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  #51  
Old 05-31-2012, 04:06 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post

That is all.
Yer awesome. That is all.

ThatGirlInGray: no worries.

As an add though, seriously, having been through the hate before on line I would much rather just people cut me out of their lives. In real life I would never revert to that immediately, but on line I find that long drawn out flaming and trying to make sense of stuff and trying to patch things is exhausting. Its just not worth it any more. Most of the time I read stuff now, don't take it at all seriously and move on.

I didn't take what you said seriously TGIG. I was trying to be more helpful than anything else. I would hate anyone to get to a point of being distracted by annoyance and would give the same advice to them also.
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  #52  
Old 05-31-2012, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Is it really so unreasonable to ask that people try to think a little more about how their words might be perceived by others?
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
...I feel it's rather ridiculous to claim that asking people to work on how they communicate is unreasonable, especially on a relationships forum where we espouse over and over how important communication is! Yes, it's the internet, and yes, we're mostly strangers to each other, but I don't see those as reasons to treat what we say to each other or how we say it as less important.

It's not going to be perfect and misunderstandings will certainly still occur, I just can't understand the people who seem to be against even trying. It doesn't make sense to me.
I think it is rather arrogant to assume that the authors of the posts you find offensive didn't think about what they were writing, or that they do not consider the impact of their words as important. Are you appointing yourself the arbiter of kind and helpful posts now? Just because you and 100 other people don't like what was written nor how it was written, does not mean it was thoughtlessly, carelessly, or vindictively written. Yes, believe it or not, oftentimes a great deal of thought and consideration goes into posts that could possibly be received as harsh. It seems you are trying to apply your subjective taste onto other people, as if your preferences are the standards we should all use.

You remind me of the people that get bent out of shape if someone bumps into or brushes up against them in a crowded subway car. Hello? It's the subway, if you have a problem with crowds and having strangers in close proximity, take another means of transportation or get in a less crowded car. But bitching and moaning about it isn't going to change the fact that we're all jammed in here like sardines and have to be in close contact with strangers. In other words, it takes all kinds of people to make up a community and sometimes there are people you like and others you avoid and ignore. This is a public forum on the internet and, for the most part, people stay within the guidelines and if they do not, the Moderators step in. Perhaps you are being unrealistic in your expectations and wanting people to post the way you think they should.
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  #53  
Old 06-01-2012, 07:13 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Perhaps you are being unrealistic in your expectations and wanting people to post the way you think they should.
I suppose it all depends on how one defines civil. In London I experience civility when someone is polite to me. In NY I'm happy when they don't shoot me.

(Just kidding!!)

Indeed, behavioural expectations can be at the root of many a misunderstanding.
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  #54  
Old 06-02-2012, 04:37 AM
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I suppose it all depends on how one defines civil. In London I experience civility when someone is polite to me. In NY I'm happy when they don't shoot me.

(Just kidding!!)

Indeed, behavioural expectations can be at the root of many a misunderstanding.
That's some of what I was getting at: your own personal expectations for how you should respond and be perceived doesn't apply to other people. It only applies to you.
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  #55  
Old 06-02-2012, 09:03 AM
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Good communication will probably always be the most challenging, and the most necessary, part of any relationship, be it a mere online relationship with a stranger you've never met, or a real-life relationship with a poly partner. Perfect communication would probably take me millions of years to learn, assuming it could ever be perfect. I am conscious of my own lack of know-how, and try to improve how I communicate with each new word I say or write. Sometimes I succeed in these improvements, sometimes not.

As someone with an admittedly thin skin, I tend to be very self-conscious about what kind of impact my words might have on others. If I had a thick skin, I might not be so sympathetic towards thin-skinned people. But my handicap forces me to be as sensitive towards others as possible. And yet I still often fail, as I haven't mastered the ability to make myself clearly understood. (Or perhaps some would say my clarity is redundant.)

I come from a relatively gentle forum, Polyamory Percolations, which has a fairly tight set of user guidelines. I knew, when I read the Polyamory.com User Guidelines, that I was in for a rougher ride if I started posting here (and reading the responses to my posts). I took that into account when I started posting. When I got the "tough love" treatment (from several posters), I accepted it. I knew the risks I had taken. I accepted the distress I experienced as part of the experience I'd asked for. I was responsible for whatever effect it had on me. So I got over it and moved on (pretty much).

But since forthright-versus-solicitous is being debated with respect to what kind of locution is appropriate for which threads, I'll cast my vote for a more gentle tone (and choice of words) in threads in general (not singling out any thread in particular, as some threads arguably do merit some tough talk). It always strikes me as sad that the physical distance across internet forums separates us psychologically as well. If we could just get along, I often say to myself.

I know the User Guidelines don't support my position, but we shouldn't have to be "forced to be nice" anyway. It's something that should come from the heart.

I believe we're all beginners when it comes to communication. We can all learn to do better. When I post, even if it's about something mundane I've "heard a thousand times," I try to remember that what I am posting is going to be out there for all the world to see. No matter what the Guidelines say, I want to contribute to a gentler online community. It's just my personal opinion, my personal goal, and I wouldn't presume to act as if I have some right to tell others what to do. If you're posting within the Guidelines, you're in the clear.

