I just don't get it...

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Unregisteredme, May 12, 2009.

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  1. I’m a fulltime member here. I don’t like being attacked, so I’m not posting this under my username. (It’s true: I’m scared and I’m a chicken. I have encountered someone I consider to be a bully here, and I don’t need the shit I'd get.)

    I don’t get why, sometimes, when people respond to threads, they feel the need to "put others in their place" in an unkind way.

    Sure there are trolls, attention-seekers, and fakers. In cases like that, it’s easy to say nothing to the OP - we can just send our comments to the staff - report the thread. The post and/or OP can be dealt with then. I think the staff try hard to deal with these things.

    Yes, attention-seeking posts, wacky opinions without backup info, and inflammatory/controversial topics that get started in the wrong place on the wrong foot can be frustrating. Attention-seekers or fakers can make us ask, “Why should we support people we don’t believe?” “Can’t they see their own part in this?” But here’s the thing: I’m sure no one responds to every single thread on the site. So why respond with anger/honesty/belittling if it seems an OP is a troll or might have ulterior motives when we could just not respond at all?

    If we must reply, we could keep in mind that when we’re angry, we’re aggressive and defensive, which usually leads to an attack if we aren’t careful in how we say things. “No one would think…blah, blah, blah” is an accusation and belittlement. “Could you explain what you mean by…blah, blah, blah?” gives the OP a chance to explain. “I don’t understand/In my experience, I’ve never…blah, blah, blah…” offers an opinion and allows the OP to explain their view/situation. But there’s yet another option: Saying nothing. Why say anything at all to someone who provokes such negativity?

    Sometimes, when I read threads/replies that are getting heated, I wonder how the comments affect the OP. I don’t think they help the OP, unless he/she is a troll, in which case any response is what trolls are after, and a “challenge” is even better! An even more important question is "What need does making nasty/"honest"/"humorous"/belittling/accusatory comments satisfy in the people who make them? He/she is trying to show his/her intelligence, power, insight, etc.? That just makes me wonder if he/she really feels so badly about him/herself that he/she MUST speak out in an unkind or challenging way.

    I just don’t get it. I can’t think of anything that truly justifies hurtful, self-satisfied and smug responses put forward under the guise of “just being honest,” “meant to be funny,” “meant to alert others to inconsistencies” etc., etc. At the extreme end of the scale, these are tactics used by verbal/emotional abusers. At a less extreme part of the scale, they are bullying tactics. At an even less extreme part of the scale, they are adolescent tools for manipulating friends/siblings/parents.

    I think some comments made in some threads are simply downright nasty and do not show the maturity and self-restraint I’d expect from people of the age group on this site - regardless of any person’s own pain, problems, or issues. We all have shit in our past. We can all make a mistake now and then, too. We can even be silly, stupid, dogmatic, and extreme. But nothing, absolutely nothing, excuses repeatedly insensitive behavior and frequent unsupportive, trivializing comments.

    I just don’t get it.
  2. Advent

    Advent Well-Known Member

    Sorry about the hassle you appear to be having, I do seem to read a lot of these posts lately. If I were you I would consider contacting the staff, who would look into the matter accordingly. I dont know what else to suggest at the moment.

    Hope it gets sorted out.

  3. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    A very insightful and thought provoking post unregisteredme. I only hope people keep your words in mind next time they feel they must put someone else "in their place".
  4. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    I was just thinking about this kind of stuff and i admit I was wondering about replies i have personally posted on threads in where, now looking back, can easily be seen as hurtful, arrogant, and just an all out asshole thing to say.

    I thought about this for a while and came to the conclusion that im neither angry nor frustrated when posting these replies..i generally want to help. But I dont hold back on my honesty, (or waht i see to be truth/honesty from my perspective of situations), speak brazenly, and just generally dont seem to know how to word my posts in a respectful manner. I guess i dont always seem to realize that I dont have the best advice, i dont know the situation like the OP does, and there fore should probably give advice with that kept in mind.

    I think for me personally i just need to step back from a topic before posting, and realize the OP may be incredibly sensitive to feedback, very emotional, and just generally depressed. I feel bad because for the most part in every single one of my "depressed" posts, I've always felt better upon reading the responses and they have generally been very sensitive and caring.

