Boundaries: How to have them and how to enforce interpersonally on the forum level

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by AbsenteeLandLady124, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    I've been wanting to make this thread for about six months, but always worried about it being seen just as a response to whatever major issue was currently happening. So straight up, in the OP, let me be very clear:

    I have made this thread because there are consistently issues site-wide with regard to basic boundaries and have been for years. The list I have made is non-exhaustive, but a good starting point of these.
    ETA: Disagreements, edits, and editions are welcome. I apologize if it came across and my tentative list being seen as a be-all and end-all guide to boundaries, that is not what I was trying to convey. All elements of this list are up for discussion.

    I deal with severe chronic pain issues, so I apologize if it takes me a couple of attempts to parse feedback and if I have to ask clarifying questions. I am autistic and will not pick up on subtext a lot of the time myself.

    I am putting this in meta because it pertains to communication site-wide and also in off-site real time chats, and is a community safety issue. I will be separating these into different aspects of socialization. Feedback is welcome as the desire is to workshop out a basic guide to boundaries that are clear for people of all neurotypes. OP will be reflected with original list spoilered and final one set out after discussion has concluded.

    I also want to make it crystal clear: you are not irredeemable and bad if you have accidentally crossed these boundaries. People mess up. In an environment like this, the chance of messing up gets much higher. That's why I've been workshopping this guide, to help people on both sides of an issue.

    Some boundaries, particularly sexual, may be somewhat flexible depending on the personal relationships users have with each other. However, it should not be assumed that just because one person is fine with something, another will be too. Communication is vital.

    Sexual Boundaries:

    On a forum full of abuse survivors and the mentally ill, and one that has a thriving nsfw sub community, it is crucially important that there be an understanding of basic boundaries with regard to consent. Consent also applies to sexual conversation, not just physical activity.

    - YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO. ALWAYS. AT ALL TIMES. Consent to one interaction does not equal consent to the next.

    - NO MEANS NO. If someone says no, do not try to convince them their no should be a yes. (Thanks @KingStarscream for phrasing and important reminder to put thing in from other side)

    - Someone saying 'this person is kind of hot' or variations thereof, is not a blanket invitation to escalate and talk about sex. A passing mention of attraction is not an invitation to discuss sexual activity. If I comment on someone's selfie and say "You look really pretty today", it would be severely inappropriate for someone else to chime in with "I bet they're down to fuck," whether they are referring to the person who posted the image or myself.

    - Someone saying they don't want to talk about sex with you is not them inherently being sex-negative, it is asserting a boundary. This needs to be respected, the first time. If you are not in a relationship with someone - and even if you are, check to obtain consent first until it's established you're all equally comfortable with sexual non-sequiturs - it is unreasonable to expect strangers and friends to be down to talk about sexual acts, your sex life, their sex life or whether they actually totally want to have sex with the person they said is attractive or not.

    - If the space is not inherently marked as NSFW, spoiler your nsfw. This includes saying how much you want to fuck a certain character/person/thing, speculating on how likely they are to want to have sex, and talking about what kind of sex they might have. Otherwise, random participants are forced to witness without having their consent obtained. A spoiler warning for NSFW results in the thread results in users having to consent by clicking the button in order to engage with the content.

    - Having a NSFW encounter of any sort with someone in one part of the forum does not mean you can continue it, reminisce about it, or share details about it in the ostensibly SFW parts of the forum without:
    - Obtaining consent from the other party
    - Putting it under a spoiler warning
    In addition, do not save photos of any sort of any forum members without their explicit consent and respect any requests to delete them from the person who posted them.

    - Intimacy in an online environment does not automatically equal consent in a physical space. Sexting is very different from actual physical intimacy - always check to be sure your partner is okay with any activities, and if they have sexual trauma work out ahead of time a system if they are unable to directly say yes or no.

    - Liking some things in fiction does not mean it is okay to do them in real life. Some kinks are dangerous when they switch from fictional to things being done in reality and people engaging in them require therapeutic assistance for a harmful paraphillia. This addendum is in specific reference to the fourth quote in the following post. This is not being sex negative, it's saying that some things are actually illegal.

