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Getting Along - A Guide to Forum Communication

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Julie Marie:

There seems to be a lot of disagreement and hypersensitivity within our community.  Hell, we can’t even agree on an umbrella term to identify the community.

“I’m not transgender, I am a woman so I don’t identify as transgender and I am offended by referring to me in that way”

“Okay.  So why are you here?  Family, friend, SO?”

“And why did you think that reference included you?”

YIKES!  It’s a hotbed of controversy.  It’s enough to make anyone nuts.

And then there’s “stealth”.  Talk about throwing reason out the window!  Post a thread on stealth and watch the phone lines light up.  It’s worse than politics and religion.  Imagine what the visitor, hoping to understand us, thinks when they peek inside.  “They’re all crazy!”  And we want to remove GID from the DSM?

Whenever we enter into a discussion or sharing of opinions we have a responsibility to the group and to ourselves to act reasonably.  Don’t make assumptions.  Avoid bringing your own stuff into a discussion and project it where it doesn’t belong.  Unless you are singled out, if you’re taking something personally, it’s probably you pointing the finger at you, not them.

If you don’t like the way a discussion is going and your emotions are boiling, walk away.  Unless you’re the boss, ripping someone’s head off won’t get people to listen to you but it will probably tick a lot of people off.  And if you don’t respect the people in the discussion, ask yourself why you are even there.  Being in a group of people you don’t respect serves no useful purpose.  Go find people you do respect and interact with them.

When in doubt, ask.  Trying to understand the life, the perspective and the intent of someone simply through the written word is extremely difficult, even if you think you know them.  Few messages written are stated so clearly there’s no way it can be misinterpreted.  Accept this and give the person you are responding to the benefit of a doubt.

There are people here from all over the world.  There are people here from every walk of life.  There is a wide range in age and an even wider range of life experiences.  No one has all the answers but collectively we can get close.  Don’t discount what someone says because you can’t understand his or her perspective.  Open your mind and accept or reject it but don’t criticize it.  “When you’re green you’re growin’, when you’re not you rot.”

Everyone here has a chance to benefit from the collective experience, knowledge and wisdom we offer as a group.  How you benefit is up to you.


Thank you Julie Marie, it was necessary to say. This is a support community, not an argument board, and it's our responsibility to help each other out, not hurt each other's feelings. Especially when we have new members coming here for support, many are just beginning their journeys and need this support. I know I did when I first came here. So let us try to get along well here and make a positive environment for other members.

Much needed post. It's so easy to offend people here, it's ridiculous. (This is not meant as offensive or targeting anyone in specific.)

That is my thoughts exactly.  We are here FOR each other, not AGAINST.

And the new ones will leave like rats from a sinking ship.  And that helps no one.


I'm glad you said it. Opinions are fine but bickering isn't necessary. It has been said many times before, these are support boards. Even not taking that into consideration, why would anyone enjoy arguing?


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