for behaving the way
he is." What good does that do?

I don't know of anywhere else outside of a therapeutic relationship where
you can get this kind of direct, critical, and honest feedback. Over the
years, I have very often been amazed at the insights expressed here. I have
sometimes reacted emotionally and felt something was harshly said, and I
have felt defensive, but it is worth it to take the risk and learn to get
over it. I have learned SO much about myself and relationships and
parenting and, really, about living, through the interactions here.


Join to automatically receive all group messages.