    General Boundaries


    - NO MEANS NO. If someone says "I have to tap out" and you accidentally ping them, that's an accident and an apology might be enough. But if someone says "I have to tap out" and you choose to ping them, repeatedly, and pursue them into other threads, and keep trying to drag them back to this argument-- that's not okay.
    If someone asks you to stop, stop. Even if you really don't want too. (Thanks @KingStarscream for phrasing and important reminder to put thing in from other side)

    - If someone doesn't ask you to stop but seems to be ignoring you, it is possible you might have been placed on Ignore. Consider reaching out to a mod to obtain confirmation of this and stepping away from the situation.​

    - You have the right at any time to back out of a conversation if you are uncomfortable. It is good practice to say that you are doing so, and let someone know if you are putting them on ignore if need be so they don't continue to holler at the void, but your own safety comes first.

    - If you are backing out of a conversation because your behavior is being criticized, you still have the right to do so, but others also have the right to let you know that you have made them uncomfortable and it is good practice to consider what they have said.
    - You have the right to ask people to stop talking about you in a thread if you are not present
    - If people are processing hurtful actions taken toward them in their own threads, you still have the right to ask and point out it's not okay to treat insult/attack you personally if that is occurring, but the other users have the right to say no.
    - If people are pointing out to you that you have behaved in an abusive manner, while this can be very painful to read and process, it is not reasonable to ask them not to do that. An environment in which accidental toxic behavior is not pointed out is not healthy. If the criticism shifts into attacking and insulting, the same standard boundaries regarding that apply.
    - Not all interpersonal conflict on the forum will be because of abusive or toxic behavior. Sometimes mental illnesses will interact poorly. "People need to be able to point out problems, but people also need to be able to take some time and breathe and quietly process without constant new input." (@Codeless thank you for that phrasing)
    - Conflict is messy. There will be competing access needs - some people desperately need to process the aftermath of a conflict, especially if they feel like they were treated unfairly. Others don't want to see anything to do with it. When two valid boundaries rub up against each other and a conflict continues to occur, consider asking a third party to arrange a mutual ignore, or a TCHGB thread to examine these conflicting issues.​

    - You are not obligated to put in time and effort assisting others with social debugging, deconstruction of abuse of any kind, or any sort of emotional labor. If you feel like you are being pressured into providing emotional support, step back from the situation and remind yourself that you are not a therapist.

    - You have the right to say when you feel like you are being talked down too, or insulted. You have the right to ask for an apology.

    - You do not have to perform intellectual labor on demand. If someone asks for information from you that is easily acquired elsewhere - such as requesting you define what sexual harassment is - you have the right to point them at google.

    - You do not have to like everyone on the forum - this includes the moderation team. Sometimes people do not get along, and that's okay. Social pressure should not be applied to you if you do not like a person, and if anyone attempts to pressure you into reconsidering that opinion because it makes them uncomfortable, you have the right to say no.
    - This one is also tricky. If a user is applying social pressure to you because you are socializing with both them and someone who has abused them and you are aware of the abuse, they have the right to ask you to stop. You still have the right to say no, but in this case the hurt user may choose to sever contact with you instead, and this is a reasonable boundary for them to assert. (Directly requesting help wording this one because it's very important)

    - It is okay to ask other people for help with conflict, but please bear in mind that some people have left the community for their own self-care reasons and may have trouble disengaging again if called back to assist with an argument.
    - It's okay to ask other people for help with conflict, but they have the right to say no. It's thoughtful and polite to bear in mind self-care reasons if you're aware of them. If they've already asserted a boundary, respect it. If you know someone has trouble disengaging, it is absolutely not cool to intentionally use that to hook them back in for your own benefit. Their boundaries are ultimately their responsibility, but it is not okay to intentionally exploit a vulnerability to make it harder for someone to assert or enforce a boundary. That's manipulation. (Thank you @Verily for the wording there)​

    - Deliberately poking the sore/trauma spots of another forum user is extremely rude. Having disagreements isn't bad, but if someone is being poked and hurt they may lash out in response. If someone is treating you poorly, you have the right to ask them to stop and seek help.
    - Your distress and emotions are your own. Your motivations are your own. It is inappropriate for someone to tell you this is not the case, such as by attributing causation of your pain to a different issue in spite of protests.

