viennabelle: (Frustrated!)
[personal profile] viennabelle
Over the weekend, I got word of yet another incident where one costumer felt another costumer had slighted her. In retaliation, she got all her friends to shun the offending costumer.
 
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen or heard word of this kind of treatment. Word of these incidents are getting so common that it's gone to the point where I feel it’s time I can't be silent any more. I, who don't post frequently, felt I had to de-lurk to speak out on this subject.
 
In this incident, as with others, nobody bothered to permit the offending costumer a chance to defend herself—to find out if the slight was intentional—or if it even occurred. Instead, punishment was meted out with no explanation to the offender, who found herself inexplicably expelled from expected social interactions.
 
Geesh—how on earth did our hobby become such a club of mean girls?
 
Shunning is identified by psychologists as a form of bullying behavior and has been clinically connected with depression, PTSD and suicide. I’ve been shunned in the past and it was a mystifying and heartbreaking experience.
 
If you’ve done this, look objectively at the person you are shunning and decide if your hurt is really worth getting personally perceived as a mean-spirited bully. While some may follow you on your campaign of retaliation—word will spread, as it did to me this weekend. Believe me—when my friend shared word of this incident, my only perception of the incident was that the retribution was mean, petty and vindictive.
 
It only ended up hurting the bullying costumer's reputation, not the woman who may or may have not slighted her. I"m not going to shun this costumer, but I'm definitely going to be wary of her. Other friends of mine are taking care to completely avoid her.

Now of my friend list here--I honestly don't think anyone would act like this--but I think we have to get Zero-tollerant on this kind of behavior. Children are taught to fight shunning behavior in elementary schools--isn't it about time that we act better than 5th graders?

So, I'm writing this as a open post and hoping it's a subject we start talking about at events and here online. Maybe if more folks write about it in their own LJs and blogs, it might stop. We are the majority, not the bullies. It's time we stood up for civility.
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viennabelle

March 2013

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