    I'm just a brazen asshole sometimes :p But i'll do my best to understand the complexity of situations and that i need to be sensitive.

    I'm sorry that you feel you've experienced situations in which advice given was felt more as a personal attack. :hugtackles: big hugs :)
  5. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Just put them on ignore like I do. I feel sorry for them,if that is their way of dealing with their problems then they need help.

    They accuse people of seeking attention without even knowing the person:rolleyes: So what if someone is seeking attention?! Isn't it a way of getting help? The bullies are the biggest attention seekers of all.

    They need to find a fault in you to make themselves feel better. That's their problem.

    Why waste time thinking of them where there is people here that need help!
  6. Malcontent

    Malcontent Staff Alumni

    This is by no means an attack, just my thoughts which in some instances do not match yours. Not looking for a fight, and I really don't mean it to come across that way.

    In essence I agree with this. In an ideal world this is how everyone would behave, but if this were an ideal world none of us would even be on this site. Dunno how long you've been a member and I really don't wanna pull the "I've been here years" card, but it does have a part to play. When you've seen literally hundreds of lies and ridiculous exaggerations, had friends fake their own deaths, stayed up all night worrying about someone when in fact they were lying about having ODed/cut their wrists/jumped off a bridge, no matter how much you want to stay calm and supportive in the face of (what you consider) obvious bullshit sometimes you can't and you just flip out. Now personally I have a lot of patience so I don't do this a lot, but others don't and that's just the way they are. No one should be critisised for being who they are.

    That would be the behaviour of a stable person who's in charge of their emotions, something which I consider a bit much to ask of the the average man or woman in the street let alone the sufferers of extreme issues that we have here. And please don't take this the wrong way but you're not even following your own advice by posting this thread. Instead of saying nothing negative or contacting the staff you're complaining annoymously in this thread. I completely understand why, and I'm not going to critise you for that but you must see that you're doing the exact same thing as the members you're complaining about, just your anger is a little more under control.

    This is the part that I'm sorry to say I really disagree with. The people you're complaining about are not abusers or bullies. You call for compassion for liars and attention-seekers but have you thought about how these last few paragraphs could effect the self-esteem of anyone who has ever called someone out and tried to have some honesty and integrity? And that's the point, it's not bullying or showing off, it's a sign that people are sick to the back teeth of lies that manipulate and grind down the compassion of the good people on this site. The unsupportive comments aren't at all nice I grant you, but it's the liars that are the abusers. Reading nothing but lie after lie destroys the kindness that people start out with here. The unsupportive comments are from people who don't want to see that happen to anyone again, you may not agree with their methods but these people do actually deep down care a massive deal about this site. They've seen friends beaten down by the amount of lies and other friend's geniune pleas for help lost in a sea of bullshit. Friends who have later died. That's abuse, and what abused person ever has a calm and reasonable reaction on encountering another abuser? You and these people both want the same thing, you both want honesty, integrity and kindness. Your methods are different but your goal is the same.

    I agree that it would be great if no one would ever be "mean" to anyone else. It would also be great if no one ever lied or exaggerated in order to get attention. But I suspect that on the day that happens I shall also see satan skating to work.
  7. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    I do see those that constantly berate others in this manner as a form of bullying. While I can understand their desire to call these people out based on personal experiences, it does come off in a bullying way. And many times they are accused of lying with nothing concrete to back up that statement. Most is supposition. Yes, the lies are also a form of emotional abuse, but that does not change the fact neither is the right way to handle things. Both are done in a way that cause harm to someone and it is done intentionally. Hence the bullying term would apply. One difference I see in this thread by the OP is that this is a generalized statement about something that occurs and is not aimed directly at any one person, while the replies of those being referred to are aimed at specific targets-the person they are speaking to. There is a difference here. While silence is not always the answer, there are more tactful ways to present things.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  8. Thanks to all for the replies. I like that people have offered genuine and heartfelt comments and suggestions.

    Malcontent, I appreciate your straightforward approach and I agree with much of what you say. Like you, I'm not looking for a fight and I certainly do not meant this as any kind of attack either. I also didn’t mean to suggest we could/should encourage liars/fakers/trolls, either. I think they can be called on it - need to be, SHOULD be - but there are diplomatic ways to do that and I gather some kind of protocol for trolls.

