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Ashley

Compassion for other users

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I agree that sometimes a direct approach is necessary.  I have had people on the forum be very direct with me in the past, and this has been some of the most helpful advice I've ever received - sometimes you just need someone to make you see.  I don't see this as lacking in compassion at all. 

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For what it's worth dksea, I've never noticed you be anything other than compassionate and understanding.

For me, I think the key is not to make assumptions about a person who is posting - it's not really possible to know a person's full personality, history and problems based on a few short paragraphs they have written on a public Internet forum. They may have experienced serious childhood abuse, they may have learning difficulties etc. In real life, face to face, it is much easier to assess a person and speak to them accordingly, eg speaking more simply to a young teenager, but this is less easy over the Internet. For example, because of who I am, I personally find the tough love approach to be hurtful and patronising, not helpful, but I can see that for other people it is in fact helpful. So, I would say get to know a person on the forums first before going down the tough love approach and be sensitive to new users and remember we are OCD sufferers, not professionals, so our knowledge of wider issues is limited. 

Edited by Wren

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17 minutes ago, Wren said:

For what it's worth dksea, I've never noticed you be anything other than compassionate and understanding.

For me, I think the key is not to make assumptions about a person who is posting - it's not really possible to know a person's full personality, history and problems based on a few short paragraphs they have written on a public Internet forum. They may have experienced serious childhood abuse, they may have learning difficulties etc. In real life, face to face, it is much easier to assess a person and speak to them accordingly, eg speaking more simply to a young teenager, but this is less easy over the Internet. For example, because of who I am, I personally find the tough love approach to be hurtful and patronising, not helpful, but I can see that for other people it is in fact helpful. So, I would say get to know a person on the forums first before going down the tough love approach and be sensitive to new users and remember we are OCD sufferers, not professionals, so our knowledge of wider issues is limited. 

This is a very good point wren x 

I think the tough love approach - for me - is only effective if it's coming from someone I have built a positive dynamic with previously. If it's coming from someone I know has my best interests at heart, based on previous encounters, then I take it in that spirit. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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7 hours ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

It all comes down to a certain donation, if that donation was made then I think Ashley have more knowledge than me.

Sorry, would you care to elaborate on what you mean by a certain donation being made?

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2 hours ago, Wren said:

For what it's worth dksea, I've never noticed you be anything other than compassionate and understanding.

For me, I think the key is not to make assumptions about a person who is posting - it's not really possible to know a person's full personality, history and problems based on a few short paragraphs they have written on a public Internet forum. They may have experienced serious childhood abuse, they may have learning difficulties etc. In real life, face to face, it is much easier to assess a person and speak to them accordingly, eg speaking more simply to a young teenager, but this is less easy over the Internet. For example, because of who I am, I personally find the tough love approach to be hurtful and patronising, not helpful, but I can see that for other people it is in fact helpful. So, I would say get to know a person on the forums first before going down the tough love approach and be sensitive to new users and remember we are OCD sufferers, not professionals, so our knowledge of wider issues is limited. 

Some very wise words Wren :) 

It could also be down to what they have been taught themselves, so they are giving advice on what they assume to be correct? It's also how we as individuals interpret what another user is saying. It's quite easy to miss interpret a text sometimes and the same applies here. 

Having said that we do have to be very careful how we respond to a person who comes on the forum in a time of need, on a couple of occasions I've seen responses to a person that I don't feel is always fitting, but this is the time I feel for moderators to step in. 

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2 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

This is a very good point wren x 

I think the tough love approach - for me - is only effective if it's coming from someone I have built a positive dynamic with previously. If it's coming from someone I know has my best interests at heart, based on previous encounters, then I take it in that spirit. 

Yes, I think the normal rules of human relationships can get a bit distorted over the Internet. In the real world, no average person would think it was ok to give hard truths to someone they barely know, but they would also know that a good friend may need a kick up the bum sometimes!

I think it is also worth remembering that a new user who doesn't reveal much about themselves could actually be very young and therefore to be sensitive to that. 

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6 hours ago, dksea said:

I think there may be a misunderstanding here on what I was referring to.  I wasn't intending my post to be connected to the trolling topic being discussed above, but when addressing posters who, for example, get trapped in loops seeking reassurance over and over.  In such situations I feel like its necessary to sometimes be more blunt if initial, more diplomatic efforts don't seem to stick.  I think there is a place for that in treatment and helping others, but I also wanted to make sure to avoid coming across as uncompassionate.  I just thought it would be good to ask for some thoughts on that particular area.

