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Netiquette PSA - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Netiquette PSA [Jan. 22nd, 2007|05:56 pm]
[Current Mood |irritatedirritated]

I have this friend. S/he is tall, short, fat, skinny, real life, 'net only - in other words, an amalgam of people. S/he is all of us. If you think you recognize yourself in this, you're probably right. But you aren't alone. We're all part of it, to a greater or lesser extent.

Anyway, this friend is a wonderful, witty, loving person. Smart, charismatic, funny, charming.

And every once in a while this friend does something so outrageously rude, obnoxious, fool-hardy, or just plain stupid, that I am completely rocked back on my heels, slack-jawed that anyone I regard so highly could do such a thing, whether that thing is to me or to another person, or to hirself.

And then I remember that everyone is human. In the wise words of a very good friend, "Never assign evil intent when stupidity will explain things just as well."

I keep seeing people get really bent out of shape by the humanness of other people. And it makes me hurt for them. If you go around with a chip on your shoulder, people will bumble into you and knock it off accidentally. Don't start from the assumption that it was on purpose or you may start a fight that frustrates the daylights out of you. Because the "guilty" party will claim complete innocence - with all sincerity. And then battle lines will get drawn over something trivial and pretty soon it's the Jets and the Sharks and "choose whose side you're on."

That's avoidable, much of the time - most of the time when you take the trolls out of the equation. Most people really do mean well.


There is a correllary to this. If you find yourself continually in the middle of such upheavals, if you say things in your journal like, "wow, it seems I can't open my mouth in a community without it creating trouble!" and you are still protesting your victimhood?

Step up to the cluebat and take your licks. It's you.

[User Picture]From: stuffies
2007-01-22 11:12 pm (UTC)
this makes me think of a Demotivator I love from despair.com

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-22 11:21 pm (UTC)
I love it!
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[User Picture]From: preitas
2007-01-22 11:15 pm (UTC)
"Step up to the cluebat and take your licks. It's you."

lol Great quote :)
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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2007-01-22 11:42 pm (UTC)
I'm always bemused when people decide that somebody else's action must have been an intentional slight. Usually I attribute such things to ignorance because it wouldn't occur to me that anybody would actually go out of their way to make me feel bad.

I'll add another one to your list, being horrendously disappointed in somebody who lets you down in an area where you already know they are flawed. Person X can't keep secrets. Person X has repeatedly told secrets every time zie come into possession of one, and Person Y knows about this. Person Y tells Person X a secret and is devestated when his trust is betrayed. "But I thought we were friends.

Friends do not set friends up for failure.
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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2007-01-22 11:51 pm (UTC)
Please ignore the sad state of my grammar in this comment. :-p
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-01-22 11:56 pm (UTC)
I love your musings!
(I just hate when I occasionally see myself in them! lol)

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[User Picture]From: yndy
2007-01-23 03:09 am (UTC)
oh good lord...
this was me.

I'm having "issues" with LJ logging me out without warning the past couple of days.

I came back because this post had been on my mind while we were out running errands, and there was a thought I wanted to add.

"Never assign evil intent when stupidity will explain things just as well."

I don't really subscribe to this - partially because my own 'people picker' tends to be a bit wonky in the first instance.
Sometimes, I find someone I *think* is all of the positive adjectives you listed above - and then get blindsided by their negative behaviors... It usually takes an outside perspective for me to realize that sometimes, the person I thought was so positive actually *is* a morally bankrupt, self-obsessed, negative being who does do those things out of pure malice.

There are mean people in the world.

But I suspect that the gist of your post is such that you are pointing at the cases where it's a surprising action rather than something that is the norm for the person.

My rule of thumb is that if enough people who care about me and have proven themselves to be positive people in the past look at me and say "errrr... no... s/he really is a bad person" then I need to quit finding excuses for the negative behavior.

Just a small sidenote.

Sorry again about the apparently anonymous posting! :P
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[User Picture]From: mycorethoughts
2007-01-22 11:59 pm (UTC)
I know someone like that. Everything is always everyone else's fault. Always. No matter that s/he is confrontational, pushes hir weight around, bullies, etc. It's always everyone else's fault when s/he gets into hot water of hir own making.

And I've reached the point where I just have to sit back and shake my head, wondering how s/he got as far as s/he did at all, and when it's all going to fall down around hir. And of course, when it does, that will be someone else's fault, too. And this person wouldn't recognize hirself in this at all.
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[User Picture]From: tearsofaclown
2007-01-23 12:03 am (UTC)
This post comes at a good time for me - two of my close friends had a pretty big falling-out, to the point where I'm not sure if they'll ever repair things. I've been worrying about having to choose sides, if one of them demands to know "where my loyalty lies". I've specifically been worried because (from what I know) one of them made an intensely callous and hurtful comment which really made him the "bad guy" in the conversation, but despite that, I don't want to excommunicate him.

