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Anonymous

Beating Around the Bush

Morrigan

Lets be real human people here and know for a fact that no good admin worth their salt would EVER actually tell a member they are a dick without purple prose. Anyone that actually didn't take the original anonymous as being overstating and emotional is obviously not really reading the situation properly.

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If you are interested in this topic the Initiative staff recommends that you start a new topic as there hasn't been a post in it in 806 days.

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Sunny: I 100% agree that there was some sort of miscommunication here; maybe they meant that there was no list yet and they had yet to check, or that they weren't sure that you were on the list, or any number of reasons why they couldn't give you a clear answer at first, rather than "they just didn't want to tell you".

 

Regarding activity checks in general, we just like to have an accurate count of how many characters and members we actually have.  In addition, a lot of our procedures and groups rely on minimum amounts of members and characters; we want to be neat and orderly, after all.  :)


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I love how amused and pulled in you all are by the OP phrasing. Would any of you actually do that? Call someone a culprit or a an asshole or a dickbag?

 

I guess I'm sort of ashamed by how many of you are pulled in by the phrasing of the situation instead of the situation itself. To me you are amused more by the fact that the original person is upset and wanted to know why someone would push them around more than the fact that than they felt hurt or upset by the situation.

 

Maybe it's my lot in watching the Scam show with my BF but you all seem to all be focused on the details rather than the actual information. So to me you are all focusing on that.

 

Perhaps we should all focus on the actual question at hand.

 

 

 

What do you think of someone beating around the bush?
If you talk to someone squarely and they aren't fully straightforward how do you feel?

Do you think it's okay for someone to ask you a question and sort of skirt around the answer to get the result you want? Is the result you get what you want?

 

 

I mean there are a dozen questions and everyone is focusing on a silly minute feud between nobodies because it was amusing that they decided to duke it out. The real questions haven't been answered. This topic is still a barren wasteland of nothing but amused faces.

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I am always straightforward and I expect the same from the others. Diplomacy doesn't mean not being straightforward. It means just choosing better words sometimes. And I also agree with the miscommunication, which is to be solved between parts.

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Honestly, for me this seems like nothing more than a miscommunication. The fact that I say "I'm doing an activity check" is usually a heads up, it doesn't mean I already  have the list in hand. I would believe some admins do tell their members before they actually list everyone whose activity is not within the rules.

 

Now, since I don't know the details of how it was communicated, I can say that, from where I'm standing, it seems more like the OP jumped the gun and concluded that they were targeted than the admin actually being malicious to them.

 

Again, I don't know the details, but if that was all that happened:

 

- Admin tells member they're having an activity check

- Member asks if there's a list

- Admin says no

- Admin messages them the next day (when they presumably had the time to complete the list) telling member they are in the  group of people whose activity dropped

 

It seems to me that the member might have read more into this than there was.

 

Again (just one more time), I don't know how it was put, and all, but if it was the cut-and-dry situation, I really don't see it as beating around the bush.

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I've only read the first two posts of this thread so I don't know if there's been a conversation started about it, but I'm so sorry you had to deal with that! I can understand why you would be upset because - even if you misinterpreted the situation, your feelings are definitely still valid. As far as staffing goes, I do really try to be nice to everyone, because it can come back to bite staffers when they're straightforward and it's interpretted as rude, but if someone asks me if there's a problem, I'll let them know the truth. I'm never going to lie to anyone, I'll simply maintain a professional attitude with everyone :). I hope you can find a new site that works well for you!

 

 

EDIT: in addition, I really appreciate the same being given back to me. When people beat around the bush or try to claim that there isn't a problem when there clearly is, it really upsets me way more than just addressing the problem would. As I see it, you can't fix the problem if you can't talk about it.

Edited by Raven
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Why do people beat around the bush?

There are a few reasons with the most likely one being they're afraid of outright saying something and upsetting others. It's been my experience that roleplay has been filled with people who are extremely concerned with feelings and get hyper-sensitive about them. To the point where admins won't get rid of a problem member because it could hurt that person's feelings... the same person who has no shown no remorse for causing all kinds of mayhem and problems. 

Another reason why people beat around the bush is because they're afraid of being seen as rude. They don't want to seem like they're too cold, forward or confrontational. They don't want to appear that way. 

 

There's a difference between being truthful and being crass/cold/whatever though. I'd rather people be upfront with me than beat around the bush and screw around. It just gets frustrating to have to guess a meaning or what is actually going on. And yeah, I'd be much more annoyed with that because a lot of times it's just being jerked around for no good reason. (The desire to appear virtuous isn't a good enough reason. Plus if you're screwing someone around then it's kinda hard to claim to be virtuous.) If it's not apparent I hate having my time wasted and playing guessing games. I'd rather just deal with whatever issue is before me and move on. I know it can be a bit direct at time, but I still think it's the best policy because any initial anger/heartbreak/whatever can be gotten over quicker and allow the person to move on faster.

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Beating around the bush is always frustrating. It is not constructive and it has no place in any kind of communication. There are ways to be direct without being inflammatory or damaging the second parties ego/feelings. There might not be any infallible formula for preventing the second party from responding negatively, but there are ways to phrase matters so that if they do then there is no question that its a personal problem. 

 

For example, when approaching a dispute it is never a good idea to use accusatory statements i.e. "You always (insert claim here)" - the other party is immediately on the defensive because they've just been attacked. A more appropriate presentation would be "I feel (insert explanation here). 

Now, I've heard people make the claim that someone can't get upset about the way that you feel, and of course that's a load of crap. People can and will get upset about the way you feel, but at that point they're usually just being insensitive and trying to control something they have no business controlling. People feel how they feel whether or not its rational, it just is what it is. 

