It's reminiscent of someone I know – it's as though I am being spoken of. Ha! Ha!
I'll 'attack' (smile) this subject from my perspective, as someone whose comments, on the forum, have often been labelled as belligerent.
If I am that person I have my reasons for 'seeming' to be angry, all the time. I like to confine myself to things I like/want to do. So, I don't interact or get involved in any and everything. Even in my normal interactions, I like to listen rather than speak. A trait you would have, perhaps, noticed when you came over, to my place. But, when I do open up, I do not mince words – I am straightforward – and speak from the heart.
If something is wrong, I will speak. I will question and give logical explanations to support my view. I will stand up against someone who is wrong and tell him that to his face, even if that someone has praised me in the past, and even if the individual I am supporting is someone with whom I have had a 'battle' or two. But, all this doesn't make me a bad person, because I hold no grudges. It is issues, that I stand up against, not the individuals.
I like to address the issue and kill it. I don't carry a bad impression of the person that I had the discussion with. The thing is if you are that person and you're saying that I am easily provoked etc. then you're judging me based on your morals. Where as I, acted based on mine. I will stand against what I see is wrong – be it someone addressing another rudely or someone not owning up to their errors, in crucial matters. When I know I am right, I do not back down, even if I stand alone. I speak, even when I don't stand to gain.
My softer side is there and it emerges in my personal exchanges. But, I'll restrict my response to my interactions in ISC, where I delve into areas, not personal to me. The Forum is a platform where I can place my views. I can sugar coat my responses, but that wouldn't be the real me. Even those who sugar coat their responses tend to drop their guard when they are affected, by a decision. They speak their mind, maybe not as vociferously as I do, but they let it be known that they've been wronged.
And discussing an issue or raising questions or saying something is wrong, is not being hostile. It's just stating facts and asking for clarifications. It doesn't have to get personal. I mean I don't have to be labelled an 'angry' person because my pertinent questions are direct and perturb others.
I think people need to broaden their outlook too. Instead of labelling people and putting them into categories that describe them as 'good' or 'bad', the focus should be on the concerns raised by the individual. Once that is done, you begin to see the 'goodness' in the person and their actions. I don't have to act sanctimonious, to make an impression on people, for that would be a pretence. I don't judge people, not consciously and hence expect others not to judge me.
People generally see anyone who stands in support of them as being 'nice', but if that same 'nice' person were to question them while supporting another, the 'nice' person becomes 'not so nice'. So, with whom does the problem lie? It is the way we look at things and how we are affected by them that make us see people as 'friendly' or 'hostile'. Remember, one nation's enemy is a hero to his own countrymen. It's all about perspective.
Of course, this is just me, giving my view on the issue. It is not personal, so don't take it as my reactions towards you.
"A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino