Annabel - you are an amazing human being, and over and over again I find your posts helpful, respectful and incredibly thought provoking. You have asked me some tough questions over the months, but never once have I felt disrespected by you, and I attribute some great growth in areas of our relationship to you. Thank you for this post.
I cannot say the same for everyone who has posted on my blog, or in some of the replies that I read that literally leave me shocked with their ferocious and accusatory tone
For myself, I can stand up and say when I think that someone is out of line, and discern between what feels right for me or not, but for people just finding their footing/starting out it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I agree with ThatGirl - a PM is totally appropriate for expressing concerns. It can be challenging to hear "negative" feedback even in a PM, but it can become almost impossible if three or four (or more) people chime in and newbies end up feeling totally dominated in a public forum. The words shaming, bullying and attacking come to mind, and none of those are very conducive to growth
I like the idea of segmenting out the boards, but also feel like there are people with experience AND patience AND tolerance who have helped me LOADS who might not have if they were in their own solar system with other experienced people. I think that lines of respect definitely get blurred at times though, and that nobody deserves to feel attacked - there are ways of expressing disagreement/concerns that still speak of respect IMHO.
Pink: Good for you! I felt the same way about my triad on the forum - everyone suggesting that I get into dyads right out of the gate, that our boundaries wouldn't work, etc. etc. etc. We had to live out our own truth and learn our own lessons - at times I felt that I was being "hurried through" the initial bliss of trying out something new and exciting by people who had become jaded and cynical about triads. Sure, in the end some of their warnings were correct (the people who were correct definitely strike me as the "I told you so" variety
), but here we are almost eight months later, and our relationship is continuing to develop and grow. There *were* people that were and still are supportive during our whole process though, and I truly consider those people friends in my life. Things can go wrong in ANY relationship set up - it doesn't mean that they will for you. To me encouragement and listening goes a lot farther than advice or assumption ever does - we all know what we want to do, and for me, these boards just help me get clearer about the path that I know I want to take in my life as it unfolds under my feet.