I am so sick and tired of this bullshit. Let’s say we have a thread about depression, or a type of trauma, and how we dealt with it, and some asshole always has to come in and say, “Well, I don’t know WHY you’re still so upset! I was depressed/abused as a child/raped/had cancer/etc and I got over it just fine! You’re just too weak and stupid to deal!”
I see it in threads about sexuality-just because YOU like a certain thing, or because YOU are promiscuous/celibate/adventurous/vanilla doesn’t mean that I or anyone else wants to be that way. Nor does it mean that someone who is different from you is a loser, or stupid, or whatever.
You experience is not universal. That’s not to say that you can’t and shouldn’t offer advice. By all means, do so! But don’t act like your experience is the end all and be all, and anyone who is different is somehow inferior.
Yeah, this pisses me off, too. I feel as if I’m 13 and listening to my parents rant about how much worse they had it as kids and how this disqualified any problems or concerns I might have ever had in my life. What is the point of posting shit like that in the thread anyway? Just go off and start another thread about how gosh-damned resilient you are.
Then again, I got through it just fine, Guin. Why the hell can’t you?
Seriously, though, did one thread in particular tick you off, or has this been bothering you for a while?
It’s been bugging me for a while. I’ve seen it here a lot-someone will post a thread about a problem, or an issue, and someone else has to come in and say, “Well I experienced such and such! I can’t believe you all don’t acknowledge MY experience as superior for no one else could possibly have something different, blah blah blah fishcakes.”
Wouldn’t that be cannabilism?
Silly, fish don’t live in cans.
I was going to make a cod joke, but then I found that Fish oil may contain ingredients to help treat depression:
Anyhow, I agree with you Guin. Don’t let the meanies get you down!
Something to consider from the other side of the coin of course, regarding the premise contained in the OP is this - sometimes, indeed seemingly “often” you’ll see people citing their problems in life in such a way to either hijack a thread, and or to seek attention or sympathy. Now, this is not to say it’s a predominant trait in human nature, but it DOES happen often enough on a messageboard like this that when it happens it’s very, VERY tempting to belittle the person who is doing it just so you can shut 'em up and get back to what the original thread was about.
Clearly, we’re talking about context here. If someone is asking for legitimate advice with a legitimate problem which hasn’t pushed the “attention whore” button, then yes, it’s dreadfully insensitive and inappropriate to belittle that person by doing what the OP is talking about.
My personal yardstick works like this… I always remember the old truism that “most of our problems in ilfe are of our own making” when reading about a person’s problems. If that person is in denial about how they’ve come to be where they are, and IF that person is blaming everyone else in their life for their problems… then my empathy radar goes right down and my cynical radar goes right up. But if the person is demonstrating class and personal responsibility for their issues and is also seeking legitimate advice, I’ll offer any help as much as I can with all the kindness I can muster.
Just my two cents worth there.
Oh, I know what you’re talking about-some people WILL find any excuse not to take advice.
But obviously, that’s not the kind of situation I’m talking about.
I’m talking about people who scorn anyone who are different, and insist that their life experience should be the end all and be all.
Some related things that bug me so I’ll pile on:
People who get up in arms because somebody hasn’t taken every exception into account when they bring up a subject. Saying you have one eye IS NOT insensitive to blind people. Complaining about only having one leg IS NOT being insensitive to the legless. Just because some condition isn’t the WORST THING POSSIBLE doesn’t mean it can’t be a problem or an annoyance.
For some reason, breastfeeding is the number one trigger for this. God forbid you post something which supports it - like quoting a study which finds breastfed children have fewer ear infections - because if you do, you’re inviting 100 posts scolding you for not being sensitive to those who can’t or choose not to. Yackity yackity yack…
Guinastasia, good one.
Personally, I’ve always liked the line about, “Don’t criticize anyone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Then you’re a mile away and have their shoes, too.”
Experience, no matter how similar, is never identical. No matter the similarities. And I loathe those people who point to someone kvetching (a perfectly acceptable way to vent off pressure) and try to lay guilt because there’s someone in a worse situation. By that logic no one should ever be unhappy. Nor happy, for that matter. There’s always a worse and better situation to be in, and usually one that can be found not too far from you, if you looked.
What particularly pisses me off is when dealing with depression, particularly, and people go on about how one shouldn’t feel down because of this, that or the other thing that they know because of their own experience of depression. Look, fucktwits, what part of suppressing emotional responses being responsible for many cases of depression did you miss during your own bout with it?
You hear this a lot from old conservatives. The basic message is, “I did fine without any of the advantages, therefore no one deserves to have them.”
Wonders if this was inspired by msmith537 in this thread, starting a huge hijack about post-teen virginity.
Actually, that seems to be a big thing from conservatives in general that I’ve noticed. “Things were good enough in the past, so we shouldn’t change anything, unless to go back there”.
Damn kids and their democracy. When I was a boy, we were loyal to the king and that’s the way we liked it, or we got our heads cut off!
Yes, that was part of it-although he wasn’t the only one, he’s certainly guilty of this.
Beware of Doug and HPL, I think it’s a bit unrealistic to claim that it’s just a fault of conservatives. Doesn’t, for example, the logic of people who got ahead via social programs saying that “If it weren’t x program I’d not be here.” rest on the same thinking - that no one could make it from a similar start without the help they recieved? Even if the standard that they were helped from is no longer the same, no matter how horrible it may remain?
There a lot of people who mistake empathy for a means to force everyone into their own mold. And that is a judgement error that can be made by anyone.
Excellent thread, Guin. I’ve read replies from people who don’t know what they’re talking about, saying in essence “other people have dealt with (fill in blank), so you just need to suck it up and stop fishing for sympathy”. Everyone’s experience is different, at every moment in time. If your brain chemicals are not the same as mine, then each of our responses to life’s crises will be different. One
person’s cure may be a disaster for someone else, even if their “problems” are exactly the same. So maybe Forrest Gump (gack) is right - “Life is like a box of chocolates.” If you get the type of candy that you like, then good for you - just don’t rag on me for complaining if I get something yucky.
I’ve been irritated by this from time to time Guin, but I choose to move on and ignore the offenders rather than waste my time fretting over it. You should do the same.
I was going to give a scathing response to this, and then I realized how badly I was whooshed. Nice one.
Well, when I get the urge to make a scathing response, I just do it and don’t spend time second guessing myself.