 

If I feel like I'm being jerked around by someone whether its an admin, fellow member, or fellow staff then I will usually make an effort to ask for clarity, and neutrally explain what I feel the problem is. It is entirely possible to be direct without damaging even the most sensitive of egos, and if another individual can't figure out how to do that (in a writing community no less) then I'm probably just not going to interact with that person - if site staff is the issue, I'll go find somewhere else to entertain myself. So in short, yes, I want staff to be direct with me. 

 

As an admin, I'm direct with my member base when there is a problem. I also want them to shoot straight with me, because there's nothing I can do about a problem if a member is just going to run circles around the real issue like I'm supposed to just magically pick up on it. 

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I think in this case, I need to know what you actually consider as beating around the bush. Two PMs don't really make it a beat-around-the-bush situation, imo. First PM exchange was all, okay, demand and question. Second PM exchange was official answer framed unkindly. That escalated, lol. I think this was why people were exploring the story in order to better discuss the question because it was confusing -- the anons back and forth thing notwithstanding. 

 

Beating around the bush is ... being hesitant. It's usually five - ten plus convos of unresolved issues, or someone going along unhappily with someone else before finally going "Hey I don't really want this". It's prevaricating and stalling for time to be able to come up with a way to handle a situation, or in some people's cases, stalling for time to completely avoid confrontation as much as possible.

 

While there is a lot of cultural feedback that plays into this, there is also personality. In the South, I have several friends who are very abrasive and blunt. The magical thing is that they can do it with a sweet smile. I'm on the more shy end of the spectrum, but coming more and more out of that. It used to be that while I'm honest, but I also hoped you didn't get me to talk and drag that honesty out of me unless I was comfortable with you. You'd know when I start being chatty with you. Once I get super blunt when cornered, though, I don't do it with a smile. I do it with a snarl. It's not pretty. 

 

I don't like to hurt feelings or to squash creativity, but I also don't like to have my boundaries tested or to get personally snarked at. Usually, now, those boundaries and what I'll accept are very clear. Regardless of my natural reticence, I can do what I need to! So, the reason someone like me might beat around the bush? Usually, it's a case of -- okay, this person isn't actually doing a wrong thing, but this person is rubbing me the wrong way. So I watch, I mince words, I feel the situation out first. I need to know what's going on before I can come down on anything or make a final decision. I've made too many mistakes from mishearing things and reacting accordingly. My ability to actually read people is stunted which is why I go the friendly route first, but once I realise shit isn't going well, my shyness will drop instantly and I go for firm "This is how it's going to be." Screw it, it's done and decision's made.

 

The harder part of this usually is that text has no tone to it, so this is why people tend to examine phrasing. I look for words that give me context of someone's attitude about things. This is why I usually hate being pushed to provide a quicker answer because I'm like, hold on... let me ask you this... 

Recently had someone fuss at me for not PMing them fast enough because they saw that I had read their PM. Two days was considered a long time for an answer. Is that considered beating around the bush? I'm curious because people see this shit differently and react to that. Very demandy folks out there, guys. Bleh.

Edited by Kaycakes
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What do you think of someone beating around the bush?

I don't mind beating around the bush (evasiveness) if one of the following conditions are met:

- The person doing the beating lacks the communication skills/language to diplomatically express themselves. I think diplomacy is a skill and I can't fault for someone for not having developed it as much as the next person. 

- The person doing the beating feels like they're doing what's best for their forum/community. Even if it isn't best for their community, they're doing what they think is right. I can question their judgment if I really want to, but I can't fault them.

 

If you talk to someone squarely and they aren't fully straightforward how do you feel?

It really depends on the circumstance. Sometimes it's annoying if I need their answer to get a complete picture of whatever situation...but I get over it once I've joined the dots. I just hate not knowing things and that's my foible.

 

Do you think it's okay for someone to ask you a question and sort of skirt around the answer to get the result you want? Is the result you get what you want?

Again, it depends on the circumstance, but I'll straight up say that I'm not going to give an answer because of whatever reason. Usually you can have a conversation about why the person is asking said question however and have a dialogue about that.

 

If we're talking punitive stuff for a particular member however, I'm pretty straight forward to that member. It directly relates to them and they have a right to understand why a thing is happening.

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If something bothers me, I usually wait to see if it still bothers me later because there has been times when I've reacted too quickly, or I've misunderstood it. I have a tendency to give people a chance if they rub me up the wrong way at first and if later, the problems still persist, then I act on it.

 

If this is on a social media site, that's usually by muting, unfollowing or blocking. I've had too many arguments on social media to be more direct about it and they can quickly escalate to include people who it doesn't concern, so I find the quieter approach to be better for my sanity. Of course, it does lead to the person wondering what happened, but it prevents having to lie that you like rping with someone when you really don't and it's the lies that hurt people long term.

 

On a forum I run, I'm more direct with people but still give them a chance to change. If they refuse, then they are gone. I am direct because the person needs to know what they've done wrong. Hopefully, that will help them change in the future.

 

But the situation that started off this thread in particular? An over reaction is what I can conclude, and from the wording of both the first anon and the second anon, I can't help but wonder if it's a deliberate argument. That's just the impression I get from it because of the wording and response, and but I know nothing of the events leading up to it, nor the direct wording on what was passed between the member and admin, or even if the second anon actually has anything to do with the situation described in the first anon post. I can only make conclusions on what it appears to be.

 

 

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If you are interested in this topic the Initiative staff recommends that you start a new topic as there hasn't been a post in it in 806 days.

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