    - It is inappropriate to debug another user's thought process, motivations, and mental state without their consent in relation to interpersonal forum conflict. If you notice a potential correlation between distress over one thing and distress over another, ask first if the user is up to deconstructing and accept if they say no. Being confused over motivations is fine - armchair diagnosing & telling someone their hurt is actually due to something else is not. If speculation on thought processes of another user is a part of processing trauma, it may be a good idea to confine this to a different thread.

    - Ask before using others as emotional sounding boards. Vent threads are places where people can specifically go to help with that, do not assume that someone who helps you in a vent thread will be okay with private one on one communication, especially with heavy topics.

    - While the urge to self-deprecate in a conflict is deeply understandable, it makes it hard for people to engage if they have a complaint with behavior without feeling like they have to soothe the emotional state of the other user first. It is not a healthy behavior and is often a tool used in deliberate manipulation. If someone is being self-deprecating in a conflict and you feel the need to perform emotional labor for them, here is a selection of potential scripts to deal with it:
    - "I'm sorry you feel bad about this, but I'm not going to engage with you putting yourself down."
    - "Please stop responding to everything with self-deprecation, it makes me feel like I'm not allowed to argue with you or your mental wellbeing is in my hands."
    - "I am not your therapist. I'm pointing out problems with your behavior. That doesn't mean you are irredeemable, and I'm not going to engage with self-deprecation."
    - It is never appropriate to respond to conflict with threats of any kind. Stalking, saving private information, blackmail, suicide baiting and coercion via sensitive information are not okay behaviors in any way and you have the right to ask for help and be taken seriously, and to be listened too.
    - If you are prone to this sort of behavior in meltdown states, understand that the users hurt might not ever feel comfortable engaging with you again. While this may feel unpleasant, nobody should be forced to interact with someone they are afraid of. If you are prone to lashing out when hurt, please ask for resources that might help manage the behaviors and make use of them where possible. The forum software has a variety of options that can quarantine explosive meltdowns.
    - The staff are people too. It is extremely inappropriate to threaten, harass and make a staff member feel unsafe via posting abusive things at them which will not get through post moderation.​
    - You have no obligation to continue to interact with a user that makes you feel unsafe, and blocking people can be a valuable self-care tool after a traumatic experience. If someone tells you that doing this is unfair, this is inappropriate and you have the right to tell them to stop. If you feel your safety has been compromised irl, contact the authorities with the relevant information.

    - You are not less important than another user with a higher post/rating count. You are just as much of a person, and your views and experiences are important. If you feel like you are not being taken as seriously as a more visibly influential user, you have the right to make this clear.

    - While posting in emergencies asking for financial support is absolutely acceptable, it should also be understood that many people on the forum are living in poverty or desperate financial situations themselves. If someone is insinuating that you don't like/care about them due to not providing financial help, you have the right to tell them to stop.

    - You have the right to end a relationship if you feel uncomfortable or like you are being taken advantage of, regardless of the perceived social status of the other party.

    - You do not have to justify your emotional reactions to a thing once you've made it known what your issue is. It is enough to say "I feel this way because of [X]". Trying to articulate as much of what bothers you as possible is useful for communication debugging, but you do not need to go in depth about how you think and why you feel that way in response to prodding. An example:
    "I feel uncomfortable and like my contributions to the discussion have been dismissed, because [reasons]."
    "Okay, but, why do you feel that way in the first place?"
    "I do not need to go into detail about why I feel that way, please focus on what my problem is as stated."

    - From @Codeless: if you are speaking on behalf of someone else [With regard to discomfort and boundaries]:
    1) Ask permission first, Especially of people who have a hard time enforcing their boundaries already and:
    2) Say that you have been asked or given permission so other people know you are not stepping on someones boundaries while trying to enforce them.

