Why Do People Attack Or Undermine Someone’s Happy Relationship?

Lisa Martin Molinari commented on the Gaslighting video (on youtube) regarding people who come on my blog to criticize my (happy) relationship:

Why do people do this? Is it an insecurity? I would think if they are criticizing your relationship when you are obviously happy, then they must be jealous. I have just gotten rid of several people in my life who are toxic like this. And, I do not miss their friendship…”

Lisa, what a great question. I talk to my friends about this a lot because it happens to me so frequently. Jealousy is one explanation but we have come up with some others. First, I don’t necessarily think the attacks are conscious. It’s very hard to tell. A person pointing out a flaw may actually think they are doing a service and not perceive their comments as an attack. It may be a pure lack of boundaries. On the other hand it could be completely malicious but designed to look otherwise.

My friend, satori had an interesting angle. She thought that some people want to appear especially intelligent or insightful by coming up with some angle no one else has thought of, even if the angle doesn’t exist except in their imagination. You know. 3 + 7 + 2 = 40 as anyone with any brains can plainly see. ::smiles::

Personal to me, or rather to us, there are some people who don’t like the soldier for any number of reasons, starting with the fact he is a soldier. So whatever is written is going to be twisted to fit the mold – “The soldier is an asshole”.

This same thing happens with me. If someone has me pegged as a whatever… person with an anger problem, control freak, insecure neurotic.. whatever it is that more likely describes them, then they are going to see this pathology in everything I write.

Now I have some other thoughts but here is my favorite theory: Some of these people are completely conscious and they want to provoke me by design. They simply want their ass kicked. They want to feel the edge of my knife and they don’t care what it costs them and there are any number of reasons why this might be.

For example, if I pound some man down, he just go himself a free session with a dominatrix! Pretty slick, huh? ::smiles:: Other people just want to be a victim and there are a million and one motivations for that as well.

So these are some of my thoughts – can you add anything? Here’s the original video, Gaslighting and if you can’t see it the premise… the facts in the case are this: Everyday I write about how much I love the man I with, how much he loves me and how happy I am.

People leave comments criticizing me, him or the both of us. They tell me what is wrong with us, sad about us, what we ought to fix or worry about… now why do you think they do it?

37 thoughts on “Why Do People Attack Or Undermine Someone’s Happy Relationship?”

  1. Because they can’t sit with themselves long enough to see what’s true for them, and what’s not. I mean, it’s one thing to be so dicombobulated by what you write or say that they click off the computer, go away, or in some cases, never return. It’s another thing to try to change you.. I’m quite aware that just because you invite comments, doesn’t mean you’re handing over ownership of this work of art you call elsaelsa.com.

  2. I also want to add this: We all have boundaries. Some are more sensitive to this reality than others. You’ve been writing about this too, and it’s been enlightening.

  3. Well, maureen, yes I invite comments but if all of your comments are: “you and/or your man have problems, how sad and scary this is…” At that point I don’t care what your reason is, you are going to be ejected.

    Because the fact is we do not have problems and to me this is akin to someone sitting in the front row at a comedy club heckling the comic on stage. “You’re not funny!” The comic may respond for awhile but after awhile it’s not longer worth the time or trouble… the show is better served by tossing the guy.

    Er.. I know this very well from tending bar (which I was born to do… this is now a running joke).

    Occasionally I would have a customer who gave me a bunch of shit. I would deal with it to a point but beyond the point it was, “Get the fuck out.” I have a job to do and it is far more important it gets done than some I protect someone’s right to be an asshole and whether they know they are an asshole or not is irrelevant because I am not in the “fix assholes business”, right? I am in entertainment! So if you degrade the entertainment, you’re out!

  4. It’s funny Elsa. When I read comments like that, i.e. “Elsa, maybe you need help…” I get a knot in my stomach. It’s like I’m the easily amused patron in the bar, sittin’ in the corner, shooting the shit, and… in walks the rabble-rouser. I just know my pool game’s gonna get interrupted and it sucks.

  5. One of my guesses is that your blog is a very creative endeavor and you use your own life to fuel your creativity and teach astrology. People who are not creative can be envious of your creativity or critical of your knowledge. Your knowledge of astrology can’t be attacked since you have mastered the subject so they go after your personal life.

  6. I suppose people feel better about their lack of knowledge or inability to be creative when they attack someone who has these things. They don’t have to feel less than others or actually DO something about the lack of these things in their life. Instead of saying wouldn’t it be great to have such an intimate, passionate and challenging relationship like Elsa and the Soldier, they say to themselves, something must be wrong, she or he must be crazy,this type of thing doesn’t exist…SOUR GRAPES.

