1. to bark up the wrong tree which means to get worked up over something based on false assumption or an accepted lie. The dog starts pawing the trunk of a tree, looking up into it and barking in the belief there is something up there - a cat or some other creature which it feels compelled to attack - but it is barking at nothing, because there is nothing in that tree. Thus it is making a big fuss, much ado, about nothing.
2. To make a mountain out of a molehill means to get really upset over a small matter. To be fair, there is some element of subjectivity involved here in terms of what constitutes a mountain of an issue compared with a molehill of an issue, but the saying is used to express the idea that the person getting upset is overreacting. They are making much ado about nothing.
People say these things to other people when a. they know the truth and the receiver is acting on false information, or b. the speaker disagrees with the importance of the issue which the receiver is getting upset about it. The speaker does not feel the same way so naturally they perceive the others's expression of angst, fear, or outrage as 'over the top.'
Most people are passionate about something. Many people feel aggrieved when others don't share those passions or don't understand them. Many people support various causes and often request their friends, families and others to support those causes too. I'm growing a moustache for Movember again this year and as I usually do, I sent text messages to all my phone contacts asking for a donation. 95% of people didn't respond. A few people responded, but didn't donate. A handful of others donated, and even less people got so upset they felt the need to tell me how offended they were. In this case, I'm talking about one person in particular who suggested my cause was trivial compared to his and rambled about a lack of support for what he was doing. I knew nothing about it.
I also have a book launch coming up next week for my memoir, I Used to be an Animal Lover. It's not a cause, like Movember, because it's personal. I'm trying to sell my book and to do that I need to advertise. I've been using Facebook ads which have resulted in a massive increase in engagements on the I Used to be an Animal Lover page. What I was looking for, from those reactions, was people to sign up for Advanced Review Copies and register for the book launch. It's also great to get comments rather than just reactions. However, as with my Movember texts, the results of my advertising campaign have been predictably, but nonetheless disappointingly poor.
Zero event registrations. Zero ARC expressions of interest and only two comments on the most recently sponsored post. You can see the comments below, but essentially the only two people who took the time to comment were very upset about my ad appearing in their news feed.
Here's my philosophy about all this in a nutshell.
1. If you don't appreciate something, or can't see any value in it, then ignore it.
2. Never expect people to care about your passions and causes as much as you do.
3. Be prepared to cop criticism or even abuse from those who don't follow number 2.
4. Life is too short to making much ado about nothing.