Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A moderator's comment

I said I was going to fill in a little more of my philosophy on moderating my PsychicGifts discussion group, and told the members there that I would make this comment here on the LWYPG blog. I am hoping some blog readers may be motivated to join the group and some of the group members may find some good reading on the blog, and this will keep this off the group itself.

The Yahoo PsychicGifts group was initially started to give people with psychic ability a place to discuss their abilities. In time, that grew to include personal and spiritual growth as well. As moderator, I strive to balance the need for honesty with the need to keep the peace. I'm not perfect, I have made mistakes. I'm a human being with my own thoughts, opinions and issues. The participants have no idea how many times I just bite my tongue and move on ... well, my co-moderator Sarita knows (laugh). But when I feel strongly, I will jump in with questions and opinions. If anything I spend too much time trying to be respectful with those opinions - I have been known to spend more than two hours on a reply when I know it will be controversial. In the end, some people will react regardless of what I say. I can't please everyone.

I'm not running PsychicGifts to try to see how many people like me or agree with me. I'm not there to hold hands. We're all "sensitives" but PsychicGifts is not and will not become a victim support group, where the point is to always be "nice" and "agreeable", and to support one another in remaining victims. If that's part of your definition of "safe", this is not the group for you. To me, "safe" means no name calling or abuse, and everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Tell me not to question or challenge you ... and the way I see it, you are asking me to lie to you. Is that support? Not in my books. While I do not tolerate abuse, I do not expect participants to "agree or stay silent". I expect respectful discourse, but I do not expect unconditional agreement.

My intention is to motivate our members to step into their leadership, build their confidence, and provide a place where all views can be heard and considered. Argument and disagreement is not an indication of lack of respect. If someone takes the time to argue with you, then assume they are interested and engaged. Argue with passion and enthusiasm! Quote facts, give your impressions, but do not call people names or accuse them of abuse, regardless of the perceived justification. Do not imply you are smarter, more psychic, or spiritually superior - that is not only insulting, it will destroy your credibility. An insult is no substitute for an argument, and an argument is not cause for insult.

If you feel abused or attacked on any discussion group the only legitimate way to complain is to the moderator via private email. I'll consider a complaint, but if a post makes it to the list, I've already decided it's okay (especially if I've authored it). Be prepared to make a good case for it. In the open, stick to the facts of the argument, or expect to have your posts edited or declined.

Other people are not going to always be "nice" and always agree, even in a moderated group where we all share some common interests. That's just reality. No one can reasonably expect others to consistently agree. What we all need to learn is how to tolerate disagreement! Until that is so, we will always run away, pretend to be "nice", hide in the shadows afraid to express our opinions, or will jump down the throats of innocent people who are just expressing another opinion. We will hide, walk away, freeze or attack, and we will always wonder why we never feel "safe". I didn't set up this space so that you could never spread your wings, never stretch your comfort zone. If you feel upset right now, then make something valuable of it. Ask yourself "What is it that is being triggered in me and why?". At least then you have a shot at learning something. It's not that I have triggered you, it's that you are triggerable. If even one person gets this, then our small challenges will be worth every word.