    - From @Codeless: Please try to assume good faith on apologies unless you have reason to believe otherwise. Be aware that peoples tone can differ and is not necessarily and indicator of sincerity.
    - If this is difficult to do due to paranoia or other mental illness, it can be helpful to consider how unpleasant it feels to make an apology and have it read in bad faith.
    - Beyond any moral standards, people under 18 entering 18+ spaces is dangerous for more than the minor. With the current forum setup, I don't believe there is any way to enforce it, but the standard of 'don't participate and don't tell people if you go in and read the stuff' should apply.
    - If you are under 18, please don't use a subaccount in order to enter and participate in 18+ spaces.
    - Adding onto this: please specifically mark your vent threads as 18+ if you want them to be 18+ (Thanks @furrylatula for the wording there)

    Scripts for enforcing basic boundaries:

    - "I don't like how this is making me feel, can we please stop for a while?"
    - "I feel like you are dismissing my experiences and emotions. Please listen to me and consider my point of view."
    - "This is hurting me, stop it."
    - "I can't do that, it's beyond my abilities. Please seek professional help."
    - "I might not have formal qualifications, that doesn't mean that I am stupid. It feels like you are dismissing my intelligence and this really hurts me, please stop it."

    [EDIT LOG]
    - September 25, I added a point I forgot about in my original list and cleared up some typos
    - Added additional point from Codeless in general boundaries
    - Edited at several points to reflect tonal feedback on OP from Codeless
    - Added an additional point in sexual boundaries that it deeply fucking pains me that I had to add.
    - September 26, added important inversion of the 'you have the right to say no' boundary with feedback from KingStarscream
    - Added additional point from Codeless in general boundaries and a tip on doing so
    - Cycled in drafts from page 2 & 3
    - October 24, added several important points from page 4, please let me know if I missed anything.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  2. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    I collected a couple of anonymous statements about boundaries on the forum itself, presented so people understand this isn't just Kathy Having A Moment. If you would like to say anything in this thread about boundaries but feel uncomfortable doing so with any of your accounts, feel free to message me and I will include them here.

    If you dropped me a statement and I've lost it, poke me again on either of my accounts and point me in the right direction.

    As can be seen, there is a feeling like it's not safe to voice concerns and that a great deal of emotional and intellectual labor will be required in order to be taken seriously. While the site has a great many competing access needs, my hope is that by workshopping out a list of basic boundaries, we can reduce some of these clashes c:

    ETA: An additional concern is feeling like there is often deflection from important issues onto something else related but not the same, and that there is potential for that to be used to chip away at boundaries.

    ETA: It's clear at this point that we have some pretty actually major concerns to talk about outside of just general boundary pushing.

    ETA: Seventh quote hits why I made this firmly on the head. These aren't rules, these are a list of basic boundaries that you, yes you, have the right to enforce for yourself and ask for help with. You deserve these things, you have the right to say No, and Help. This list is not exhaustive. If you are uncomfortable, have additional feedback, have questions: reach out.

    Edit log: 25 September, added an additional anonymous quote and more thoughts on the issues identified.
    added another anonymous quote under a spoiler, mind the warning.
    added an addendum to the third anonymous quote.
    added a quote from kami, permission was asked and granted.
    added additional anonymous quote. i have no context and don't know who that person is.
    added additional anonymous quote and more thoughts on issues identified

    eta: 6th October, added anonymous quote provided by @Saro
    eta: 11th October, added anonymous quote provided by @Saro that I missed the first time around.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  3. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    [reserved to update with agreements and points of contention that may happen in the thread so it's all localized]

