Just think of blue stop signs.

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by swirlingflight, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Original context: conversation in meta forum regarding profile posts and the question of upsetting/triggery material in them, how best people can protect themselves, and what measures the community is willing to use to facilitate that self-protection.

    Like a decent number of meta conversations about how a community functions, what social rules work best, and so on... people became upset with things and the conversation got heated. I attempted to intervene a couple of times by making posts with as little emotional pressure, and as much assumption of good faith, as I could manage. Didn't succeed on all counts.

    Eventually my thoughts turned to my frustration with how this keeps happening, and I made a couple posts that culminated in this:

    Several months ago, maybe a year ago, I made an icon for a subaccount that I never actually made:


    My idea was, I would be a cutesy asshole, and interject myself to tell people to knock shit off whether they liked it or not. After all, their actions were hurting my feelings. So if I responded with actions that hurt their feelings... well, that was fair, wasn't it? Or they knew how I felt now, didn't they? Or they would associate my interruption with their rapid, emotional conversational methods and ~just figure out~ how to change.

    I put an hour or two into making the avatar, but managed to notice that my train of thought leading up to making it was... uh, not quite the best strategy for getting along with people.

    Still, the impulse is there.

    And when I see others expressing their emotions, and taking others' words in bad faith, and arguing with the ghosts in their heads instead of the words that others actually said... I really start to resent the fact that, as far as I can tell, I'm trying harder to behave myself than they are.

    • Like x 2
  2. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i totally feel you there. like, whenever people get in arguments like that, it is pretty distressing to me. i get worried 'cause i can't solve it, bothered by all the raging emotions, worried that kintsugi will fall to pieces, and worried that people will come out of it hating each other. and resentful of how it distracts from doing fun and interesting stuff, of how it takes up people's emotional energy and doesn't give back anything good that's equal to the amount invested in it.

    and then i end up in the argument, trying my best to stay calm and stop the argument, 'cause i care about the community and 'cause the argument is where everyone else is.
    • Like x 1
  3. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    and here's a pm i sent @seebs about the issue, from some time in august:
    • Like x 1
  4. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    Logically, I know that some people have a harder time not saying a thing because emotions but it's strange to me. Saying things takes effort and I'm deathly allergic to effort. You gotta think up some words, then mash some computer buttons and you have to concentrate and that's not even checking to see if they're good words! So I'm inclined to only speak when I really feel like I have something to contribute and can find the words and have thought it over a couple times. Some people are apparently the opposite, people are vastly different and weird like that.

    (and then I have a problem where sometimes I don't think my thoughts or ideas are worthwhile or I think if I thought of it, then it clearly must have occurred to someone better and they didn't say it so it must be terrible and i end up not saying things at all. which is a thing i use kintsugi to work on)
    • Like x 2
  5. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Right! People who are being overtly emotional, but in a way where I can't compartmentalize it as splitting? People more focused on getting their own emotions out than listening to others, but somehow listening just enough to keep getting more and more offended? It's awful! It's full of tidal pressures, creaking metal, the worry when something important will crack and crumble beneath us. ~oh, well, of course they feel like that~

    And I know for a god damned fact that part of it's due to witnessing parents arguing, and the fact that they couldn't be polite enough to go outside and do so out of hearing range... their feelings, and their right to express their feelings, were more important than my feelings and the fact that I didn't want to listen to them.

    Helpless and cornered and resentful. Possibly strong enough to categorize as hate, but I refused to think of it in those terms because ~I wasn't the kind of teenager who hated their parents for no good reason,~ and I knew that dealing with that sort of thing was ~just part of life~ because they told me so.

    I would close my door and blast music and try to drown out the sound, but I know the cadence of their voices and I could hear it like the electrical whine of a charging mobile device. The rote phrases of things they never processed in themselves but always managed to bring out when arguing with each other, the way they just had to get their own words out and refused to really listen to the other until the other listened to them because they knew their own points were important, but the other persons'? HA.

