BPDR Basics

Play fair ... for yourself and others.

Part of supporting others is necessarily being willing to call them on their "stuff." That's not to say we should go sniffing it out like a hound-dog, mind you, nor to only do this, but to be willing to do it and at least explore what jumps out at you.

Doing so is uncomfortable and it is imperative practice for us to learn to confront difficult things without disproportionate, personalizing anger and without "walking on eggshells". Many of us wouldn't be in quite the place we are now or have been in the past if we had a more balanced skill-set for dealing with conflict. This is a really good place to get better at it.

Below are questions we ask that you keep in mind before "calling someone on their stuff." They are not hard-and-fast requirements but they should be incorporated into the general code of conduct at the board, and ideally, in life.

Am I doing this only because of my feelings?
  • "I don't like this person"
  • "This community doesn't feel the same to me anymore."
  • "That idea or statement reminds me of someone who hurt me before."

This is not a good enough reason to speak up. Your problem with their stuff is your problem and you would be better served to spend a lot of time and then a lot more time thinking about why you allow this to get to you.

Do I care about this person/these people?

By this we mean either "knowing" that person individually as someone you have shared much with and care about their welfare OR simply feeling a strong sense of helping the group you care about avoid a dangerous pitfall.

If your answer is no, if your primary feeling is irritation rather than concern, you're not the one to get into it. Let someone else speak up ... someone who won't let their own feelings get in the way of communicating effectively.

Am I willing to stay with the dialogue regardless of the difficulty of it?

Hit-and-run is not effective communication. If we say something challenging, we need to be willing to accept the challenges that come right back to us and dignify the people we're talking to with the respect of dialogue.

Am I in a frame of mind to be conscious of how my words will be heard?

Of course we cannot take responsibility for whatever anyone may project onto our statements. We can, however, be attentive to likely assumptions and work on our language to try to mitigate that as well as be willing to take ownership of any unclear language or mistaken assumptions of our own. Sometimes we need to wait and go back and craft our words carefully.

If we have already begun with the understanding that we truly care - and aren't just pissed off - we should be able to communicate that. We can be effectively direct and challenging without attacking.

Many of us went for many years without models of how to do that, but even so, it's possible! Really! We wouldn't lie to ya!

Do I spend more time pointing out other people's issues than just giving empathy?

If so, it may be that you are just cranky. If it comes to that, do yourself a favor and take a little break from the community or other places that tend to agitate your latent crankiness.

Beyond some of those questions, we encourage anyone who engages in potentially conflictual discussions/challenges/assertions to use specifics. Just the same, anyone who challenges the initial challenge would be better served to use specifics in their response.

Finally, let's try to give each other the benefit of the doubt. For all the drama some of us have seen here (and elsewhere) over the months and years, we would have to admit that relatively few people post anything with malicious intent. It might help to start with the premise that, agreement or not with the point, the vast majority of people we interact with mean well.

Roz © 2003 - present

The Golden Rule

If you are triggered by a certain behavior pattern when you encounter it in a thread, it might be most effective to step out of that thread and start your own thread to work on your issues around that trigger.

Consider that when people here exhibit behavior patterns that upset or trigger you, that you may be a "non" to their set of issues. We hope you will do your best to extend the same grace and love to them that you want the nons in your life to extend to you.

Mobilene © 2007 - present