    - A better understanding of what constitutes NSFW in the literal sense is needed, this subject reliably causes derails away from boundary concerns as people get stuck on terminology. Suggestion to bear in mind basic rules of consent and that unless everyone present is okay with the conversation, sexual activity of any sort should not be discussed in a work environment.
    I know some folks get super frustrated every time peeps get stuck on definitions, but with such a density of autistic users and people with traumatic backgrounds who may have different ideas based on experiences I think it is a good idea to resolve this once and for all and have it displayed prominently. NSFW stuff isn't just anything that would make people uncomfortable, I consider it material that you would not and should not expect to encounter in public or the workplace, or in private without consent, often lingered on. Honestly, I also agree with the idea of a different system rather than NSFW, more in line with TV ratings, with NSFW limited to sexual material to reduce levels of confusion. I don't know what that should be though, so I will be using NSFW as the catch-all. Please understand also that I am not condemning anyone or saying that some topics are inherently offensive. I am making no value judgments on the content described or saying that it's Bad and people who haven't used spoilers in the past for this stuff are Bad. I'm proposing a general guide in the wake of multiple major upsetting occurrences on the forum so we can work together to make a safer, more accessible place for its members.
    So with that in mind, here's my suggestions, please everyone feel free to float additions/changes:

    - Gore and extreme violence of all kinds.
    - This goes beyond a bloody nose. Things like evisceration, amputation, anything that would kill someone. Someone being punched in the face and getting a black eye, and that's as far as the description goes - not nsfw. Someone being punched in the face followed by a description of bone shattering and a major injury - nsfw.
    - Graphic abuse (of all kinds, not applicable obviously in ITA, your own vent threads unless you want to tag.)
    - Again, it can often come down to level of detail. Mentioning that a character was abused and how - not nsfw. Talking in-depth about the abuse they went through, specific experiences, quotes, etc., would qualify. Consider when posting if it would stand a reasonable chance of triggering someone who went through that sort of abuse if you aren't sure - mentioning that abuse occurred often will not, descriptions of specific things often will.
    - Sexual content. For this one there is the largest chance of cultural variance I think. So here are things I, personally, consider nsfw for sexual content:
    - Sexual solicitations.
    - Photography, art, or graphic description of genitalia.
    - Photography, art, or graphic description of masturbation/intercourse/sexual encounters.
    - For these two, "graphic description" again comes down to detail. Mentioning that two characters had sex once - not nsfw. Talking in-depth about how they did, or in depth about genitalia (appearance, texture, etc) - nsfw. Unless a space is explicitly marked as nsfw, I would not expect to run into this sort of content and may be caught off-guard and distressed and I would not have consented to encountering it.

    - workshopping an understanding of what dogpiling is (Tentative definition, as all things is open to further workshopping and contention: "Perhaps dogpiling is best defined as when the situation stops being several people expressing disagreement with a user, and instead begin to question and attack their character and/or shit talk them", from @Ipuntya)

    - add a section about helping people enforce their boundaries??

    - excellent advice from @Verily regarding finding an advocate for you when uncomfortable:
    - @Saro has said "I'd like to offer my services as a reporter for anonymous statements. I'm a generally uninvolved party in all of this, and do not plan to be involved, beyond posting statements (if people would like). I don't know if this is useful, and if it's not wanted I will remove it, but I thought people might be more comfortable submitting stuff to someone who will just anonymously post it and not engage beyond that."

    - If you have an anonymous statement to make about boundaries on the forum, behavior to do with boundaries on the forum, or feedback you would like to make, please do so. A wider range of perspectives helps create a more inclusive list of boundaries and help make it more accessible, as well as identifying problem areas.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  4. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    [Derail containment relevant to discussion in an emotional unpacking thread in relation to wiwaxia, shifted over on request]

    Honestly? No. I have no idea how this could have been handled better. Slowly dripfeeding the info out into the wider community would have done nothing but unsettle people, create paranoia and a schism. Some would have naturally wondered if the info was legit or an attempt to start a smear campaign and regain face lost in the march argument. This has been deeply fucking unpleasant, but it's like a bandaid being ripped off.
    There's some stuff you can't really prepare people for, when it's a first time event. In the aftermath I believe as a community there's a lot we can do to try and make the forum safer for everyone and reduce the chance of predatory behavior going unnoticed or for people who it's been directed at to feel like they have to suffer in silence.
    Like this. Look for people you trust, preferably ones who will not feel like they can't say anything either due to being in the same social circle etc. It's okay to ask for help. It's very important to ask for help. Nobody should ever feel a pressure from the community to stay silent and have to put up with things that hurt them.