    But it's not just parental baggage. Part of it is just that it sucks. Part of it is just "yeah, sure, you have the right to express your emotions---but so do I, and my emotions say "go the fuck somewhere else, you're being very unpleasant to be around, and no, I am not leaving first, you're the one derailing this thread by being an asshole, fuck you."
    • Like x 2
  6. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    (Oh, for what it's worth: the title of my thread is a clever Undertale reference. It's advice that Sans gives you before you go to fight with Papyrus; Papyrus has a 'blue' attack that only hurts you if you're moving through it. So when you see a blue attack coming, you should think of it as a blue stop sign, and stop moving for long enough that the attack passes harmlessly through you.)
    • Like x 2
  7. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    @swirlingflight witnessed

    and yeah, it's so awful. :excalibur:

    "parents fighting" has been my go-to mental analogy for what it is like when i see people fight on kintsugi, even though my parents rarely ever fight or yell. so, yeah, same comparison but with a different meaning behind it, mine being "people who matter a lot to my life and who i care about are fighting, everyone is upset, and so everything is gonna be destroyed and everyone is gonna hate each other." it's seeing something that is mostly really really awesome go to shit and become really really terrible with the flick of a switch, and knowing there's nothing i can do to stop it. it scares me, basically, how fast stuff become an argument and how devastating the argument can be.
    • Like x 2
  8. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    *feels this thread*

    If I may get personal, my desire to make everyone else's bad emotions stop as soon as possible by any means necessary comes from a codependent childhood where I had to Fix Everything. It's something that I have worked on combating and I am better for it. I would reccomend others considering if this is what's going on with them if they feel this way! Dealing with it is helpful.

    In a weird way, I drawn to conflict. I need to know who is fighting with who and who is wrong and why and everything that led up to it and it's really exhausting. So for the most part, I do not engage. Exceptions are for the Craig Ferguson Rules:

    1. Does this need to be said?
    2. Does this need to be said by me?
    3. Does this need to be said by me now?

    Usually this leads me to participating when I think I have a unique, potentially helpful conclusion and enough time has passed that I don't think the original posters are going to come to that conclusion.

    Unfortunately, for Fighty Times, this means I usually nope out, unless I have an interest in bringing back the topic at hand. In that case, I either make it clear I want to bring up something else*, or I wait for a quiet moment and try to just charge on ahead with what I want to say before fighting can happen again.

    TLDR to that part: There's not a lot you can do if people are determined to fight each other. In these situations, the best you can do is to take care of yourself.

    *like, bluntly. like "guys idgaf about the fighties, I have question and I will keep asking until it is answered"

    Would it help to reframe that as you succeeding in behaving yourself more than others? Because it's a lot harder to gauge other people's effort than gauge the outcomes.

    oh man this whole post got long I hope it makes sense
    • Like x 4
  9. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Now that I've eaten some food and recovered from that choking laughter...

    Making words that actually communicate ideas, instead of being a splattershot of associations that other people don't follow... and then reforming those words to avoid obvious sorts of hurtfulness... and then maybe improving them to the point of being good words... yeah. That is a lot of effort. And I'm a mix of impressed and wtf at how people are managing to do so, so quickly, while feeling all the emotions!

    (I am glad you are working on the thing, and hope that Kintsugi is helping you to do so)
    • Like x 2
  10. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    That phrase definitely brings that kind of feeling to my mind. "People I look up to and care about are fighting, everything is going to fall apart if they don't resolve this soon/by the end of this episode... Where's the commercial break???"

    I think I recognize the scared feeling that you're describing, but I seem to have to shift over to metaphors of bridges over rivers to actually feel it. Like I burned out a lot of my ability to be aware of it as fear years and years ago, and now it usually processes as anger.