Dksea I think that I might (maybe for the first time) see some obsessive thinking from you. If you are "too blunt" then everybody is.  Maybe try to write a short and "blunt" comment sometime?

 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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8 hours ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Dksea I think that I might (maybe for the first time) see some obsessive thinking from you. If you are "too blunt" then everybody is.  Maybe try to write a short and "blunt" comment sometime?

 

I'm not sure dksea is being obsessive?

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8 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I'm not sure dksea is being obsessive?

Nor me, I think his comments are beautifully explained and based on his own recovery journey and what he has learned along the way. 

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15 hours ago, dksea said:

I wasn't intending my post to be connected to the trolling topic being discussed above, but when addressing posters who, for example, get trapped in loops seeking reassurance over and over.  In such situations I feel like its necessary to sometimes be more blunt if initial, more diplomatic efforts don't seem to stick.  I think there is a place for that in treatment and helping others, but I also wanted to make sure to avoid coming across as uncompassionate.  

I agree :) And this only usually happens with people who have been on the forum for quite some time and their history is known.  I think most of us have been in very similar places with our OCD, distressed and very stuck.  I certainly have and the most useful help was firm, it did point out the obvious & that ultimately, I had to begin to make those changes in order to change the outcome.  It is vital that we show kindness, compassion, understanding & good judgement in our support.  It's vital we support sufferers through times of distress.  It's also important (imho) that we don't support & sustain someone's illness either by not offering direct advice if it's needed.

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I think that there is a clear difference between person who starts a thread and a person who contributes to a thread.

A person who starts a thread and who has posted few posts and few threads should be treated with the utmost compassion. And be free from any allegations regarding motive.

But if a contributor to a thread or series of threads acts in a way which seems to be unhelpful and this occurs repeatedly throughout a number of threads to be extent that people note this and complain then this is another matter. How this is treated is a matter of debate.

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Newbies should be handled with kid gloves. Newbies also need to understand that we have been dealing with some posters for five years or more. They are very stuck and are unwilling to change their thinking and behavior, despite hundreds of excellent posts with top notch advice. The more experienced users here know who they are and, yes, they are handled differently.

Do not mistake abruptness with lack of compassion. We are all or have been sufferers and the only reason we are here is to help people get to a better place. There is nothing that pleases us more than when a long time user comes here to tell us our words finally sunk in and they are doing much better.

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I agree with you Polar Bear. Your motives are sound. But I am not talking about you or people of your ilk.

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I know, Angst. There are a few people who are a little too eager to make snappy replies without considering their effect.

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Well if dksea truly belive his posts are in the risk of being harsh then I think some obsessive thinking is going on because he is the one who posts with the most effort in threads where other people do not. I think he knows this. If not I want to tell him this!

Also I would like to like Polarbear's comment. Much of this comes down to this obvious fact, that you treat a newbie differently than one who already have asked the exact same thing 20 times before. When it comes to different methods, I personally prefer a firm approach but this is not about what I prefer, it is about adjusting the advice based on who the receiver is. 

I think people with OCD in general overthinks stuff, in the bigger schemes of things the people here are one of the kindest around, I know I probably would been seen as the most compassionate guy on the forum but that is fine with me, I just want everybody to understand that just the fact that you are helping people who you don't know probably are making you in the top %. That is just my guess, and I am sorry for the bad spelling in this post. Good night.

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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OCDhavenobrain, one can be obsessive without having OCD. That said, do not confuse someone who takes a long time to respond to a confused soul with being obsessive.

Dksea is definitely one of the top posters on this forum, both for quality of posts and level headedness. Often, if I see dksea has responded to a poster, I do not, knowing that the question asked has been answered very well.

Please be kind with your words.

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1 hour ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Well if dksea truly belive his posts are in the risk of being harsh then I think some obsessive thinking is going on because he is the one who posts with the most effort in threads where other people do not. I think he knows this. If not I want to tell him this!

I appreciate the many kind words, and the concern, but worry not, I am not obsessed over this, I just thought given the topic of discussion it wouldn't hurt to get some guidance from Ashley on the topic for myself and everyone to consider.  My father instilled in me the idea of being a life long learner at a young age, so I try to always look for opportunities to learn and grow and be a better person :)

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We all learn new things every day, we are never complete. 