So it's nice to have someone else say, "Even great people do really stupid hurtful stuff sometimes."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:10 am (UTC)
Yes they do. I know friends who have to straddle, and it's tough. Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: 28bytes
2007-01-23 12:09 am (UTC)
What fascinates me most about this post is the reverse psychology, intended or not... by saying "it's you," you're much less likely (I'm guessing) to get responses from people who think you're talking about them specifically.

Either way, I think "Never assign evil intent when stupidity will explain things just as well" is an excellent philosophy.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:11 am (UTC)
At least I'm not getting the "OMG, are you talking about me?" emails that this sort of thing often engenders!
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2007-01-23 12:14 am (UTC)

Especially to the not assigning evil where stupidity will explain it just as well.
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[User Picture]From: adjust_56
2007-01-23 12:15 am (UTC)
Beautifully and eloquently said!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:13 am (UTC)
And then I went to the movies, so only now seeing comments!
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[User Picture]From: chili_das_schaf
2007-01-23 12:17 am (UTC)
I might add that the excessive cultivating of such a victimhood can lead to the breaking of friendships. I've seen it happen, and it was no fun to watuch.

I wandered over from Ferrett, but I poke in here once in a while and as this is the second entry of yours I put away in my LJ memories, I wanted to ask if I could add you to my friendslist.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:14 am (UTC)
Welcome, and certainly, if you can tolerate the inane babble that constitutes most of this journal!
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[User Picture]From: gythiawulfie
2007-01-23 12:20 am (UTC)


And politely reminds herself to keep herself in check about this stuff too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:16 am (UTC)

Re: Amen

Like I said elsewhere, I was doing it today. Ferrett had a cluebat handy, however....
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[User Picture]From: idic_writer
2007-01-23 12:24 am (UTC)


I couldn't have written this better myself. Go you! :*
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[User Picture]From: lyssabard
2007-01-23 12:51 am (UTC)

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From: authentichris
2007-01-23 01:20 am (UTC)

spill the beans

what did you do.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:17 am (UTC)

Re: spill the beans

I don't name names.
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[User Picture]From: wdomburg
2007-01-23 02:00 am (UTC)
I wonder if I'm the only one who read this post with David Bowie singing "Five Years" in the back of his head.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:18 am (UTC)
Not being a Bowie fan, I can tell you that I'm not doing so.
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[User Picture]From: zarhooie
2007-01-23 02:28 am (UTC)
*keeps mouth shut*
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[User Picture]From: greektoomey
2007-01-23 02:51 am (UTC)
In the wise words of a very good friend, "Never assign evil intent when stupidity will explain things just as well."

I hope your very good friend doesn't claim credit for this wisdom.

(Great post, btw.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:19 am (UTC)
I did not ask, but thank you for the link!
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[User Picture]From: libco
2007-01-23 04:33 am (UTC)
OMG, are you talking about me?

Just kidding. Good thoughts. I often am accused of being naive by many of the negative folks for thinking this way.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 11:01 am (UTC)
Some people live for drama. I try to just stay out of it.
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[User Picture]From: ser_kai
2007-01-23 09:26 am (UTC)
You know I do the stupid thing by default, right? I'm better at the social stuff than I used to be but I still have the social skill of a six year old.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 11:05 am (UTC)
As long as you keep trying and don't just use it as an excuse to hurt people, you are doing okay.
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[User Picture]From: supremegoddess1
2007-01-23 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'd like to post this to reader's list...may I?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-23 04:19 pm (UTC)
Certainly. You can consider my permission given anytime you want to do so.

And thanks!
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[User Picture]From: the_xtina
2007-01-23 05:52 pm (UTC)
I get bent out of shape by the humanness of other people, but I don't take it personally.  People are a wide range of things, from wildly intelligent to fucking moronic - not my dog.  It bugs the fuck out of me when they inflict themselves on me - I can't understand why they can't learn things.

Of course, chances are high that someone who is a calmer person than I feels the same way about me.

At any rate.  This advice isn't useful for me in the public sphere, but it's terrific when it comes to my relationships, wherein which I am anywhere between lingeringly suspicious to actively paranoid, for no particular reason.  I'd love to get better at thinking that B is not deliberately trying to hurt me when he uses this one tone of voice.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-01-24 02:47 am (UTC)
Yes, but you should also be able to point out - using "me words" what you feel like. It's a delicate dance.
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