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starting to feel uncomfortable around site staff

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I'm in a bit of a jam.  


Lately, I've started to realize that a couple staff members on a site that I'm currently a member of seem to be looking for any mistake I make.  Even if it's small and easily fixable, they are going out of their way to point it out whenever I do it but there's other members who make similar mistakes as I do about just as frequently but they are never called out on it. 


I don't make mistakes often.  Usually I re-read over the rules and everything, but every so often I admittedly get into a lil bit of a hurry and forget to do something that I should have.  It's not super often, about the same frequency as every other member because we all make mistakes.  And I'm always super quick to fix things once I notice or have things pointed out.  


The thing is recently it feels like every time I make a mistake, I am being singled out by the staff.  I used to consider them to be friends but now, I don't know I just...I just feel like I can't do anything right about them.  I have a good track record on site.  I've always been active and I get along great with the rest of the community.   But around the staff members I just feel like i'm being ignored or judged every time I'm online and posting or chatting.  


I'm suddenly afraid to make new characters because I'm afraid that they'll look for any reason to pend it, or to try and point out even the smallest mistakes.  


I don't know how to say it.  But I feel like the staff are always speaking to me as if I'm a child, and I've been starting to grow suspicious that they refuse show any respect toward me.  Like they only want to look at my mistakes and use that as a basis to decide my worth as a member.  In the past they used to compliment me on being a good member all the time, but suddenly things have been feeling very different.  


I suddenly find myself not wanting to be in the discord whenever both staff members are online and chatting because they make me uncomfortable.  Or if they talk to me, it's often in a way that ends with me feeling kind of shitty and any good mood I was in vanishes in an instant.  


I don't know if they are doing it on purpose or not.  but sometimes I feel like I'm being targeted, more so when I realize that there are other members who have made mistakes that should also be pointed out get off scot free.  Or if it's pointed out, the staff usually laugh before saying its no big deal.   Whereas when I make a small mistake, suddenly I'm treated like I don't understand the plot or that I can no longer be trusted with anything.  Despite me always being quick to fix things without arguing.  


I don't know what to do.  I don't want to say I'm being bullied, but I've been starting to question if the staff are kind of toxic, maybe even unintentionally so.  They also keep talking about how it's good to not have people around anymore who make them wait for post, or how they like not having to work with toxic people anymore.  In a tone that suggests they can't put away the past, or that they still think of old members or even staff who they disagreed with and left, while tossing all the blame onto those people.  


Part of me wants to say I'm being over dramatic or even paranoid.  But the fact that I feel worst after interacting with these people has kind of been making me wonder if something's up, and they just don't want to treat me like a friend any longer.  


I just...I don't know what to do.  


I love everyone else on the site, and I refuse to leave no matter what.  I've put too much time into the community and have made many great friendships to give it up and leave right now.  It's just lately I've been beginning to wonder if the staff are kind of problematic or toxic in some way, unintentionally or not. 

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Is there someone within the community (either staff or another member) that you can confide in? I've been that confidant before, and it definitely helps when that confidant has more situational context to either assuage your apprehensions or be there to stick up for you when they notice you're getting picked on. And sometimes, it can just help to vent to them about how you're feeling particularly anxious about someone else in the community. Not in a toxic way or like you're talking behind their back, but let's be real, when you're in a community long enough, you're gonna have to vent about some other members or staff!


I do second @Keaton in that it might help to talk to the staff about it, but only if you feel like you have a strong rapport or good relationship with one of them.


It also might be beneficial to take a little break? To me, with limited context, it does sound like you're being a little anxious and dramatic, even though your apprehensions may be completely solid. But giving yourself a little distance might help you separate your anxiety from this situation and enjoy the writing. Write with the people you want to write with. Give yourself a week or two of distance from the problem and reassess. Plus, distance can help these problem staffers forget about you and focus their efforts elsewhere, which might work in your favor.

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a dark, urban fantasy;

inspired by sailor moon

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I completely agree with @Sage that a break might really help and give some needed perspective. When I start feeling iffy about RP-related stuff, I try to step away and do things not online for at least several hours, if not longer. It can really, really help.


But! I disagree about the venting. Not to get all old fogey on you, but there are psychological studies that strongly suggest that the concept of "venting" is a common misconception, and it actually ends up achieving the opposite effect and can exacerbate feelings of anger and helplessness -- Again, you get in the negative hate spiral. So walking away and focusing on something else is definitely better and helps keep things in proper perspective. This is just RP, after all.

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I agree with what everyone above has said! They've offered wonderful points.


So, chiming in with my two cents.