    I have been on the site for quite a while (more than a year, year and a half?). I didn’t mean to say that every person who gets a bit heated or sharp is a bully or abusive. We all fall into using such tactics from time to time and we’d all be in the court system for verbal assault or for threatening others if that is how real “abuse” was defined.

    I do recognize that many times people have been used/abused/lied to in real life or on the site in a variety of painful ways. On the site, I’m sure it’s very upsetting to spend hours with someone, worried sick and then it turns out to be a false alarm, a faked attempt. That would make me angry. I realize that attention-seekers and false alarms and "users" can become tiresome and drain people of good will.

    You're right - it seems that some of the people who are angry and suspicious are people who have had more than their fill of false alarms, attention-seekers, and what not. I guess what has me addled is the method some people use in addressing a “possible” or “suspected” liar/manipulator or even just opinions they don’t like. I suppose as a quiet type, I've always looked for the kindest, least adversarial approach with others. For me, and in my observations of life in general, anger breeds more anger which usually means a situation is exacerbated rather than resolved.

    The problem is that I often see the same people repeatedly become heated and sharp (and unsupportive, insensitive, nasty) when it isn't necessarily called for, and then they hide behind excuses (i.e., hide behind “I’m just being honest” “Can’t you take a joke?” “They’re just attention seeking…” etc., etc.). Granted that maybe they're fed up with hoaxters and want to get rid of that kind of "abuser." Still, it is possible for one to offer an open, tactful and non-accusatory expression of their disagreement, doubt, and even anger; there are humane ways to draw people out and get the truth if you think they are playing games; there is always the option to disengage and remain silent if someone is pushing your buttons (though admittedly, this last one can be difficult to do). Silence seems to dissuade attention seekers and liars who, like trolls, often just want a "reaction" of some kind.

    Perhaps it’s because I have personally experienced (and/or observed) the repeated unpleasant behavior of a few people here. With the ones I’ve dealt with personally, there is a pattern of trivializing, accusing, invalidating, ridiculing, sarcasm, name calling…and then the people hide behind the same “reasons/excuses” - “I’m just being honest,” “I don’t need to take people’s lying,” “Don’t you have a sense of humor?” “Can’t you take criticism?” and so forth. They operate this way on a REGULAR BASIS. I understand the past is what influences their behavior/words/feelings, but I think that this kind of self-defense mechanism backfires in the end - it protects them in the short-term, but they stay stuck in living that way because they jump to conclusions and rush in with anger and sarcasm, and offer their "honest opinions" before knowing for sure if that is the procedure that is warranted. And if they're right, that's fine. If they're wrong, "I was only being honest"...? It doesn't sit well with me. There's something just off-kilter with that. For me.

    Being physically/sexually/verbally abused, hurt or lied to is dreadful and horribly damaging (trust me, I do know what it’s like), and while it explains why someone might lash out, it does not give that person the "right" to do so. Do we hope to grow beyond what has hurt us? If we do, how does miring ourselves in our negative feelings take us forward? It’s one thing to express the anger/sarcasm, etc. at the real cause from the past - it’s another thing to use anger to shield ourselves from the risks involved whenever we are uncertain about people in the present. Accusing before asking, lashing out with anger because someone disagrees…consciously or unconsciously, these are defense mechanisms that people use to keep others away or protect themselves from repercussions they fear. IMO, we’ve grown when we learn that we need to slow down and become more conscious of these things. We grow again when we start to integrate this knowledge with our behavior so that we think before we speak, take a moment between reaction and our actual response, use diplomacy not anger to express negative opinions so that we draw others out, not slam doors in their faces.

    All I would like here is for honesty to be civil, for humor to be funny (not snide, demeaning, trivializing), and for some self-restraint and forethought to be evident in people’s posts to each other - even in posts exchanged between those whose situation may be overblown to get attention and those whose pain is still raw from traumatic childhood/adolescent/adult experiences. The only way to start healing is to acknowledge the need to change and to expect better of oneself - regardless of where we come from, who we are, what happened to us. It starts with us and spreads out. Each of us then leads by example (just as you did, Malcontent, in your open, honest and cordial reply to me - if only everyone disagreed so thoughtfully and respectfully!).