  7. Isn’t criticism going to be part of the comments, though? Didn’t you set up the comments section to hear various people’s opinion, no holds barred? (I think about how I kind of felt bad answering the “what should we do differently on the site” question or the one where you asked the readers’ opinion on the shirts and I dissed most of them roundly… at the same time I was convinced that you wouldn’t be that bothered by the candor or anything anyone said on these two subjects because you asked their opinions anyway.)
    What is the dividing line between a criticism and an attack that should be blocked in the comments?

  8. “What is the dividing line between a criticism and an attack that should be blocked in the comments?”

    Dina – The line is when you piss off the bartender obviously.

    And I am not talking about asked for opinions I am talking about UN-asked for opinions.

    And I am not talking about an unasked for opinion here or there, either. I am talking about people who habitually attack me and/or the people I love. Why in the world would I host that? If you want to do that, make your own blog : I HATE ELSA! It’s not like you’d be the first. The first blog like that went up in 2001!

    It’s very simple. If you want to come to my bar then don’t sit and tell me how my boyfriend is a pussy all day. If you do sit and tell my boyfriend is a pussy all day and you make it a habit over some days or weeks, you are OBVIOULSY going to get booted eventually. I am going toss your ass in the street, however I have no problem if you go to the bar across the street and call my boyfriend a pussy. I could just care less as I will consider you the other bartender’s problem at that point and just be glad you’re fini in my place.

  9. bathtub conversation:

    “Someone wants to know where the line is. I told them when they piss off the bartender, that’s the line.’

    He laughed. “That’s not very clear.”

    “Well I was clear. if someone comes on there to say you’re a pussy..”

    “Someone thinks I am a pussy?” he said interrupting.

    “I don’t know. Maybe. Probably someone does but I don’t care about that. It’s when they do it all the time.”


    “like someone came on the other day and said cleaning bathrooms was all the military was good for. I had said you cleaned the bathroom and I don’t care about that! If you want to say you’re against the military, I don’t care. However if you start coming on every day, three times a day and all you want to say is soldiers and the military sucks and they are all worthless… well I am going to toss you eventually.”

    “Well you ought to tell someone like that, why don’t you get a hobby, and get off the ‘net!”

    “no, they can make their own life plans but you get my point. They just have to find a new blog and start the shit up over there which is exactly what they do.”

  10. i think some people just aren’t happy if they’re not fighting something. if they don’t have a good reason, they make up one….

  11. From my perspective, I believe that a lot of people are still very hung up viewing or dealing with a strong woman. Have you ever wondered if you would be getting this kind of reaction if you were a man posting what you do? I would bet it wouldn’t be happening or very minimally at least.

    For all the supposed gains that women have made in equality, there is still a strong resentment against a woman with a brain and an attitude of telling it like it is. This resentment doesn’t just come from men, the worst seems to come from other women a lot of the time.

    I notice that all the women you mention as friends, are very strong characters themselves, that are authentically open in speaking their thoughts. There is mutual respect.

    Even though I am sure you don’t always have constant agreement with your closest friends, you know you are getting the straight goods. To me that is a huge bonus.

    You aren’t living a run of the mill life, you are more into mythic proportions and that will always make you a target of some sort, even if you weren’t writing a very popular blog.

    Would you change and key it all down to make these people with issues stop using you as a trigger for their own shit? I know you won’t and that is why I am here daily to read and think about what you write. If I wanted boring and safe, there are an infinite number of other blogs to visit.

  12. I forgot to add that I think a huge amount of people grow illusionary balls on the net. What they feel quite free to post or write in messages, would not be the case in saying face to face.

    I think the majority of the types that are giving you a hard time in this aspect, if knowing you other than a hologram, would be sharpening their knives and going the hidden route in trying to cut you down to their boring small sized lives.

    Regardless, there is a price to pay in the end, since nothing on any level of “life” is insignificant. Intention is accountable. If we do or say something unkind or supposedly unconsciously to hurt another, it is going to be dealt with in some way. That’s just the way it is.

  13. Daemoness – thank you. It is interesting to think about intention. See, I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams imagine coming across a blog, ANY blog on the internet and setting up shop to annoy and/or reform someone. It’s just not something I can imagine doing so I appreciate you taking the time to explain this some. When you get right down to it, it’s the only access I have.

  14. And one more thing. Jealous? I have trouble figuring this out as well. Does it mean someone else out there would like to lose their child? Go through what I have? I am telling you, the concept is surreal from my perspective. This is another top topic ’round my inner circle. Picking on me is like kicking someone as they lay dying. What the hell is that going to for your karma, I wonder. “I’m going to go take that Elsa apart.”

    ::shakes head.

    You’ve really got to be a complete ass.

  15. Do you know what this reminds me of!?!??! This lady called “Springs1” whose quest is vilify the people who wait tables and bartend, and tell them what they do wrong and how disgusted she is that they aren’t her ideals. I mean, GOD!