I've also been on both sides of this issue! I've been the admin in this situation, many times. I can't count the number of members who have isolated themselves and committed self-fulfilling prophecies by convincing themselves that everyone hated them when...no one actually did, and it was just their mental illness twisting every interaction into a negative, making them over-analyze every single situation and written word. I can't emphasize how stressful that is. xD And nothing is enough to convince them otherwise. Eventually, yes, people start getting weird around them because...well...it's really not that pleasant being around someone who instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt, assumes ill intentions of those around them. 😕


I've also been that person who has convinced themselves that everyone hates them! So I understand THAT as well. I have mental health issues, too. I have anxiety! And oh boy, does anxiety like to whisper a lot of really compelling lies that reframe interactions to be something negative and untrue. Anxiety likes to analyze EVERYTHING and look for ways to self-validate. Anxiety makes EVERYTHING about you. Someone else in a bad mood? Well, they must hate me. Someone points out your mistake? Well, time to throw myself off a cliff, because they obviously hate me. Someone hasn't responded to my text in a bit? It's because they think I'm annoying and are avoiding me, clearly!


It's SO EASY for anxiety to spiral out of control if you don't nip it in the bud fast, because ANY INTERACTION can become something that validates it. No matter how harmless. Anxiety is constantly looking for little slivers of information that it can twist to fit its narrative.




My go-to method to dealing with the whole "everyone hates me" spiral is to just...breathe, basically, lmao. I take some space, have a moment to cry if I need it, and then come back and reframe the situation in my head. Instead of looking for evidence of why they hate me, I think about the stuff that shows they like me. In RP, it's the awesome fun plots I have, it's the times people have approached me for threads and characters, the fun chats we've had, etc. I take a moment, too, to remind myself that it's not all about me. That seems obvious, lmao, but anxiety likes to make everything BIGGER than it is, and make every issue somehow about how the person is mad at me. >_> So it's important to remember the obvious: people have their own lives and their own shit going on, and I'm probably not even a blip on the radar that is ALL OF THAT SHIT. They might be in a mood when you talk to them, but is that actually about you or something else going on in their lives? Are they actually frustrated with you, or with something else in their life?


I think if you're talking to them and starting to feel uncomfortable with how they're treating you, it's important to pause the conversation and say, "Hey, friend, I feel like you're being kind of snippy at me. Is everything okay? Did I do something that upset you?" If it's something you did, it can open up the lines of communication! If it's something going on in their life, it lets them realize how they're coming across to you, which they probably didn't intend. Win-win!


Likewise, you said that you feel singled out, that your mistakes are pointed out but the mistakes of others aren't. I think there can be a lot at play here. How do you know their mistakes aren't pointed out to them? They could have done it in private, elsewhere. They may point them out to you more readily BECAUSE you're their friend and it can be less awkward talking about that with someone you're friends with as opposed to a stranger. (I know when I have to point out something to someone I don't know, it's SUPER AWKWARD and I use way more care in my wording because I don't know what will set them off so I have to use the extra kiddie gloves. With friends, I can just be blunt and it's all good, because we have that sort of rapport.)


Also, the nature of the mistake might influence things. One might be more "ehhh, whatever, that's minor enough to slide" while another breaks lore. I can't say since I'm not there, but yeah!


So I guess what I'm saying is....take a moment to find some perspective. Talk to your friends. And take a break if you need to, that helps tremendously.


And if after all that, you still feel uncomfortable, you're well within your rights to leave. No matter the reasons, you don't have to stay somewhere that is making you feel bad and miserable. Remember, this is a GAME. A hobby.


Sometimes, reframing things to remember this is just pretendy funtimes and doesn't actually matter in the long run can help. ❤️

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:44 PM, Viscount Rhi-Rhi said:

I think if you're talking to them and starting to feel uncomfortable with how they're treating you, it's important to pause the conversation and say, "Hey, friend, I feel like you're being kind of snippy at me. Is everything okay? Did I do something that upset you?" If it's something you did, it can open up the lines of communication! If it's something going on in their life, it lets them realize how they're coming across to you, which they probably didn't intend. Win-win!


This, so much of it.  Do it after a break - do something else, entirely unrelated. Go for a walk, work out, meet a friend, call a family member, play with your pet, do anything else, really, that gets you out of RP hell.   Get perspective. Remember that these are strangers on the Internet (as I am, ha!) and that ultimately, this is just pretendy fun tiemz and shouldn't be life-defining.


Once you have your zen back, do that - approach people and talk to them calmly. It's possible you did something they didn't like, and you'll learn from it. It's possibly they were snippy for reasons unrelated to you, and they'll apologize. Staff are people too, and while we try our best to be cool and chill, we'll forget things, be distracted, and have emotions like the rest of the RP community.  So: they're people, talk to them.


Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't, but either way, you will have done your best to resolve that situation in a mature, kind, open way.  That will honor you, so to speak, regardless of the end result. 


Good luck! Be kind to yourself! 🙂



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