When Readers Expect an Apology

Sometimes readers just don’t get it.

You wrote a little snarky post, hit publish and headed off to bed. Come morning you learned your little post was responsible for ruining lives. Hell, the post probably even broke up a marriage or two. Who woulda thunk? Certainly not you.

You try to figure it out. Maybe, you think, the readers don’t really know you. They didn’t get it, or your “special” brand of humor that day. You turned them off, pissed them off, and now they want an apology.

What do you do?

Develop an eff you attitude? Attempt to explain the post? Bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away? Me, I like to bury.

I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post here on Babble, Dear Know-It-All People Without Kids, Shut the %$#@ Up. Obviously folks would embrace the humor of the post. Obviously.

They didn’t. Perhaps obviously.

In fact, a lot of people freaked the eff out. Mommyish decided it was worth writing an entire article about, dubbing me the “reason that people hate parents”. Wowzers, I’m honored.

Dude, the piece was funny. I mean, I thought it was funny. The people who knew me thought it was funny. But I guess it wasn’t. Funny, that is. When did parenthood become so damn serious? I guess that’s a post for another day…

OK, so being misunderstood is part of the blogging game and even if you’re tough enough to withstand the grave misunderstanding, it becomes overwhelmingly clear when readers expect an apology.

Did I apologize? No way. I took to my own blog to vent (obvs) and then wrote a follow-up post where I flipped the coin, Dear Know-It-All Parents, Shut the %$#@ Up because fair is fair. Unfortunately for me, readers interpreted the post as a feeble apology.

Look, I’ve been sorry for posts in my past. I’ve hurt people I never intended to. But this STFU post was never a post I felt the need to apologize for. And even if I did, I’d rather take it as a lesson learned than compose an apology perfectly ripe for criticism.

I guess the moral of the long-winded blog post is this: Say what you have to say boldly without apology. They won’t always get you. They won’t always love you. But at least you said it. Oh, and be damn sure you’re ready to say it before you ever hit publish.

Have you ever apologized for a blog post?

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