Never more so than me, at the age of 69 - still a student of life in general. 

The fact is that both Caramoole and Ashley have said that recently the forum has needed little moderation. 

We should all note that and give ourselves a big big hug :group:

When there is a problem with someone's posting, in terms of lack of compassion or incorrect information, and we spot it, we can point this out gently, but if the person continues to post such material, we can simply report it in via the contact mod team icon  - the moderators may not be aware of this and this will bring it to their attention for any action they deem appropriate. 

Edited by taurean

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

OCDhavenobrain, one can be obsessive without having OCD. That said, do not confuse someone who takes a long time to respond to a confused soul with being obsessive.

Dksea is definitely one of the top posters on this forum, both for quality of posts and level headedness. Often, if I see dksea has responded to a poster, I do not, knowing that the question asked has been answered very well.

 Please be kind with your words.

And I didn't mean that.. Dksea's advices are one of the best. If his advices are uncompassionate then everything is, I do know I am not the softest person around with OCD and I don't really care that much, I am more for efficiency, which means that I have to choice who I give advice too. Because in some people a warmer touch is needed. 

Yes, that is my main point, everybody who gives tips on a forum anonymously without pay is in someway a good person. I think everybody who gives advice could tell themselves this. This applies to everybody who gives advices. 

Spoiler

 

When it comes to being harsh or not, I actually don't know. I will first admit that I don't even believe you can help a person THAT much over a forum but as it is now it is the only way I can reach out to other sufferers. When it comes to trolling it is up to the mods to judge!

Well sorry but I pretty much have the same belief as when (I myself was the deepest down in despair) that you need firm and controlled action to overcome OCD, this is best achieved in a 1 on 1 setting, and the charity is also advicing that so I haven't really that much more to say than the chartiy knows what it is doing. I personally will probably change opinion a couple of times but this is where I am at the moment. 

I DO believe that forumactivity can be detrimental to a sufferer, and why shouldn't it? So then there is this aspect of the badness of a sufferer getting reassurance.

 

 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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I think there is also the issue of reassurance. As sufferers we have all been in a place where we have been desperate for reassurance. When people respond to us by refusing to give reassurance it can feel very unkind, even cruel, because we are being denied what we want the most. But of course reassurance is the worst thing to give apart from in very specific circumstances right at the beginning of a sufferer's journey. I see it a lot on the forum and it is always well-intended but not always helpful. 

So my point is a response can seem harsh to the sufferer if they are wanting reassurance but it may be exactly what they need. I know I have been given a dose of home truths many times in this forum when I have been screaming for reassurance. Compassion can look harsh sometimes, and kind reassurance can be damaging. Sometimes it's about not getting what we want, but what we need. (I'm sure there's a song about that :D). 

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54 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think there is also the issue of reassurance. As sufferers we have all been in a place where we have been desperate for reassurance. When people respond to us by refusing to give reassurance it can feel very unkind, even cruel, because we are being denied what we want the most. But of course reassurance is the worst thing to give apart from in very specific circumstances right at the beginning of a sufferer's journey. I see it a lot on the forum and it is always well-intended but not always helpful. 

So my point is a response can seem harsh to the sufferer if they are wanting reassurance but it may be exactly what they need. I know I have been given a dose of home truths many times in this forum when I have been screaming for reassurance. Compassion can look harsh sometimes, and kind reassurance can be damaging. Sometimes it's about not getting what we want, but what we need. (I'm sure there's a song about that :D). 

Well said, GBG, I think from now on this should be called the 'The Rolling Stones' Approach'. 

Edited by Wren

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I think you may have missed my question @OCDhavenobrain

On 09/07/2019 at 02:41, OCDhavenobrain said:

It all comes down to a certain donation, if that donation was made then I think Ashley have more knowledge than me. 

My question of yesterday in case I am misunderstanding what I think you're saying was..

23 hours ago, Ashley said:

Sorry, would you care to elaborate on what you mean by a certain donation being made?

 

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4 hours ago, Ashley said:

I think you may have missed my question @OCDhavenobrain

My question of yesterday in case I am misunderstanding what I think you're saying was..

 

Hello.

 

I was trying to send you a message, but it didn't work.

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I am very happy that there has been a shift towards greater empathy and recognising that other conditions and circumstances affect sufferers ability to recover from OCD. I have been upset in the past by some users being told that they aren't trying hard enough.

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