But here are the quotes that really shined for me when I read this thread:

Quote:
"I have to remind myself that attacking people in no way whatsoever makes them more likely to hear you."
-- AnnabelMore, Post #1
Quote:
"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."
-- BaggagePatrol, Post #11
Quote:
"To me encouragement and listening goes a lot farther than advice or assumption ever does ..."
-- BaggagePatrol, Post #11
Quote:
"Say what you feel needs to be said, absolutely, but there's a huge difference between, 'I think you really need to take a look at your situation and the potential damage it could cause, because is this what I'm worried about:' and, 'Oh my god, are you fucking kidding me?? You can't be serious. I feel sick just reading this.' (Both of those 'quotes' are made up by me, as examples. They are not actual quotes of anything.) The latter is about as helpful as coddling, which is not at all."
-- ThatGirlInGray, Post #41
Quote:
"So in redpepper's words, 'We make people work on their shit' is only supposed to apply to things like shucking off the societal expectations of monogamy, jealousy, etc.? We can't apply it to written communication?"
-- ThatGirlInGray, Post #47
Quote:
"I feel it's rather ridiculous to claim that asking people to work on how they communicate is unreasonable, especially on a *relationships* forum where we espouse over and over how important communication is!"
-- ThatGirlInGray, Post #49
In general, if you can think of two ways to say something, and both ways get the point across, then, consider using the softer way. Especially in the cases of beginners who are "getting hit from all sides." It's the question of what's not enough, or what's too much. I know it's a judgment call. I just ask people (any who might be willing to hear me on this) to err on the side of kindness, and to consider a wider range of possibilities in how things can be said -- and what kind of locution is really going to be the most effective/helpful. A little imagination can go a long way.

I guess that's all I have to say for now.
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  #56  
Old 06-02-2012, 05:44 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post

I come from a relatively gentle forum, Polyamory Percolations, which has a fairly tight set of user guidelines. I knew, when I read the Polyamory.com User Guidelines, that I was in for a rougher ride if I started posting here (and reading the responses to my posts). I took that into account when I started posting. When I got the "tough love" treatment (from several posters), I accepted it. I knew the risks I had taken. I accepted the distress I experienced as part of the experience I'd asked for. I was responsible for whatever effect it had on me. So I got over it and moved on (pretty much).

But since forthright-versus-solicitous is being debated with respect to what kind of locution is appropriate for which threads, I'll cast my vote for a more gentle tone (and choice of words) in threads in general (not singling out any thread in particular, as some threads arguably do merit some tough talk). It always strikes me as sad that the physical distance across internet forums separates us psychologically as well. If we could just get along, I often say to myself.

I know the User Guidelines don't support my position, but we shouldn't have to be "forced to be nice" anyway. It's something that should come from the heart.

I believe we're all beginners when it comes to communication. We can all learn to do better. When I post, even if it's about something mundane I've "heard a thousand times," I try to remember that what I am posting is going to be out there for all the world to see. No matter what the Guidelines say, I want to contribute to a gentler online community. It's just my personal opinion, my personal goal, and I wouldn't presume to act as if I have some right to tell others what to do. If you're posting within the Guidelines, you're in the clear.
I appreciate you sharing both your views and your experience here. Your vote for a kinder gentler forum is noted, and I both agree that it'd be great if people were nicer to each other, and like the fact that you take responsibility to handle the less kind responses that sometimes happen here. I don't think the guidelines wouldn't support your position, but they just don't enforce your preference.

This particular forum has always been a bit of a tradeoff. We want it to be a place for people to share their experiences and get advice, discuss issues etc. Our approach is generally hands off as much as possible and in my viewpoint that's been for a few key reasons.

We want people to be able to express themselves with minimal fear of censorship, even when what they have to say may be controversial. I used to enjoy a good debate at home IRL years ago, but it requires that people to respect each others opinions, but also take responsibility for the debates, discussions, and conflicts that may arise from their own actions.

But also, like real life, or the dinner party example, there aren't referee's sitting around to constantly police their guests to be nice and gentle with each other. So unless there's a serious issue where we get complaints, we leave it to members of this community to practice all the classic poly skills, as well as the more universal set of everyday interpersonal communications. Whether tough love, or gentle touchy feely, or something in between, each person comes from a place of what works for them.

The community is mostly self regulating on it's own...which is where threads like this are awesome. Not necessarily to badger each other into changing the way we conduct ourselves, but at least communicate about what affect certain communication styles have on others, and raise awareness of how our behavior can affect others, both where it helps, and where it can hinder. And that can apply equally to the kinder gentler styles, and the tough love styles.

It's not up to the mods to make everyone be kind, nor to insist that people aren't coddled, or to sooth them when they don't like the way a dose of reality was reflected to them. It's up to the members of the community to figure out how much of each is the right balance, both in general and for the individuals that we're trying to help. At the end of the day, regardless of the method being employed, I think everyone here has a sincere desire to help their fellows on this forum.

