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Again?  Geez...
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Forum Drama
So on the Renault forum I frequent I was recently the target of a large amount of forum drama <spit>.

Basically, an amergency technician of some sort exhorted all of us to SLOW DOWN after he had a long night cleaning up a corpse and a couple of cars spread over 50 metres of highway.  He linked to a news article that said "it's not known if speed was a factor."

I replied with "hey, nice post, but it seems speed was not known to be a factor here."

Well, that triggered two pages of forum drama where people basically told me to shut the fuck up and stop picking nits when someone's got a public service announcement.  My stance, basically, was that if your public service announcements are based on fancy instead of fact I'm gonna pick a LOT of nits, kthx.

One member started a poll: Should NFG censor himself?  Before a mod closed it the tally was running 2:1 in favour of me shutting my mouth. 

Getting to the point, I'm continuously surprised at how people just hate to be criticized.  It doesn't matter how you couch it in flowers and sugar, if you're telling someone they've erred, they're gonna get pissy at you.  Pointing out the errors is far worse than making them.

No matter how old I get I never get used to this.  I love to be corrected.  How else do I LEARN if I'm not told I'm WRONG?
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Anyway, the mods closed one thread, split another, and after I said some really clever things to a lot of really stupid people, a few people did back me up.  I really liked this one from an admin:

When you say I've "pigeon-holed" you as being predictable, I would agree that I've catergorsied you as being someone who will be insightful, detailed, opinionated and pedantic with no doubt a touch of controversy for good measure  and you never fail to prove me right!

And this reply from someone else:

I'd also like to add in an amount of continuing personal responsibility to that list. I've never seen NFG back down from anything he's written, and I admire that too.

Finally someone started a thread in support of 'people like NFG'.  He considered himself like me, and while fewer people publically supported me than slammed me, it was heartening.  =)
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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There's always a way to dispense criticism without being, well, confrontational. Not having read your response, I have to assume that your 'hey, nice post' portion was short and easily skipped. In retrospect, it might not have been a bad idea to spend a paragraph agreeing with the post, citing personal experience in support of the common sense advice, and generally letting the guy know you were on his side. Simply pointing out a flaw in a relatively unqualified statement puts you on the 'them' side of the argument that spontaneously erupted. It doesn't dilute your argument if you spend time being social first.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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You're absolutely right, and this has come up there also.  The fact is I'm quite blunt, a trait which I think is a positive, not a negative.  Straight shooter, that's me.  Most people come to appreciate this.

I treat people the want to be treated: No nonsense, straight to the point.  People who want or expect insincere pleasantries are, IMO, distinctly weird.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I feel I should point out I really love these kinds of intense discussions.  I love a rolicking good argument at the best of times, but a discussion about my own attitudes really helps me sort out my own head.

This quote just rolled in:

All I can see, is someone that is very direct, have particular strands of thought made his point. And then a few others started bitching. It's like steping into a high school class room. At least someone is honest about his opinions, and willing to put it out there which is the point of an open forum. We can debate about the validity of such things, but bitching about them? pffttt... you know what? At least he is honest, maybe not in other cases but in this one he voiced his opinions that are his true intentions. I think we could use more honesty, more often.

It's very nice to know that I'm not completely unappreciated in the way I deal with things. :-D
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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Treating others the way you want to be treated is a pretty universal ideal. Problem is, everybody wants to be treated differently. The next step up from that is to treat people the way they want to be treated. Unfortunately, that's almost never possible in a non-verbal medium of communication. And it's probably not fair to ask everybody to communicate at a lowest common denominator of vocabulary and civility. It's a puzzle.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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It is a bit of a puzzle, but I think it's a simple matter of tolerance.  If everyone took a step outside their own tiny world for a minute, thought about the possible reasons someone says something that sounds initially disagreeable and responded appropriately, the problem would go away.

Well, almost.  Of course you can't easily accommodate the shit disturbers and trolls, but you can easily allow the more abrasive among us to exist without lashing out at them every time they speak.
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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That's the thing though. So many people are abused, wounded, and marginalized. They're perfectly capable of dealing with disagreement and opposition, but more often than not their first reaction is to view it as confrontation. You don't think it's worth putting on a polite front just to avoid that sort of response? You can be yourself, but it's worth saving your genuine, abrasive nature for people you trust can deal with it. Otherwise, it looks like you're trying to make the whole world adjust to you, which is a set of GPS directions to living like the Unabomber. :)
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Yeah, I dunno.  Life's too short.  The way I figure it, and the way it's been proven to work, the people who are put off by my behaviour leave.  They're generally high-maintenance people who I have to placate over and over.  I hesitate to say they're dumb, but they tend to be different enough from me that their intelligence is irrelevent: they're a pain in the ass. Those who don't leave stay, and they tend to be people I get along very well with.  I've got lots of real life friends who'll attest to that.  It worked in my store too: my abrasive attitude tended to weed out the undesirables leaving me with a solid core of dedicated customers.

I work with someone who I'm convinced has a form of Asbergers.  He's totally socially inept, and is abrupt and blunt and very disagreeable at the best of times.  He's been to courses to try and change his demeanor, but it doesn't work: he doesn't feel like he's doing anything wrong...

Sometimes I wonder if I've got a similar problem: obviously I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, but I recognize that people are occasionally offended.  Do I have a legitimate problem?  I don't think I do: I've carefully evaluated both baths and decided it's easier to just be me.

It seems to work.  I've got friends I'd do anything for, and who genuinely appreciate my company and input.  I've got a wife I get along with, family I love and a job with many customers who appreciate my help.  Clearly then I'm a step ahead of this guy I work with, right?  Is there, then, any need to change?  I'm successful: what more do I need?

(I'm serious, it's a question: do I have a problem?      True introspection is impossible when I inhabit the brain I try to analyze.)
BLEARGH
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Member since Sep 2007 · 131 posts · Location: Canberra
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I don't think you have a 'problem'. I think it's just you. I'm one of those people that's very aware of the type of people I'm with, and I tend to try to make sure they're happy (generally). I'm not so good with confontation, and try to approach things rationally. I think it's good to have a straight forward approach, but you'll have to expect people not to like it. Way of life right? :)
Author name #11
Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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I don't think you have a problem either, and the fact that you're aware of how other people might view you means you're capable of overcoming your solipsism. Being able to see outside of your own head is the social barrier that we'll be able to conquer once racism, sexism and nationalism aren't problems. Unfortunately, we're about ten generations away from being able to do that as a species.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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This is funny.  A guy who is, bluntly, an inflexible idiot, brought back the NFG-bashing thread after 2 days of lying idle:

Quote by nickg:
NFG and the like need to get a life, full stop! NFG is also an extreme facist who gets his kicks from getting reactions on forums. The guy is the biggest loser on this forum, one of the worst examples of human beings. Its a pity he is on this forum.

I responded:

Quote by NFG:
lol!!

Don't hold back, son. Say what you mean! =)

Quote by nickg:
you loser NFG!

Quote by NFG:
OMG improper capitalization!

Quote by nickg:
you just proved my point you douche!

Quote by NFG:
No way! I can't believe it!
BLEARGH
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User title: Kitten Blaster
Member since Feb 2010 · 89 posts
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pff.  if people cant take criticism, they should stay the fuck off the internet.  i hate that people are two faced in that in person they hold back their comments while posting on the internet they will let loose the dogs of war.  it's funny that i've been told things along the lines of "you wouldnt say something like that in person" when in fact i act the same in person as on the internet.

the truth hurts and when people are on the wrong side, they get pissed off.
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