    I appreciate your reminder that the harsh-responders and the liars alike are coming from a place of pain. For me, the bottom line is that none of us can really afford to get stuck in ineffective behavior patterns if we want life to get better. For all SF members, relations on the forum are just that much harder if even one member here feels "free" to say and do whatever he/she wants "because he/she is hurting." We are all hurting and we all have enough negativity in our lives, and none of us (OPs, replies, guests, members, attention-seekers, etc.) need to add to each others' burdens unnecessarily.
  9. Malcontent

    Malcontent Staff Alumni

    Thank you for such a civil reply. I just wanted to comment on what you've said here. If you know of diplomatic ways of effectively dealing with the liars please post them, cos in my experience very little works. I think unfortunately it's again a case of an ideal way of behaving being crushed by reality. In most cases making a big fuss is the only way to make anyone sit up and notice that someone might be lying. This isn't an attack against staff, I'd kinda be attacking myself which would be silly, but I've seen incidents of serious lying being reported, with conclusive evidence, and nothing is ever done. The only thing that seems to work is whipping up a kind of mob mentality so lots of people blank the liar. Which is a horrible way to do things, so obviously there needs to be a better way. However, there's been so much lying on here over the years that no one seems to give a damn about it anymore. No one does anything, so people become a "one man army" and go round fighting any injustices they see, whether they are real or not.
  10. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I agree with a lot of what you said.
    The thing that I hate most is the people who have a strong spiritual or religious faith get bashed all the time on this site. Everything turns into a debate when really I think that if something helps someone, we should be respectful of that.
  11. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    To the OP. Great posts. I, in no way see you as being like the people you talk about - You're highlighting bullying behaviours I've seen here and yeah...good on you for writing all that! You're very thoughtful- I agree with a lot of what you said, especially:

    You're very self aware and aware of things that go on out there/here. Keep writing and keep talking... Many people don't and will back up their friends even when their friends are being abusive and bullies.
  12. the fleet asleep

    the fleet asleep Well-Known Member

    every now and again, i come across a post here that does such an amazing job of summing up things in simple terms that i wish that i had posted it myself.

    rather than go ahead and throw my two cents into the fountain, ill instead ask that anyone who hasnt read Malcontent's post on page one to do so. if you have, give it another once over. i dont think youll ever read a more eloquent post on this subject, or one that rings half as true.
  13. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I'm glad this was posted because I am guilty of some of what is mentioned. I have often responded based on emotion without thinking first.

    For my part, I will try to keep all of this in mind when posting in the future.
  14. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    I agree with Daisey that you should put them on your ignore list and then you don't have to deal with them anymore...
  15. BriGuy

    BriGuy Antiquities Friend

    To the OP... you read my mind! Someone referred me to this thread because of my own complaints of the exact same thing! I just don't get it either! In fact, I think I used very similar wording in another post regarding this same type of behavior!!

    Thank you for posting this and sharing your thoughts, even if you didn't feel SAFE enough to do so under your own name! That too is a shame... because we should ALL feel SAFE enough here to post... and lately, many people are NOT safe... not safe from personal attacks and cruelty! I too have witnessed similar behavior many times just since I joined a few months ago, and now most recently have begun experiencing it personally as well... bullying, attacks, a form of harassment, etc! You and I share very similar ideas and thoughts... as I too believe there are much better ways to handle posts you disagree with or don't believe... without being cruel, malicious and nasty... and I will never understand why people feel the need to do so. There ARE ways to get your points across without being downright cruel! You can be FIRM and even harsh at times without being malicious!

    And yes, to everyone else, I read ALL the posts... and I will agree that if you have FIRM HARD PROOF of someone lying, even though I personally would never be nasty to them because they would probably enjoy it... but I can understand at that point some people who have been lied to repeatedly could easily get upset and angry. So with something like THIS, MAYBE, MAYBE I could see them being somewhat harsher than normal, although again, I still don't see the need to be malicious or cruel. PLUS, lately, some of these individuals are not only being cruel to the OP they think is lying, they are also being rude or nasty to those that are giving the OP the benefit of the doubt and trying to BE supportive! If I have no proof of someone lying, I should be entitled to offer MY support without being attacked! Someone said something on another thread along the lines of the liars 'stealing support from those that need it'... but HOW is that really stealing? Just because I post a supportive response, doesn't mean I will RUN OUT... nothing was wasted or stolen. I figure if my support is useless because the OP a liar... oh well, my support didn't HARM me or anyone else either, it didn't USE up my 'reserves'! It's not like money where I have a limited amount!! So if I want to 'waste' my time writing a supportive post, I shouldn't be attacked for doing so!
    However, my biggest complaints are the fact that there have been times I witnessed where there is NO proof of lying, just ONE person's 'hunch', and they become nasty, and maybe even a couple of others JOIN in, all based on that ONE person's 'hunch'. And numerous times lately where lying isn't even part of the ordeal... certain people just like to insult others, put them down, make them feel horrible, etc, and I cannot ever imagine a time when I would consider treating anyone like that!

