Amanda’s All-Purpose Guide to Avoiding Drama

The beauty blogging community has more drama than any other online group I’ve belonged to.  Some people will say it’s because it’s a primarily female hobby, but I reject the notion that one’s gender determines their actions.  I suspect that it has more to do with trying to find one’s worth.  Bullies, at their core, are weak, cowardly things, and many turn to makeup to bolster their self-confidence.  Add in the power trip that comes from gaining a following (see: Glittersniffer), and it’s a recipe for disaster.  Oftentimes, many people who ordinarily stay drama-free get caught up in the tide- maybe they want to be a good friend to someone they feel is being wronged, maybe they feel they need to speak up a perceived injustice, maybe they’re just curious about it all.  However, getting involved in the drama just perpetuates MORE drama, so I present to you:

Amanda’s All-Purpose Guide to Avoiding Drama

Lesson One: There Are Assholes On The Internet

I’m not even going to get into the why’s and how’s of this.  Just accept it.  50% of the people you meet on the internet will be assholes.  They may be assholes in real life.  They may be people blowing off steam from a bad day.  They may be trolling.  Who knows?  The end result is the same.  If you are here, also on the internet, then you have pretty much agreed to the unwritten rule that you’re going to have to deal with assholes.  Put on your big-girl (or boy) panties and move on.

1.  The best way to deal with assholes is to ignore them.   See an asshole in your Twitter feed?  Block them and move on.

a.  Firing back makes you look like a douche, too.  You CAN NOT win an internet argument with an asshole.  You maybe present the most logical, well-written argument in the history of mankind, and all it will merit is a derogatory comment about your mom’s tits.  Just move on.  It’s not worth it.  Even if you’re right, it will make you look bad if you are pulled into drama.  Stay classy, keep your head up, don’t fed the trolls, and it will pass.  I know it’s hard, but it’s impossible to defend yourself against someone who will sink as low as assholes do.  They will take every well-meaning word you write and twist it around for their benefit.  If you must say something, keep it above-board.  Don’t call names, don’t NAME names, just stick to the facts, and don’t expect it to change anyone’s mind.

2.  Some people exist solely to create drama.  If you attended any sort of high school, you know this to be true.  No, they never do grow up.  The funny thing about these people is that most people don’t see it.  They’re the wizards behind the curtains, who sneak in, get everyone riled up, and then sit back and watch as their whole social sphere is firing nasty comments at whomever the wizard has decreed needs it.  The best way to deal with these people is to stop and THINK.  Are you attacking someone because your friend said they need it?  Maybe you need to question why your friend wants you to do her/his dirty work.  If the answer is that your friend is too passive aggressive to do it her/himself, then maybe it’s time to distance yourself from said person.  Be aware of the drama mongers and don’t buy into their bullshit.  Again, it just makes YOU look bad while they sit back and have a laugh at your expense.

Lesson Two: Communication Is Hard, Ya’ll.

3.  If someone has written something to which you take offense, take a moment, again, and THINK.  (I can’t emphasize this enough.  Thinking is GOOD.)  Did this person really say what you think they said?  Tone is not conveyed very well through the written word, and what is crystal clear to one person is as murky as mud to another.  If you feel at all uncertain about their meaning, ASK FOR CLARIFICATION.  And not like this:

“I’m sorry, but were you really intending to be a giant bitch when you wrote “X”?”

A simple, “Did you mean “X” when you say that?  That’s how I’m reading it, and I don’t want to misunderstand,” will serve nicely.

However, if the message was not intended for you, I beg you to please LET IT GO.  If someone insults your friend, send that friend a message privately.  Comment back publicly with something nice to say about your friend.  Jumping to someone’s defense will make you look like an asshole if it comes to pass that you misunderstood the original tone or intent to the message.  If you feel you simply can not sit back without speaking your mind, please do so politely.  One person’s fuckery is less visible if you add your own on top.

4.  Sometimes, people will take your words out of context, or will say you meant something when you did not.  Again, stay classy.  This accomplishes two things:

a. You can restate your original message politely.  Non-assholes will appreciate that you aren’t rising to the bait.

b.  If only the wizards and their minions are pointing their fingers, they will look like the assholes, not you.

