I hate it when someone flips me off. I can't flip back because that's not the kind of person I am, so I'm forced to do something totally lame like smile and wave. I'd love the emotional release of flipping them off back or ramming into their car with mine, but instead I just feel my blood pressure rise proportionately with my frustration at having no good comeback.
That's how I feel when someone sends a mean-spirited anonymous letter. I've had a few of those. I received one when I was a Primary President informing me that the irreverent behavior of the primary children in Sacrament Meeting was a direct reflection on me and that if I were teaching them reverence in Primary, Sacrament Meeting would be much more spiritual. The letter pointed out that there were way too many children getting up to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water during Sacrament Meeting. I hadn't realized that it was my job to patrol the pews telling children to stay put. I was selfishly fixated on keeping my own children quiet and in their seats.
I received another one when I was Young Women's president. This one let me know that the issue of modesty that a few of our girls were struggling with wouldn't be happening if I were doing my job right. Whoever wrote it must not have been there when I taught about modesty, read and re-read the entire For The Strength of Youth booklet and had a standards night devoted entirely to modesty. Of course the girls' parents had nothing to do with the problem.
Many years ago, I sat at swimming lessons with a young mother from my ward. Our children had been in lessons for a few days before she was able to come sit with me during the class. She'd spent the first few days forcing her crying, screaming child into the water. Every day I felt bad for her. She looked tired, sweaty, and embarrassed as she struggled with him. She usually ended up soaked as she knelt at the side of the pool. On the fourth or fifth day, we sat watching our children. Her son had finally entered the water without a raging freak-out. She looked around at the other mothers and said, "I wonder who sent me the letter."
I asked what she meant and she pulled out one of the meanest, most hateful letters I'd ever seen. It told her she was a terrible mother and should wait until her child is ready for swimming lessons before forcing him into the water. It even called her abusive. I was stunned. She started to cry and then told me how her son had nearly drowned a few months earlier and how she'd been afraid to start swimming lessons so soon, but that the doctor told her it was critical or the little boy would spend his life with a crippling fear of the water. She was following doctor's orders but some meddling busybody had terribly misjudged her.
What is so wrong with sending an anonymous letter (or comment)? Absolutely nothing if it builds up and brings happiness to the recipient.
But if it's mean or judgmental, keep it to yourself. If you don't have the courage to say what you want to say, you probably shouldn't be saying it all. You're probably just a mean and petty person.
How is an anonymous letter like being flipped off? You can't respond to it. You can't explain the circumstances. You feel helpless and disliked and judged. And if you're like me, they just give you high blood pressure.