Deliberately obnoxious

This virus has finally pushed me to a place I’ve been heading for awhile. I have exhausted my patience with people who like to argue for the sake of arguing.

You know them. So do I. They go on social media and look for posts to heckle, opportunities to debate online, discussions where they can disagree, at length, eventually concluding with something insulting, or rude, or just plain mean.

Don’t assume I’m only talking about my own political point of view. Those kind of people come from both sides of the aisle, and they’re all, in my opinion, equally annoying.


In my case, one of those people is a relative. My cousin, who is perfectly likeable in person, is an Internet troll. He isn’t content to express his views on his social-media pages. He goes searching for other people’s pages to try to spark a spirited debate, or to mock, or to just contradict for contradiction’s sake.

I just blocked him.

It isn’t a big deal, but it felt like a big deal when I did it. It was something I know won’t go over well, but the point where I put up with deliberately obnoxious behavior because I was taught to be nice is about two months behind me.

My family has people all over the political map, but he’s the one that seeks out disputes. And I’m done with it.

He’s old enough to know better, and I’m too old to put up with it.

The next family reunion, whenever we can do that, could be tense. But I bet he’ll never bring it up. Face-to-face conflict is quite a different story.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

There are 4 comments

  1. F. Theem

    People like your cousin, or people who right now are simply refusing to go with the flow by social distancing and wearing a mask are morons. Dirt bags. Filthy. Disease spreading, disrespectful, and as you say intentionally obnoxious. Blocking is cool, glad you did it. And for all those “defiant souls” in public right now, it is REAL EASY…all you do is dial 911 and let the police enforce the current mandates. Sick and tired of these losers.

  2. Jim Robert Raskoski

    I have poles, but don’t fish or ski.
    I work on a diamond, but not a jeweler be.
    I hold power in store, and am a weapon of war.
    I help you keep time, and am also a crime.
    What am I?

    (I’ve been writing these riddles to keep busy since the lock-down began.)

  3. Bill H

    Good for you, Susan, and thanks for writing about this. I find that the online trolls rarely bring up their rejection in person. They are likely too embarrassed to do so. I’ve got one in my family, too. A wonderful man in real life, and a total jerk online. Hard to understand it.

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