Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Paradox of Respect

Recently, I left a Forum/BBS/Place where people throw shit up against the wall. I'll spare you the details of why I left; suffice it to say that it had become a toxic place wherein I was mocked, harassed, and threatened for my beliefs and opinions, and that many of the people doing the mocking and harassing were moderators.

You know, the ones who are supposed to be better than that.

I digress. Anyway, it got to be too much for me, and I left. Aside from resigning my position (I was moderator of a small forum within the section), which I did through a personal message, I didn't tell anyone else I was leaving; instead, I quietly packed up my things and left. I am not a great believer in the Great Flounce-Off, and as such I left with as little fanfare as possible.

That was nearly a month ago, and people are just now beginning to realize that "Hey, we haven't heard from Palette in a long time, what's up with her?" Those who have cared enough to send me emails have received polite replies from me telling them why I left. Some of them have asked me to come back.

Herein lies the paradox: They have asked me back because they respect me. However, if I were to do as they asked, I would in effect be stating that my ego is more important than my principles. And if that were the case, then whatever respect they might have had for me would be lost, as I would have proven that all I really wanted was the attention of someone begging me to come back; in other words, my leaving would have been nothing more than a Great Flounce-Off.

Odd, isn't it? They don't treat my opinions or feelings with respect, so I leave... which somehow earns me enough respect that I am asked to return. But if I do return, they won't respect me ever again.

I bring this up not as a stab at those people who were kind enough to tell me that my absence was noted -- because I really do appreciate it, it's nice to know I'm missed -- but to illustrate to them why I can't do what they ask without ceasing to be the person they respect me for being.

In conclusion, I'd like to quote from the lovely Lady of the Manners and her wonderful blog, Gothic Charm School:

Telling someone that their reaction to something is stupid is never a good idea. Everyone has their own opinion, and no one is going to agree about everything all the time. But there are worlds of difference between telling someone you don’t agree with them and telling someone that they are stupid for caring about something. One leads to a potentially interesting discussion, while the other leads to pointless drama and snippy comments hurled to and fro.

Oh, and about the pointless drama and to-and-fro-ing of snippy comments: look Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to be very blunt. Spending time mocking people for not thinking like you do makes you seem like a sad loser. Sure, you may think you’re being terribly clever and funny and oh-so-superior; what you’re actually doing is showing people that your life is very empty and that you have nothing better to do with yourself. Proclaiming that you’re only behaving this way because you think it’s all so terribly funny isn’t a good excuse, either. In short, you’re acting like a troll. Why should anyone take you seriously?

Well spoken, Lady; my sentiments exactly. That's why I left that toxic place, and why I shall never return.


  1. I blame myself. They all hate you for fraternizing with an imbecile like me. When you lie down with dogs...well...you end up licking yourself and sniffing butts...

  2. Well I haven't gotten far reading your blog Troy, but I don't think I've gotten any fleas.


  3. OK I finished the rest of it on my lunch break. Still no fleas but, I have this reddish area on the side of my neck.

    Tony's a vampire.

  4. Some personalities just clash with others; it's understandable, but unfortunate.


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