Sunday, June 3, 2012

I may have been going about things wrong

I had a conversation this week about a lot of the drama that had been going on and feelings and stuff. It was super awesome to have a constructive conversation with someone where even though we didn't 100% agree on everything, we respected each others positions and opinions and agreed to disagree while hearing each other out.

This is my feeling on disagreements: Sometimes it seems like in masto-land, if someone disagrees with someone else, we all end up clutching our pearls and asking for smelling salts because we're so shocked or appalled or offended over the whole thing that we tend to lose the plot about whatever it is we're disagreeing about and just focus on the disagreeing and suddenly lines are drawn in the sand and we're all pissed off. I remember this happening once on the TMS FB page where someone who was having a really horrific week posted something along the lines of "i am so $%#$^ tired of this disease" which then resulted in like, 100 comments about whether or not people found the use of symbols to imply profanity to be offensive and everyone sort of lost the plot about the fact that the person who had posted it had been having a horrible week symptom wise and was reaching out for help. instead we all ended up focusing on whether or not to be offended by the implication of profanity or whether or not to defend the use of implied profanity. The conversation essentially went nowhere and the poster ended up more upset because she'd inadvertently stirred up some sort of epic drama-storm that was totally unintended and she ended up feeling really ignored and marginalized in the process. No one was interested in listening to her, they were more interested in being offended by something she had done without malice. This sort of thing happens a lot.
This is an example of how disagreements should not be handled

In the case of the email correspondence, she threw a couple ugly truths at me about how my behavior could be interpreted and I sat on the email for a while before responding so I didn't respond from some super emotional place and just shoot everything she said down in a wall of defensiveness. (this was helped by the fact I was getting IV fluids and couldn't type so i'm not going to pretend it was ALL me being mature on my end) The person I was talking with was also being really awesome about things on their end and not responding to issues -I- had by being all defensive or emotional. It's sort of hard to really describe how to have a constructive conversation without breaking the confidentiality of said conversation, and since this one was private I'm not gonna do that. But it was two people who didn't agree on more than a few issues who were able to walk away from the conversation and say "well while i don't agree with you on some fundamental things, I totally respect where you are coming from and we will agree to disagree" I think that we both let go of our ego or our personal investment in certain actions and just listened to what the other person had to say or how they felt and from there figured out the best course of action. Even though we weren't agreeing with each other we weren't all "shut up shut up this conversation is over and i am going to put my fingers in my ears lalalalalalalalalalayou don't exist"
This is an example of how disagreements should be handled

One thing that she pointed out to me was that what I write here or in other public spaces can be seen as an attack and has made other people feel uncomfortable or could be interpreted as the intent to start a fight. That's never been my intention. One of the reasons that I'm generally super public about issues that I have had with groups or Facebook is because I'd rather be transparent and/or give people an opportunity to tell me that I'm wrong or just call me on my shit vs having a hundred private conversations with a hundred different people about how annoyed I am about whatever it is I'm annoyed about that week. Because for real, what I post here isn't an absolute truth, and I don't really ever see my opinions as being immutable or absolute either. I'm not saying I'm always -good- at it, but I really do try to be introspective and if someone says "i think you did ____ wrong"  even if I end up not agreeing with them in the long run, I can guarantee I'm going to reflect on whatever it was that is being discussed.

So I really do apologize if people have taken things written here as personal attacks. They were never meant to be, this is where I usually express my feelings on stuff, but I'm -so- all about utilizing the comments as an avenue for conversation. Because for real,  I'm really tired of the drama in masto-land. like, really really really tired of it. It just bums me out to see things get more and more fractured over time.  I'm not saying we should all become bffs for life or anything like that, but i really would prefer to agree to disagree. there have totally been times where i've been a combative jerk (or come across as such since i tend to have a rather brusque personality to start off with) and i am sorry for it. i think, for me, as i said earlier, i don't have a problem with someone disagreeing with me and i don't take it personally. but i also can't push my worldview on everyone else or expect them to have the same tolerances or boundaries or whatever either.

So yeah, it's kind of a bummer to realize that my actions, which were intended to be open and transparent instead sort of seemed more like an intent to start a big public fight or something. i just always prefer to avoid the cloak and dagger bullshit of talking about people or groups of people in secret and am more about being straightforward about things...though I can see that it could totally be interpreted as being overly combative or aggressive instead...which again, has -never- been my intent (ok i'm no saint, there have been instances where i've been mean about some stuff but it's been public and obvious. it's also not something i'm super proud of, but i'm not gonna play this out like i'm all perfect and that my actions never fall under the category of how not to handle a disagreement either)