    Look at all there is! Pointing projections!

    But I do have a question though. What if you’re just a naturally disruptive person? Like you just have this Uranus energy?

  16. I agree w/the boundary theory. On the internet, normal boundaries and societal norms have a way of being frequently transgressed if not completely trashed. It’s a venue that is perfect for psychological projection b/c the user is required to fill in sooooooo many gaps due to the paucity of communication cues.

    Something else I would suggest: some ppl can have an extremely low investment in what they write online (esp under a psuedonym) while others are heavily invested and this discrepancy can often lead to conflict. So some critical comments might be from your common variety internet troll. On the other extreme, some comments might be from really bizarro obsessive creeps. I’ve had to deal with both. You get all kinds online!

  17. Daemoness that is brilliant. Elsa, you could start another blog posing as a man and see how it’s different. Not that you would want to go to that much trouble, but it would be interesting to see the effect.

  18. Re: this phenomenon you’re talking about – I still remember a story from a good friend of mine. When her first child was born, she was telling me all these people (usually older women in her case) would start bossing her around in public. These people are complete strangers.

    In particular, she was getting some frozen peas or some shit out of the frozen case, and some woman scolded her about how her baby was going to catch a cold. From opening the freezer door for 10 seconds.

    MYOFB, I say.

  19. I find a good line that stops them cold is to ask them “Do I need your approval?”

    This might work better with nosy know-it-alls than with the straight-up crazy folk, though.

  20. I don’t even know why I am posting, because I have no answer to this question. I am totally baffled. I love hearing you write about how much you love the Soldier, and all the nuances of what’s good about it, because to me it seems a bottomless topic with an endless potential to be new and marvelous. This *could* be because I feel similarly about the man I am with, and I like hearing it because it echoes me. But I am actually quite sure that I would enjoy reading it anyway, because it gives me hope and inspiration and a sense that maybe there is joy on this earth because I have seen a lot of bad.

    And I read your above comment about how can people possibly be jealous of you, due to Mosta, and the only thing I can think of is it’s because you shield that part of your life because it’s so painful. I know, you write about it, but not as openly as you do about the Soldier which I completely understand. And so people read the beauty and happiness of your daily doings with Vidroid and the Soldier and they cannot understand the complete picture. Most people are here on the internet for a quick sound bite. They’re ready to react to a piece, not the whole.

  21. Elsa,

    Thanks for posting about Gaslighting. I have Venus Trine Neptune and I’m a Pisces. Very susceptible to this. I’ve noticied supposed good friends make me question my sanity and intuition.
    I didn’t know that there was a term for this. Keep up the inspirational work.

  22. Jealousy. The need to feel superior to you. Projecting their own fears and losses and guilt onto you. Because they are out of control on the inside, the self-delusion that they can control others on the outside (with criticism, shaming, belittling and judgment) calms their fears. This is the definition of a toxically co-dependent person. The anti-dote I use to deal with people like this? Having joy anyway. Living well anyway. Being yourself anyway, all of which you do with such magnificent panache, Elsa.

  23. Hi Elsa, I am not on here frequently, but I do enjoy your blog. Don’t you and your man run the Taurus-Scorpio energy polarity? Isn’t that about coming down hard on people if they are not behaving correctly? It just sounds to me like you are teaching a lot of plutonian types to get a grip – I think that until people come into their own personal sense of power, they will take their power struggles out into an open forum, and they can see you and your man as a target. I would say it is immature.

    I have pluto conjunct my north node in Virgo and Chiron conjunct South node in Pisces in Second and Eighth house – and I have had to become aware of how to get rid of false friends, gas-lighting, and making people stay within their box if they are not behaving correctly. I think some folks have a natural aggressivity that needs to be checked, and I think your remark about coming down on them is accurate.

    Hope I did not share too much –

    BTW – I have sun in Taurus.


  24. I completely get that. They must be testing your limits assuming you are a marshmellow and will take it – or are too diplomatic to object.

    I prefer to think of mine as a sword – Mars in Leo conjunct Ascendent – . Took a long time to grow into that warrior family, but that is what I have. Really helped a whole lot with that Pisces South node – over the years I have cultivated “the Look” that is usually enough. 🙂

  25. Have you ever watched the movie This Film Is Not Yet Rated? The film is relevant on more then one front. One of the points made concerns the depiction of woman and the experience of pleasure. This is censored and really is not about sexuality per se, rather about a women’s power and freedom to express –the more powerful and free the women is, the more likely a movie will be censored, sometimes without specific scenes pointed out, which of course drives the film maker up the wall.
    Anyway my take now is that consciously or not, gaslighters are threatened by power.

  26. it’s nice to see on the internet what people’s thoughts are. you dont get that too much in real life. where people are refrained due to social graces.

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