    Anger at people for fighting at all, because ~if they weren't stupid~ they could make the words without outright arguing, I can, so it can't be that hard.
    Anger at people for fighting where I can't conveniently avoid it, because I'm not willing to leave the thread for their bullshit spat, and they're fighting while also making remarks that are actually relevant to the thread; it's all mixed together, and can't be easily separated. Not without, say, the ability to strain out the bottom line thoughts while doing the emotion stuff elsewhere. Which ~obviously~ they don't have, or they would already doing so, because failing to do so when it's possible to do so is fucking rude! So while I could ask them to take it to argument island, I already know it would be futile to do so! ajkdghlajkgh!!!!! Keymashing capslock frustration intensifies!
    • Like x 1
  11. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion


    Oh man, specific guidelines for making the decision whether to say the thing, I love you. I know I've seen that around before somewhere, but in this context, it's a good thing to remember. I especially appreciate the way you seem to have framed it: "does this need to be said? yeah, i think it would help. does this need to be said by me? well, no one else is saying it, and it's been long enough that i expect anyone else who thought of it would have, so yes. does this need to be said by me now? might as well, it's been long enough going without saying." Not pressuring yourself to jump in immediately, giving yourself the time to process your feelings so you don't burn yourself out trying to fix unfixable things like other people's feelings.

    Oh dang. That might be a really good way for me to think about it, thank you. Instead of being full of the frustration that I failed to Fix The Conversation, I can be full of pride/cheer/accomplishment, knowing that I've managed a thing that is difficult. I'm gonna poke at the idea a little more to see if there's any likely snags for me, and then give it a shot for a while. Thank you!
    • Like x 2
  12. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    aaaah, i see. i usually process my negative emotions as fear, whereas you go over to anger more quickly.

    and yeah, i get what you're saying about them fighting and yet also saying relevant things at the same time. 'cause, like, yeah, i actually have an interest in quite a lot of the things that people fight about - i'm just not interested in the fights themselves. and yet, i can't really have one without the other in those threads. and 'cause i'm really curious and get worried about stuff when i can't see it, i end up looking in the threads and getting distressed by them. i just can't stop looking. i can stop commenting but i can't stop looking.

    well... okay, i'd be able to stop if something more interesting distracted me but that thing would likely have to be on kintsugi 'cause the site's Can't Get Email Alerts Even If You Want Them thing drives me bonkers and makes me feel the need to stick myself like glue to the site. the wt skype chat helps with that for the tango but it doesn't really help with all the other cool things on here. so yeah, i end up staying on here in order to make sure i don't miss other kintsugi things and that gets me drawn more and more into the argument, even though i'd rather not be sucked into it.
    • Like x 1
  13. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I know part why I go to anger: Fear is frozen inaction.

    The worst years with my parents, when they directed more of their anger in my direction, were very full of "Swirl, you need to do this, you need to do that, you need to do something, if you keep doing nothing then everything will be ruined." They said those things, but didn't help me address the fear, or the way I kept generating it, or give me advice on coping with the fear... Because they didn't really know how they did, either. They limped and stumbled and bumbled their painful ways to figuring out balances that sorta worked for them, in ways that kept wounding themselves, but it was enough to ~get done what they needed to.~

    I started twisting between the external and internal pressure. Twisting and metamorphosing the fear into anger. Anger hurts to feel, hurts me to work via it, but it's not frozen. I can grit my teeth and resent and hate(?) and act. With fear... I freeze, (teal) deer in headlights.

    So bs with my parents started this shit. It's my responsibility to go "okay, now let's figure out a different method."

    This has a thing in it that I am pinged by, but I'm failing to words it. Reminder to self, revisit this when I revisit this thread.
    • Like x 1
  14. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    • Like x 1
  15. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya return of eggplant

    um, is this just a thread for those who take their conversations slow, or can i say my thoughts as one of the fast ones?

    it seems sorta like being on an opposing side of the discussion, in a way
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    • Like x 3
  16. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Giving thoughts is cool with me! Hearing perspective and insights from somebody who tends to go faster might help me (and others in similar situations as me) understand instead of being stuck in the confused annoyance.

