You Might Be a Goundhog If....
  • Maggie Franklin
  • October 24, 2008

You might be a groundhog if you are so afraid of confrontation that the sight of your own shadow extends winter by six weeks!

 

Over my years of participating in online networking forums I’ve seen a lot of arguments flare up. Some have been legitimate, worthwhile debates, but most of them start because someone makes a post someone else disagrees with them, and then Poster A gets offended and goes on a rampage.

 

Even when debates are going along perfectly smoothly and professionally, eventually somebody interrupts with a “why can’t we all get along” post, which is where it always gets good for me.

 

I love to watch people argue on the Internet.

 

I like to help.

 

I’ve been called a “pot stirrer.” But anyone who cooks knows that you have to occasionally stir the pot, or the sauce will scorch, right?

 

The thing that I don’t get is why is it such a bad thing to be “confrontational?” I hear that accusation thrown around in forums a lot. I understand how you might get your feelings hurt by a post that was outright mean-spirited or plainly rude. But not only is confrontation not a bad thing, it’s something many of us in this biz need to get better at!

 

How many times have I heard colleagues seeking advice because their clients take advantage of them? They let their clients get away with murder — no-shows, late arrivals, unruly children, rude behavior, and underpaying — just because the tech is too “non-confrontational” to speak up and enforce her policies.

 

These are the same techs who get into fights on the Internet and threaten to leave forums forever because someone dared to disagree with them. I’ve seen people throw a tantrum because they are so uber-sensitive that they can barely stand that someone even replied to their posts. No wonder they can’t get their clients to take them seriously and show them some respect.

 

Suck it up. Confrontation is good for you. It builds character.

 

There was recently some hubbub in one of my fave forums that sent some feathers flying, and although many people chimed in with some amazingly well articulated thoughts, The Nail Geek stopped by and dropped the following pearl of wisdom for us to ponder:

 

“Welcome to the world of forums.”

Just like the real world, forums can be filled with the most interesting of personalities. Some of these personalities can be overly aggressive, some can be hyper-sensitive. Some need public praise to feel validated. Some have good days. Some have bad days. Some sneak snide comments into their posts and some find snide comments where there were none to start with.

Wow, sounds a lot like life. Share your perspectives, respect each others opinions, and learn good info from those that give it and learn to ignore those that don’t.

Real life is full of confrontation. If it’s really that scary for you, I suggest going back in your hole to wait out the rest of the winter. The rest of us are making snow angels.

 



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