Luke wrote:Okay, Greg, I will give you some constructive criticism. From those posts of yours I have read, it seems like that your replies often come across as a bit harsh and cynical--sort of like a small squirt of orange juice in the eyes of the reader. lol I'm not sure how much of that is due to your personality and how much of that is due to the fact that you aren't a native speaker of English (some cultures are more harsh and direct; others are very indirect and are more gentle with criticism). I know that you are very intelligent, but perhaps you don't always realize the exact feeling you will create in the reader when you're writing in English.
The harshness is a consequence of my personality. I was born, raised and educated in New Zealand and Australia. My parents were Greeks that immigrated to Australia. I moved to Greece about 17 years ago. Weird situation: in NZ and Australia I was always considered a "Greek", now in Greece I am considered a "foreigner".
So my advice to you is to make your replies somewhat less harsh and cynical sounding. If fewer people are paranoid that your replies are really just indirect insults, then I think fewer people will insult you.
This may be quite true. I have a problem with being brutally honest, calling a spade a spade. Some people don't appreciate that trait. Sometimes I can get quite nasty, especially when I am badgered. Having had to deal with a fair bit of racist bullying in my past, I have developed a propensity to "come out swinging". Not the best of habits. But, really, I used to be a lot worse. Buddhist practice has helped a great deal.
I also believe that this medium of communication, the internet, does not catch any of the nuances of face to face communication. A person may write something that seems agressive, but if one was to be able to see their facial or bodily expressions, it would be clear that it is out of a sense pain or suffering, rather than anger and hatred.
Sarcastic humor (which I learnt in Australia) is another mode of expression that doesn't work well on the internet. It is a mode that, in real life, I use quite often...
With the eye of wisdom we discover a lot of anger in us, any amount of jealousy, resentment, ignorance, desire - mountains of emotion whose existence we would never have suspected in ourselves... We recognize that most of the faults we perceive in others are only the mirror of our own negativity, the reflection of our own disturbed feelings... At the same time, we relieve the world around us of the burden of our own negative judgements."
Gendun Rinpoche Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master