Lesson Three:  Not Everyone Will Like You (and vice versa)

5.  Sometimes, someone will point their fingers at you for what you feel to be a non-issue.  Sometimes, you may just dislike a person, for whatever reason.  The proper (grown up) response is to ignore them.  Pretend they don’t exist.  Block them if you have to.  Don’t passive aggressively tweet at them or about them.  Don’t flounce and unfriend.  Just do it quietly, and rejoice in the fact that online is the only place where you can make someone cease to exist in your sphere.  Too bad we can’t do that with bad bosses, co-workers, or annoying in-laws.

 

You know what?  Nevermind the lessons.  All this comes down to common sense.

  1. Don’t be an asshole.
  2. Don’t jump on someone else for no reason.
  3. Even if you think you have reason, wait.  Think it over.
  4. If somehow you do find find yourself embroiled in drama, stay classy, apologize if necessary, and bow out gracefully.
  5. Vitriol gets you nowhere.
  6. Be polite.
  7. Be polite.
  8. Be polite.
  9. Repeat 6-8 ad nauseam.
If you’re old enough to be on the internet, you should know these rules by now, but a quick glance around the blogosphere will show that many don’t.  It’s all about common sense and good manners.  Hiding behind a keyboard doesn’t excuse anyone from manners.
I do my best to stay out of drama, because it lessens my enjoyment of the beauty blogging community.  I’ve seen people that I once respected acting like petulant children.  I no longer buy from some companies because of it.  I’ve dropped people from Twitter and my blog roll over it.  I have come very close, several times, to deleting my blog over it.  No matter how much I love makeup, I dislike drama and rudeness even more.
These things should have no part in our community.  We’re all here because we have a common passion, a shared love.  I am constantly amazed and disgusted by the bickering, finger-pointing, and in-fighting I see.  That anger can be used in much more constructive ways.  This is my plea to the blogging community, please, PLEASE, let’s leave the drama behind and focus on the things that really matter.
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18 Responses to Amanda’s All-Purpose Guide to Avoiding Drama

  1. Ivy says:

    “Don’t passive aggressively tweet at them or about them. Don’t flounce and unfriend. Just do it quietly, and rejoice in the fact that online is the only place where you can make someone cease to exist in your sphere.”

    Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re not the only person who’s unfollowed Twitters and the like over drama and unnecessary passive-aggressive comments. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for a lot of people to have some self-control over their anger and stop themselves from perpetuating this atrocious cycle.
    Ivy recently posted..Wet n Wild Coloricon Vanity Palette Swatches

    • Amanda says:

      Maybe because it’s easier to type than to push their chair away from the computer? I don’t get it. It’s never a good idea to do something in anger, and it’s even worse on the internet, because even if you delete it, someone SOMEWHERE has screenshotted it. That should be a rule, along with “Don’t post pictures of your tits and/or underage drinking on Facebook, because in ten years, your boss will find them.”

  2. Charmaine says:

    Well said!

    I admit to being someone who attacked the provoker on behalf of my friend a long time ago when I active on a local forum (non-makeup) and it was a stupid thing to do.
    Charmaine recently posted..HOTW 6

    • Amanda says:

      I did it once too, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I still feel like an ass when I think about it, and it happened years ago. On the bright side, lesson learned! :)

  3. Thank you for the excellent advice. Right+click+save
    Julie Fischer recently posted..Update!

  4. Lotus says:

    I’m so pleased to see someone writing about being polite and having manners while using the internet. Arguing with trolls will get you nowhere. If in doubt about what action to take in social situations, always let Miss Manners be your guide. She even has a website.

  5. Alicia says:

    I really appreciate that you wrote this. I am new to beauty blogging and was really excited about it at first but have recently seen some (seemingly) out-of-the-blue nastiness and passive aggressiveness. It’s put a damper on my enthusiasm and has made me really wary of speaking up when something hasn’t worked out for me. Kindness is really important but so is honesty. It is hard to strike a balance between the two sometimes but they are both absolutely necessary, IMO.
    Alicia recently posted..Latherati Soap Foundry Review

  6. Pingback: Monday Morning Blahg

  7. I wish you were my life mentor when I was first ‘starting’ out on the internet.
    Loving the advice :) :)
    SarahSharkbait recently posted..Legend of Zelda: Twinrova make-up.

  8. Ana Marta says:

    great post! agree with everything. some people are just rude (or trolls) and the best things is just to carry on and be polite. that’s likely what you would do in real life anyway, so just apply the same rules to internet. and as you said, not everyone will like you – you have to deal with it!

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