Problems with other members

2 posts in this topic

Hey all,

We felt that it was worth expanding on Guideline 6 to give members more information on what they may do when experiencing problems with another member. The Guideline states:

"Do not post about or use the chat room to discuss a problem with another member."

Such issues should be dealt with in two ways: (1) Contact a moderator describing the situation and asking for assistance; (2) Resolve the issue via email or Personal Messenger directly with the other person. This includes posting about concerns with another member of the board, even if that person is not identified in your post. Those concerns should be dealt with privately.

We recognize that in a large community there will be personality clashes. While we would hope that isn't a drawback to respectful communication, sometimes it's a fact that it can't be resolved privately between the members concerned or by bringing the issue to us. We will not always be able to intervene, and unless there's been a breach of board safety, we usually don't "take sides." This has resulted in some people feeling that their needs are being ignored but we do try to be fair to everybody and we won't kick a member out simply because another member doesn't like them or is very angry with them. There are several other things you can do if you're having problems:

You are free to use your discretion to block PMs from a member with whom you don't wish further contact. The pm blocking function can be located in the menu of your messenger. under "Messenger." Hit "PM Block List" and add the username of the member you don't wish to have contact from. We also suggest you block the person from any IM programs you may use. Another option you have is to set the member to "Ignore", which means you can't see their posts. This you can do in your control panel - see "Managing ignored users" under "Options."

When you do tell us about the issue, it helps to be specific rather than just saying, for example, "a member is harassing me." If you believe you have been harassed, abused or attacked by a member of this board, you need to send the moderators any PMs, emails or IM transcripts that constitute the harassment. IP addresses are also helpful. We take the safety of members very seriously, but we can do little to help without evidence. Please see these links for assistance in getting IP addresses: Finding IP Addresses in Outlook Express and Finding IP Addresses in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo You need to cut and paste the information following these steps reveals, and email or pm it to us.

If you know who the member is, please tell us, and provide links to any posts in which you feel you were attacked, as well as any other specific examples such as descriptions of your experiences, emails or IM transcripts. We can't act on the basis of a general statement that you feel abused by so-and-so or you think so-and-so is a troll unless you tell us why.

Sometimes a member doesn't know if the the sender of harassing emails or IM's comes from the board or not. In such a case, please don't post things like "A person from Pandy's is stalking me/sending me mean emails/is a troll." This creates anxiety in the community. Just follow the above procedure - send us any communications plus IP addresses, and we'll try to determine if it is a member and work with you to keep this a safe space for you.

We've also found that members can feel guilty for "telling on" somebody, or they may worry about being seen to be bitchy or nasty. If anything at all concerns you, it concerns us, ok? Please tell us if you think we can help.

We hope this is helpful!

Take care all,

The Mods

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Along the same lines, please remember that you are responsible for yourself and your healing.

This was original posted by Emma (a former moderator) in 2003 and remains relevant today:

Quite often the mods are contacted by people who are concerned about the relationships they are having with other people on the board. We try to help out as much as we can by providing a kind of confidential mediation service for people. Sometimes though, something comes out of the conversation that is worth reminding everyone of.

A lot of minor [and sadly some medium sized] problems can arise when members have different expectations of what other members 'owe' them or have a responsibility to provide to them. People have in the past been very hurt and angry when they haven't got a lot of responses to posts, have been declined others' messenger addresses, have felt excluded from chat, or have felt slighted or snubbed in other ways.

This arises for a number of reasons: a lot of us are dealing with issues of rejection, or lack of self-worth, that can be compounded by feeling uncared for by fellow board members. It can help to lessen some of these feelings by keeping the following in mind:

Everyone is only responsible for themselves

No one is here for any reason than to pursue their own healing. Even the moderators and chat mods are here as well as pursuing their healing goals. As Alice Sebold wrote, 'if you don't save yourself, you remain unsaved'. The only responsibility other people have for you is to keep to the rules of the board. Anything beyond that must be at their own choice, in their own time. Implying or stating outright that someone else is the only thing keeping you going is an enormous pressure to lay on someone.

If you need something, ask outright

I've played games to get attention, affection, and approval when it would have been a lot less damaging for everyone else if I'd just come right out and asked for it. It can be hard to be vulnerable enough to be honest about what we really need at any given time, but please remember if you're tempted to play games, that the people you're playing games with are fellow survivors.

Sometimes this board isn't enough.

This board has been a fabulously healing place for me, but it is not the only resource I have used. Of course, some people will find all they need here, but that doesn't include crisis help or care. If you are immediately suicidal or cutting or desperate. please please please phone a hotline or get some other real life help. The guidelines mandate against these topics appearing on the board because of the enormous pain and frustration it provokes to read a 'goodbye' post.

This place is amazing to me in the genuine love and compassion that is expressed here. I know that this post applies to people who are really hurting and sad. Please reach out on the board if you need help, and let people know what they can do to help you make it through. I'm sure that a lot of folks will be willing to reach out a hand and help you to stand.

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