Ok...I'll stop interrupting again.
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  #57  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:42 PM
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I've noticed a trend in my own posting that I think probably holds true for many others. I used to post more. Now I was never a super poster but I would comment, offer suggestions, chat, create a few threads, etc.

I post much less now although I still read frequently. The reason is largely empathy fatigue. I read many posts and my first thought is often that the situation is so completely fucked up that nothing I say would be at all useful. I am amazed that so many other posters try to help those poor fucks. They are better people than I.

Another common reaction I have is about the folks who are rushing headlong, skipping really, right towards the cliff. Now some might slow or stop their heedless skipping but many, maybe most, won't. They will fling themselves right off that cliff regardless of what I post. So I see little point in posting the equivalent of 'Hey watch out for that cliff!' or 'Tough terrain ahead! Be prepared!' to people who won't listen. I'm a big believer in learning from other people fails - and have offered my own fails for their education - but I have very little respect or interest in people who have to learn everything the hard way. To me, that's just as stupid as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I have also tried to explain, politely, to posters why I perceive their posts as creepy. One poster in particular wanted to protect - by fucking - the young, hot women in his life who made poor choices in boyfriends. I didn't expect thank you's or a 'You're right!' because no one likes criticism. I was hoping for a dialogue. I got crickets.

Finally, there are the posters who make me morph into Dr. Phil. I hate Dr. Phil. He's an arrogant, rigidly mainstream, asshole. But there are posts that are so pathetic that I just want to tell them to grow the fuck up, develop a fucking backbone, figure out what you want - not what others want - and go make it happen. And then deal with the consequences without whining.

I realize these first thoughts are not helpful. So I don't post them. However, sometimes, maybe I should.

Here's the reason. I had the same repulsed reaction to the initial post in the 'Teacher and Protector' thread as NYCindie. I didn't post anything because I thought 'headed for the shitstorm - nothing to be done here'.

However, NYCindie did. And without that not so considerate post, we would not have learned that the potential situation in 'Teacher and Protector' is actually not as creepy as I first thought, and apparently the OP has learned some things and is now thinking about stuff she may not have thought about before. Also, without that thread, perhaps Annabelle may not have started this here very productive thread. Maybe NYCindie should have been more diplomatic. But maybe she would not have been heard by the OP or others if she had been more restrained.

I hung out at Poly Perc when I first started exploring. There are neat people there. However, there is also not much going on and I quickly found it boring. The more gentle guidelines are admirable and certainly there sould be a place for gentle poly criticism. But they can contribute to a dull forum, in my opinion. Now I don't want to turn this place into 4chan but I find the current balance generally positive.

And in my more evil moments, I wonder what NeonKas would have done!
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  #58  
Old 06-02-2012, 09:34 PM
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I post much less now although I still read frequently. The reason is largely empathy fatigue. I read many posts and my first thought is often that the situation is so completely fucked up that nothing I say would be at all useful. I am amazed that so many other posters try to help those poor fucks. They are better people than I.
Oh believe me, I have had more than my fair share of what I call "train-wreck burn-out" - the idea that there are only so many times that you can try to pull everything back from the precipice towards which you know it's heading. I tend to take a break from posting (and even reading), and then come back when I have the requisite energy and patience.
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  #59  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:13 AM
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Ok...I'll stop interrupting again.
You're not interrupting! It's very useful and illuminating to get the moderators' perspectives and input on a topic such as this.

The fact is, I don't think most people bother to read the guidelines or get a feel for the forum before posting and so they expect it to be like others to which they've belonged. And obviously, it is not.

Opalescent, you make some great points, too.
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And in my more evil moments, I wonder what NeonKas would have done!
LOL, I often think of NeonKaos when the really weird and wild threads come up. Geez, if people think I'm harsh in my bluntness...
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-03-2012 at 01:25 AM.
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  #60  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:01 AM
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I have very little respect or interest in people who have to learn everything the hard way. To me, that's just as stupid as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I wonder why people post at all if they're not interested in feedback, and potentially learning from that feedback. Do they perceive this forum as place that will simply provide unqualified positive support once they decide that they are 'poly'? "I've joined the club, please love me"....

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I have also tried to explain, politely, to posters why I perceive their posts as creepy.
Creepy? Just out of curiosity, what exactly is a poster to do if their post is labeled as 'creepy' by you? Just because their behaviour/presentation style/situation is not in your comfort zone doesn't mean it's wrong, does it?

What does 'creepy' mean to you anyway? (but that might be off-topic. PM is fine)

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
But there are posts that are so pathetic that I just want to tell them to grow the fuck up, develop a fucking backbone, figure out what you want - not what others want - and go make it happen. And then deal with the consequences without whining.
Since this thread is about style / tone in posting, I'd be interested to know if you're, ahem, this straightforward in your real life interactions. If so, and if it works, then maybe there is nothing wrong with reflecting this in your postings. In many ways it might be easier for people to get some 'tough love' from a stranger far away
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