    I'll be honest, I have always had a very sarcastic sense of humor... but first, I believe there is a time and place for it... the coffee house, buddy chat thread, etc... all "possible" places for that type of humor (and again I say 'possible')... the crisis thread on the other hand is NOT! And secondly, I have seen posts where someone may be TRYING to come across as sarcastically funny, but in fact they are hurting people! And sometimes, they don't just hurt the person they are aiming at! Sometimes other people read it, and get hurt as well, depending on the situation... and just imagine how many people have come here considering joining and asking for help, but they see posts like these and immediately run! THEY too are being HARMED... and nobody even knows!

    Someone posted on another thread about similar issues that 'not everyone will like everyone else'... well that has nothing to do with it. Just because you don't 'like' someone does not give you the right to be cruel or malicious or insulting. I have already found a SMALL handful of people on SF that I don't really care for, and I just avoid them, ignore them, etc. No matter how much I dislike them, I would never CONSIDER insulting them, treating them cruel, etc. But I guess I just have a kinder nature than some people! Especially on a site like this, where I know that many people are suffering, in pain, hurting... and I have no desire to make anyone's pain greater by treating them badly!

    I'm sure because of this, and other comments I have made recently, I should expect more nasty comments coming my way... it wouldn't surprise me anyway! That's a shame too! I am all for a good debate on many issues, but I don't believe it should become personal ATTACKS! And that is what has happened many times lately. When debating an issue, you don't need to attack someone just because of what they post... attack an issue, maybe... but NOT the person!

    To the OP... if you ever care to, please feel free to PM me, maybe we can talk sometime, I would really like to get to know you, and maybe even add you to my list of friends at some point... it seems we think very much alike, on this subject at least! Oh and, as to those that are personally bullying/attacking you, I do hope you are reporting their behavior... I am doing that with my own personal situations now... and I will continue to report malicious behavior to me or others every time I see it, hopeful that it will be taken care of... at first I didn't bother... I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt... thinking 'they also have their problems, they too are depressed, hurting, etc, etc'... but then I realized that NO, that doesn't give people the right to be downright cruel, and with the new system in place coming soon, if these individuals continue harassing too often, they will not be doing it for long... I hope!

    I am really dismayed and saddened that threads like this even come up... that the attacks, bullying, etc happen SO often. It would be one thing if it happened once every few months, a bad situation... but this appears to be increasing, and that is a shame! Because it's behavior like this, that tarnishes SF... because without these situations SF would be even more amazing than it already is! But I do believe that numerous people have left SF or never joined because of fear or this type of treatment... whether it happened to them, or they witnessed it done to someone else! What a shame!
  16. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    great post. i agree with everything you said, as well as your post in that other thread you mention.
  17. Jack Rabbit

    Jack Rabbit Well-Known Member

    I am never sure that what I say won't be taken as harsh - this included. My intent is always good, though. I recognize the importance of hugs and sympathy, but there is also a time when reality has to intrude. I'm a big fan of 2-parent families, so the kids can get both.
  18. BriGuy

    BriGuy Antiquities Friend

    I agree that sometimes reality needs to take center stage... but I think there is a way to be real, and maybe even harsh, without being cruel and malicious... without ATTACKING! That has been MY biggest issue!!

    As for the 2-parent thing... I was raised by a single mom, and I think she did a much better job than many 2-parent homes... I don't think it matters how MANY parents... it depends on THE parent(s)... had I lived with my dad and his 3rd wife... I would have been dead a long time ago... so 2 parents are not always the solution!
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