This week has been tough in fan-site ownership. Drama abounds. And not just silly drama. Drama that made a person involved cry for hours. And it’s not just one incident, I’ve seen it since Day 1 on my other sites. People can be nasty, hateful, rude. It’s sad really when all we’re trying to do is promote something we love and have to deal with the crap we deal with. But it got me thinking today. What really is the impetus for their behavior? Why, on what’s supposed to be a fan site, somewhere people are supposed to get excited about something, do people lash out? I thought about the situations where people have gotten pretty upset and tried to boil them down to a few reasons why someone might act like that. It comes out of needs. Needs that are not new to you or me but I find it fascinating that even on a little fan site, that they come out screaming.
Respect – I would say this is one of the loudest needs I’ve seen. People want the right to voice their opinion and be respected when it doesn’t agree with others. People want respected when something they own is shared. People want to be treated fairly in a disagreement. They want respect.
Connection – This may be the one that fan sites were created for. People want to find others that love the same thing and they want to interact because of it. They want to celebrate it together. They want to share in the highs and lows. It’s rarely fun to enjoy something and not share it with someone. And when someone feels like they can’t connect with anyone? Watch out.
Recognition – Everyone wants recognition. Credit. If they created it, found it, said it, shared it, they want their name on it. And the bigger, brighter, louder, the better. And sometimes people are just nasty simply to get the recognition. No other reason they deserve to be recognized,they just want the spotlight and they’ll cause drama just to get it.
Acceptance – Everyone likes to be part of the group and I never see as much lashing out as when someone isn’t accepted into the group.
And I think when you step back you see that at the end of the day, these people are looking to others to meet their needs. And yes, I believe we are created for community, for togetherness but we aren’t created to hurt those same people when they don’t meet our needs.
To those people I would say, it’s ok when you have a different opinion than someone else. Share something just to bring someone else joy. Create because it’s beautiful. Say it because it’s meaningful. It’s ok to be outside the popular crowd. Leave feedback for someone else’s benefit, not your own. Because people are going to fail you. Your needs are not always going to be met. So please. Give people the thing you are desiring…respect, recognition, acceptance, connection…and quit hurting those around you in response.
And ultimately I believe you can best do that through knowing that there is One who will always, always meet our needs. God always respects us, always will connect with us, always recognizes us, always accepts us. And when someone doesn’t show us acceptance, we can rest in the fact that always without fail, there is One who does. When someone isn’t talking back to us the way we’d like, there is someone always without fail waiting to talk to us. When someone doesn’t give us a pat on the back, He says “I see”. When someone leaves us out of a group, He opens His arms. We don’t have to lash out and be hateful.
To these people, I say: Quit looking out and look up.