    [ETA: Pinging @autopsyblue and @Verily if case there's interest in continuing this discussion in the more appropriate space]
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  5. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    One little point I want to raise, without actually doing anything about it, is that over time, I do recall seeing a number of discussions about what exactly constitutes NSFW, and it always seems to be a conversation that frustrates everyone involved. Without trying to figure out a definition myself, I just wanted to add that defining the acronym very literally as 'not safe for work' is a nice evocative shorthand, but also that workplaces as a whole are not one size fits all. Anecdata, in my workplace, it would be a bit of a shock to hear anyone saying 'sex' out loud, talking about sex as say, a plot point in a tv show, is usually like 'and then dany and jon... you know', and talking about sex as relates to real life people is really not done. I know my industry/workplace is somewhat conservative, but it's not definitely not peak conservative and is a pretty laid back environment.

    Not to say that my workplace's standards make a good metric, definitely not to say that nsfw should be defined in terms of the most stuffy, uptight workplace you can imagine. But I've seen multiple conversations in the past where people have gotten frustrated because 'I can talk about this just fine at my work' 'well I can't at mine'. I wouldn't even know where to start defining one singular standard for everyone to use, and I honestly don't think a debate about it would be very productive, because there are so many ways things can shade based on just little wording changes and context, even if people could agree on where to draw the line in the first place. It is frustrating not having one definitive set of rules to reference, but even 'not safe for work' is more of a guideline than a universally understood standard.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  6. Salted Earth


    I think that using a ratings system (like the one used for television) would be more productive than the 'not safe for work' definition, because ratings systems have clear rules about what goes where.
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  7. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    Interestingly, I looked up the MPAA standards to see what they had to say (not the only standards guide, but an influential one), and they particularly avoid defining specific rules for sexual content :P Their only explicit restriction is no sex scenes in G-rated movies, but that's definitely not the only thing they judge in practice.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  8. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    I think also with regard to sexual NSFW at the workplace it's important to bear in mind basic rules of consent - do the people listening/participating in the conversation consent to the discussion about sex? An example:
    My partner was recently working at a temp placement, and overheard a discussion about a sexual situation between I believe three women involved, two of which were nearly bullying the third over her unwillingness to consider a sexual scenario. This was not suitable for work activity. The fact that it seemed to be commonplace does not make it an acceptable line of discussion in the workplace, and it unsettled my partner deeply as he was being forced by proxy to consider some of these women engaged in sexual activity when he did not consent to this.

    Also, sometimes people do not clearly demonstrate their discomfort with a situation by saying "Please stop" IRL or in text.

    Potential signs of discomfort to watch out for in text communication:

    - Are other people displaying signs of avoidance? Such as not engaging with the posts, or trying to shift the topic? A common deflection in meatspace from unwelcome sexual conversation is a polite laugh, a 'haha, yeah' can serve the same purpose in text.

    - Did the conversation stop for a while, and then resume on a different topic entirely?

    - Is someone protesting? Even if it seems like they aren't serious, it's a good idea to check up on them and be sure they're okay with the trend of conversation.
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  9. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya your purple friend

    @KathyGaele's Sub do you happen to have any information on what to do when dealing with people who are too afraid to state/enforce their boundaries?
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  10. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    Yes! In those cases, reinforcement that they can say no is crucial. Even for little things - if someone seems hesitant at the idea of engaging in a conversation or doing a shared activity, remind them that it's okay to say no and that you are in fact happier when you can observe their boundaries, because the relationship is healthier as a result.

    Sometimes people feel like they need to be useful, and that if they have any boundaries, they can't be useful. By presenting maintaining healthy boundaries as a thing that is useful to you as well, that can help with bypassing that particular breed of brainwasp.

    Similarly, sometimes people feel like they don't deserve boundaries, or that if anything that is uncomfortable happens to them, they must have been giving out subconscious signals that they wanted the thing. Reassurance that their comfort is more important to you than whatever activity was being pursued can help counteract that.

    For people who are actually unable to say no, I recommend setting up a series of safe words or an image cue for text communication that every party involved understands to mean "I am uncomfortable, please stop" and another "Stop right now, I'm not okay" response. The traffic light system of Red for Stop, Yellow for Discomfort and Green for Okay is very useful for this.

