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when does bullying and judging start...

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grains posted 1/13/2014 03:15 AM

I know that we all try to share our opinions as part of our process of recovery and healing. When does sharing become bullying and judging? I feel it is important to define and be aware of because we have to share and communicate not just on this site but in our lives with our partners. It happens often and for some they feel that they are just being honest. How does one separate being honest from bullying? When is honesty helpful and when is it bullying?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 1/13/2014 05:00 AM

I think it would be difficult to define bullying and judging as there is too much left to interpretation and the receiver's own perception. That being said, one of the things I love about this site is the fact that we have so many different kinds if people with different styles and different approaches.

Some people are very direct, some are more warm and fuzzy, and some come from an 'I can relate, here is my story' perspective. I have actually watched some members evolve from one style to another as they heal and grow and become more comfortable with who they are. No style is wrong or better than the other. Each serve their purpose as the receiver may respond better to one more than another.

Speaking for myself, I would never be where I am today if everyone had been all Kumbaya. I needed some tough love. I needed truth. I needed to learn to respond to it without being defensive. I knew enough that when something stung or I dug in my heels that I needed to look at it a bit more closely and figure out why.

I do think there is a difference between being honest and being brutally honest. The intent is was makes the difference. Someone can be honest with you. For example, you are a liar. Sounds mean, but it's true. Where as if someone were to say you are fat, no good in bed, well that is meant to hurt. It may be true, but the intent has changed.

Fortunately we have moderators that can help us with such situations. I would not hesitate to use them. They do a fantastic job of fielding tricky situations. What other site has a specially protected place for WSs to work their stuff out AND moderators to boot?

SlowUptake posted 1/13/2014 07:31 AM

My definition of the difference between blunt honesty and bullying is.
When decribing a WS you could say,
"You are a lying cheating ass" or "You are a lying cheater"

Both statements under the circumstances are accurate but the word 'ass' in the first statement is irrelevant and therefore is only there to belittle the receiver.

Judging starts when a poster considers themselves to be 'better' than other posters.
In my 2 years of lurking on SI before I joined, I've never seen it from 'old timers', seen a lot of it from newbies who weren't 'with the program' yet and hadn't found their humble.
Been seeing a lot of it lately.

GraceisGood posted 1/13/2014 08:57 AM

I think being respectful helps one to not cross the line.

I believe one can always share their truth in a manner that is not offensive and is respectful.

Of course we cannot control how another perceives things, and even if we are careful in how we "speak" the other can CHOOSE to find fault because of their own issues no matter how respectfully we delivered the truth.


grains posted 1/13/2014 22:34 PM

What you have all said is good reflection. The intention behind the words are so important. I think that sometimes people feel that one way they can validate themselves is to become mean in their intention. For them, what they say is meant to help by being mean the other person. This takes us to the next observation- the need for humility. I now see how bullying is when you see yourself better than the other and allow yourself to be mean because you believe it will help others. I have been this way too. Finally there is perception. How are our words taken by the other? We really cannot control how people think. We can only be considerate and conscientious when we speak. It is such a simple yet difficult thing to do - to always have the intention to do no harm and to see others as no less than yourself.
It is also so true that what is uncomfortable and painful is something that should be looked at and examined. It is so easy to turn away. For myself, when I turned away is when I started acting out and losing my boundaries.

Darkness Falls posted 1/13/2014 22:42 PM

I think WOES nailed it when she said it's about the intent. ETA: grains, I cross-posted with you.

I've personally seen very little bullying on this forum. Amongst WSs, very rarely have I ever seen a poster whose clear intent was to bully or put others down. It's often stated that nobody is "better" than anybody here, and that is taken to heart by the vast majority of members.

I think honesty has a tendency to sound like bullying if the intent is to bully---and I also think honesty has a tendency to be perceived as bullying if the recipient's intent is to hear it as such (not keeping an open mind).

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 10:43 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

Stillkicking posted 1/13/2014 23:38 PM

I think a lot of it has to do with the presentation of the poster, at times the emotion of the poster can come through their post and be seen as "bullyish" but they may been that person previously and it has triggered them, or whatever.
But then you have how the reader perceives the message, like heartbroken said their intent. They may come in automatically on the defence or may feel like they are being attacked which will also cause them to go into defence mode. It comes down to effective communication and not invalidating how one person feels no matter how silly or messed up their thinking is. It just like communicating with your spouse. IMHO

grains posted 1/14/2014 00:07 AM

I feel the same way about it. It is about effective communication. If it has empathy and humility then it can never but those things in the end.

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