    I made this thread originally I got a handle on a thing that was upsetting me, the "why won't you guys just stop already" frustration, and I wanted to rant about it... but that thread wasn't the best place. Now that I've gotten the worst of the "argh argh why this" frustration layer out of my system, I'm not so frazzled about it all.
    • Like x 1
  17. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya return of eggplant

    going back to that feud i had with @Lissiel way back, i think that you actually had a lot of potential to be really good at deescalating argumemts, if it just weren't for the fact that some of the stuff about how you process emotionally charged things or techniques that help you handle them make people like me fly off into even further rage.

    devaluation and dismissal of people's feelings and emotions, for example, had been aggravating for many people. i'm not actually sure if you do care about them at all, but if you make it seem like you do, you're a lot less likely to make people feel like they are being invalidated!

    back then, i was actually pretty furious when you started breaking down our posts to point out the escalation, but my anger evaporated in the following post, when you acknowledged feelings and emotions.

    so for people like me, it might be better to cause deescalation by tackling the source of the emotions/feelings(this source most often being a misunderstanding that occurred) rather than the source of the escalation(the emotions/feelings themselves)?

    bluh i'm exhausted and this post is getting sorta messy, but what i'm trying to say is that for people who aren't able to prioritize deescalation over their feelings while upset, you might find it helpful if use a different kind of approach, although there is definitely some oberlapping between the two for some people.

    i'm gonna go sleep now, if this post is incoherent enough i'll try to explain myself better tomorrow if i have time
    • Like x 4
  18. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Liking because this is a very relevant post with a lot of useful things, but I am also too sleepy to process and respond right now.
    • Like x 1
  19. Lib

    Lib Well-Known Member

    it me, ouch.

    This also, yeah - like, if you said to me in a fight 'hey, these are the ways you are escalating', my mental response would likely be 'yeah, I know I'm escalating, I tried to calculate the optimum amount of escalation to get the other person to fucking listen to me'. (And this does not convey any obligation on you to do the thing, it's just a data point that may or may not be useful.)

    A further useful data point might be that some of us got our emotions squished by our own parental bullshit, and are working to be able to express them again. So like, my leftover-from-abuse shit manifests in, well, what @Avery said, and in feeling like I can never express my own emotions because making other people happier is always more important and always my responsibility.

    So I have an ongoing project to change that, to express my emotions more, to be able to talk in-the-moment more rather than never saying anything because by the time I've considered it six times and stripped out all possible emotion from what I was going to say, it's no longer relevant.

    And if you watched that, it would probably be really frustrating to you. What the fuck, Lib used to be really slow and never get emotions on anyone, and now she's getting faster and sometimes spills emotions? That's terrible; why would she ruin everything like that?

    But for me, that's a very important and very difficult process that I need to master to avoid myself becoming a useless doormat. (This doesn't imply any judgement on anyone else; I just feel, personally, that if I can't stand up for what I believe in, and own my emotions and get frustrated at people when I'm frustrated, and not feel like I have to fix literally everything, I'm being kind of a useless doormat.)

    So maybe it would also be useful to bear in mind that other people have different values, different abuse bullshit, and different processes that they need to go through?
    • Like x 2
  20. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Heh. I'm on mobile so I can't do proper response, but oh man, the thing of "I can't express my emotions, I need to make other people happier is absolutely a thing I have experienced. I'm still on the getting out of it stage myself.

    The idea that it would help to remember that others are in different points in their recovery and self improvement processes, as well as recovering from all kinds of different things... that's a good words, and a good reminder.

    To future self off of mobile: the fallacy(?) of expecting fairness/reciprocation. The point that seething in "why should I always think of and validate others' emotions, fuck that and fuck them" is a core thought that leads to a LOT OF BAD SHIT.
    • Like x 2
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