    Also, making it clear that they can ask other people for help and advice related to social situations, and that you won't be mad at them for doing so, will go a long way to soothing nerves!
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  11. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    An Thing: For me, it can be hard to tell how someone else is feeling, and if someone is not ok with a thing, I often won´t know unless they tell me. I will ask if I suspect someone is not ok, but I may not suspect.
    I think this is an important point to keep in mind on a forum full of autistic people. That still means once someone knows, they should apologize and stop, but donßt assume people know automatically.

    I am perfectly ok if someone wants someone ELSE to tell me to step off, but:
    At the same time, I have very bad experiences with people speaking for me or others without my or their permission, so it is important that if you are speaking on behalf of someone else you:
    1) Ask permission first, Especially of people who have a hard time enforcing their boundaries already and:
    2) Say that you have been asked or given permission so other people know you are not stepping on someones boundaries while trying to enforce them.

    Also yes I´m speaking from personal feeling here but I think this still applies in general.
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  12. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    That's a very good point, thank you!

    ETA: Gonna add those to general boundaries!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  13. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I've been asked to pass along anonymous words about boundary violations, and the response when a person tried to bring up their worries about an issue.

    edit: whoops, kathy definitely is right. editing in a spoiler, because defining the lines of where to cut stuff off really is hard :P
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  14. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    Oh. Uh. Gonna add that to the list, and put under a spoiler? And maybe that should go under a spoiler.

    So for the record: Yes, those are boundary violations, no, that's not a witch hunt, and some of that is actually illegal.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  15. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    I think going forward - any anonymous anecdata making reference to sexual harassment, assault, and pushing against consent should probably be spoilered when presented.
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  16. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    I really, really want to emphasize: If you have discomfort with the way in which your boundaries have been treated, or others have been treated, you are allowed to come forward about it regardless of who you are or who the other party is. Emotional distress from me in response to any quotes given is response to the content being a thing, not that I have been given additional data to add to the thread. I believe it's crucially important right now that people feel comfortable and confident in presenting their concerns.
    • Like x 8
  17. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya your purple friend

    i am very paranoid about not stepping over reasonable boundaries, but am too bum at social cues to detect comfort or discomfort

    so that leads to me repeatedly asking whether people are comfortable with a thing, before, leading up to, and during the thing

    but i am terrified at the prospect of someone who repeatedly stresses that they are comfortable with a thing, despite not actually ever being comfortable with the thing
    • Agree x 4
    • Witnessed x 1
  18. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    Crossposted with slight edit from my own thread so nobody thinks i'm ghosting:

    So i went to lay down for a sec, looked down at the floor, and could see forum background and words scrolling along in the woodgrain
    and if hallucinating about the discussions on the forum isn't a stone cold warning sign that i need to get the fuck out of dodge for a bit, idk what is.
    doing that
    pls direct further anonymous statements for the boundary thread to the trusted person of your choice to post here and be collated when i come back from break. it's also absolutely fine to make non-anonymous ones.
    • Witnessed x 11
  19. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    One thing I have personally seen and am intensely uncomfortable with is that... people who left the community and come back whenever there is "drama" to spectate and stir the pot?
    And like I get it. I have a bad tendency to drama spectate too. But I try not to make it worse by pouring fuel on the fire.
    And given how often and reliably this happens i feel pretty secure in the knowledge that people are deliberately alerting thos ex-community-members via discord or skype to get them to fight... on their behalf? and that feels intensely boundary violating on several levels though I have no idea how to really articulate that right now.
    • Agree x 16
  20. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    One thing I think we've had some less-than-productive conversations about in the past that could probably stand to be revisited is "what constitutes a dogpile, and how do we stop it from happening?" The pattern of "someone says something on a controversial topic -> a bunch of people strongly disagree with it -> it runs around in angry circles for a while -> no one wants to disengage because Someone Is Wrong On The Internet" definitely happens pretty often, and I'm not really sure what the best way to curtail that so people don't feel like they'll get dogpiled for disagreeing is.
    • Agree x 9
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