Wednesday Worries: Recommendations

So last week, I launched my new weekly blog post, Wednesday Worries, in which I share one of the stupid things I worry about, and then sit back and wait for people to tell me that I’m not alone. Last time, it was reassuring to hear that others find driving just as stressful as I do. So let’s move on to…

Recommendations

This is a tough one, because, like most people, if I discover a book that I love, or watch a great film, I want to tell my friends about it. But doing that also fills me with terror, because what if they don’t like it? And then what if they blame me for wasting their time with this rubbish?

I’ve always suffered from a fairly significant guilt complex, which leads me to look for reasons to feel bad, even if nobody’s blaming me for anything. I’m not very good at letting things go; I tend to dwell on stuff for a long, long time. I still occasionally feel guilty about an argument I had with someone at primary school (I’m not even joking). So even though I know it would be pretty unreasonable if someone were to blame me just because we disagree over what makes a good book, that doesn’t stop me waiting anxiously for their verdict. And if it does turn out that they hated it, I’ll definitely feel bad about it for weeks – so I’ll still be stressing long after the person in question has forgotten all about it.

So I’m as surprised as anyone to find myself writing theatre reviews, not just on here but on a couple of fairly influential websites. After all, that’s not just me making suggestions to a friend – complete strangers could well end up spending their money based on my opinion, which is petrifying when you stop and think about it. And I do tend to have a small panic attack before any of my reviews are published, assuming that a) I’ve totally misunderstood what I’ve just watched, b) I’m the only person who liked it (or not – but that’s pretty rare), and everyone’s going to think I’m an idiot if I say so, or c) nobody cares what I think anyway. It particularly terrifies me to know that the actors and producers of the shows are going to read what I’ve written…

But so far, I’ve had only lovely responses to my reviews, and nobody’s laughed at me (at least not in public), which has really helped, just like every time someone says something nice about this blog it gives me a little boost. I’ll probably always be slightly scared to make recommendations, but like any irrational fear, maybe the way to overcome it is to do more of it… which means lots more theatre reviews. (Sorry.)

Does anyone else worry about recommending stuff to friends (or strangers)? How do you deal with it?

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10 thoughts on “Wednesday Worries: Recommendations

  1. Definitely with you on this one. I worry about it so much that I tend to avoid making recommendations unless I am almost certain the person I am talking to will also like the book/film/play/music I am talking about. This also extends to comments on blog posts and/or tweets – I spend ages agonising over those, re-writing, over-analysing and generally worrying that I have missed the point and will look really silly when others read what I have written. I am getting better, simply by forcing myself to make recommendations and/or comment and discovering that nothing bad happens!

  2. Yes I worry about this too, for example when I recommend a TV series to even my parents and we watch it together, I think during the hour ‘are they enjoying this’, ‘are they not enjoying it but watching it anyway for my sake’ etc. etc.

    On my part it is definitely due to me being a ‘people pleaser’ and having issues with low self-esteem, so it is something I’m working on getting over, as having a different opinion to others should be embraced not shunned!

    Thanks for another relatable article that speaks so openly about something!

    1. Yep I’m the same, I’ll often end up not enjoying something myself because I’m worried the person next to me is hating it! It’s definitely a self-esteem issue with me too, but I really find blogging helps as it’s a way to give opinions, but still hide a little bit. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. Yes I’m with you too- I take it personally if they don’t enjoy it, which is silly I know :-S I worry about the blog too- posting things that people won’t like. Whenever I see that someone has commented I always feel slight panic that it’s a negative comment. GRRR. I wish I was more confident X

    1. Yes! I’m exactly the same with comments, even though I’ve only ever had nice ones. We’re so silly, but at least we’re not alone! 😉 x

  4. I always get nervous writing any sort of analysis on something. I worry, like you, “what if I just completely misunderstood this thing?” It’s a huge cause of anxiety for me. Blogging helps, but I find a lot of posts remain in the drafts folder because I’m afraid to post them. I’m trying to work on that, though. You’re definitely not alone in this!

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I find the posts I’m happiest with are the ones I’ve just sat down and written in one go; the minute I start thinking too much, they go in the drafts folder and usually never see the light of day! It’s so nice to hear I’m not the only one 🙂

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