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Tolerant or Intolerant?

(110 Posts)
BradfordLass72 Sat 05-Oct-19 01:24:47

I've been pondering why, on so many occasions, the threads on GN deteriorate into often quite vicious wrangling, for no apparent reason.

In order to generate these fights, the antagonists pick some totally irrelevant point from either the OP or the responders and sewing the seeds of anger, disrupting the whole thread.

Now it's easy laugh at these pitiful souls or to see these irritations as a lust for power, the need to seek attention, grandstanding etc., but what if it's more than that?

We know very little about one another - how do we know these people don't have a severe mental problem; are suffering from incipient dementia or are bi-polar?
In which case, more to be pitied than blamed.

Maybe next time someone deliberately tries to hijack the thread by grabbing the limelight with an entirely specious argument, we should bear this in mind.

In my school days we used to say, 'It's a shame to mock the afflicted,' as constantly seeking to hurt or annoy people isn't normal, is it?

So is it fair to blame people who, for reasons they obviously cannot control, seek to grab attention by distrupting innocent threads?

What do you think?

absent Sat 05-Oct-19 04:45:04

I think we should respond honestly to whatever someone else has said. There is no need to be aggressive or angry, rude or offensive. There is no need to "blame". It is perfectly possible to counter an argument or respond to egotistical comments in a courteous manner – and move on.

annep1 Sat 05-Oct-19 05:52:36

I too have thought this at times Bradfordlass .
Perhaps if someone is rude or aggressive we need to allow for this and not be hurtful in our response, or perhaps just ignore the comment.

Calendargirl Sat 05-Oct-19 07:17:20

I think you should respond as you would if you were actually speaking to the person. If you wouldn’t/dare not say it in real life, then you shouldn’t post it. So many people sound off online because it’s anonymous.

Sara65 Sat 05-Oct-19 07:20:50

I don’t know, I tend to lose interest and disappear when things get nasty, which they frequently do.

You are right in saying we don’t know each other at all, and in real life would probably never have much to do with each other, but if we were all in a room having a conversation, I’d be very surprised if it deteriorated into a slanging match so quickly.

Some people are purposely antagonistic, and very rude, as you say, we know nothing about them, there could be many reasons. But somehow I think they’re just nasty.

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 07:40:12

I've thought that the people who start getting aggressive on threads possibly have little input in the real world. I remember my father saying that as he got older he just wasn't important any more.

The political threads are a great example. I doubt very much any of those comments would be made face to face.

Sara65 Sat 05-Oct-19 07:55:10


You could be right, it’s interesting to imagine different peoples lives, probably get it all wrong!
I think in real life, we moderate what we say, because we probably like the people we’re speaking to, and agree on lots of other things, here we are all faceless and nameless, and tend not to be mindful of other people’s feelings.

Chrysanth Sat 05-Oct-19 08:06:50

Yes I’m new here and on scanning some topics before I joined up I recognised that it could be a risk that an insensitive or harsh reply to a problem or concern could make me feel worse but decided to give it a go anyhow ( it is years since I ever joined any online groups, don’t do Facebook ) . Worth a try anyhow I think !

Val05 Sat 05-Oct-19 08:12:40

sometimes some ones harshness gives us the kick up the backside that we need. I do not however feel that we should be rude to each other, there really is no need for that. Just be supportive and honest and open with our replies but definitely there is no need for rudeness or abruptness.
We must remember we are all using this sight for help and support and advice. X

Nortsat46 Sat 05-Oct-19 08:19:40

Bradfordlass72, it's a fair point.
I am not a very frequent poster and stay away from the political and hotly contested threads. Not because I am uninterested in politics, quite the contrary but I don't like the unpleasantness that enters the exchanges.

I posted something quite gentle on an angry thread and one of the posters directed an aggressive response at me. I chose to ignore her, but found it quite unpleasant.

The experience put me off posting for a while. Then I realised that particular person appears to post in aggressive tones quite often.

I agree, there could be other reasons for such aggressive language. My position is that I will not get drawn into 'you said ... I said' and will avoid aggressive posters and threads which turn angry/nasty.

Maggiemaybe Sat 05-Oct-19 08:51:47

There’s a handful of posters on here who behave as you describe. I don’t really care what their motivation is, tbh, I just don’t engage with them. If that means not answering a question or leaving a thread, so be it.

Rather than feel sorry for the usual suspects, my sympathy goes to those new or unaware posters who bump into them.

GracesGranMK3 Sat 05-Oct-19 08:53:53

Doesn't the OP itself show an high level of intolerance of other people's point of view? This, only to be followed by a gross "othering" of those who disagree by describing them, with a large hint that these people are not like "us" as "they have little input in the real world." How very condescending!

I think we bring together a great many different life cultures and it might be worth considering your way of looking at life may not just be different to others, it may cause annoyance and offence. Perhaps it is even enough to make it considered as disruptive and bad mannered as you describe others as being.

There is no entitlement to be considered to be "right" in this world. The offence some take when their post is not thought of as their friends would see it is exactly what I would expect from from those who believe their thinking must be consider both acceptable and correct. That sense of entitlement appears to be enough to write a post intended to goad or inflame "others".

Sara65 Sat 05-Oct-19 08:55:53

I agree Maggie,I don’t get involved, they aren’t people I would want to interact with in real life, I don’t think they’re clever, or amusing, I just think they’re downright rude and unpleasant.

Pantglas2 Sat 05-Oct-19 09:07:15

I’ve only been on here since May and dip into different threads and it astonishes me that clearly intelligent educated people use insults freely to disparage posters who hold different views. And that’s apart from getting people’s names wrong and refusing to apologise for their rudeness.

wildswan16 Sat 05-Oct-19 09:14:51

I just try to steer clear of any threads where I see the comments are becoming heated in an unkind way. These threads usually end up as only involving two or three contributors who just argue amongst themselves.

There are people who I would not want to socialise or debate with in real life, but who are perfectly entitled to use a public forum. I would avoid them in real life as I do on a forum. (They probably wouldn't want to bother with me either ! !).

Daisymae Sat 05-Oct-19 09:16:21

Generally I think that it's best to ignore responses that are clearly antagonistic. I think some people just love a good row online, they are going for the attention.

EllanVannin Sat 05-Oct-19 09:18:35

I just think that there must be some issues in their lives and this is their only outlet for their angst. It's quite pathetic as I don't see why they can't explain themselves and their behaviour by passing it off as an " off day " due to something on their mind----if they're honest !

When this was happening on another forum that I frequented, I found out that the person who was abusive toward me was a drinker and used to do her abusing late at night where I'd see the posts next day. However, that person went on to insult/abuse someone else but met her match !

GracesGranMK3 Sat 05-Oct-19 09:31:46

You really can't see it can you? You are doing exactly what you are complaining about. This is one of the most insulting, rude and designed to see people as "them" or "us" threads that I have come across. You are either posting in the expectation that everyone will agree with you or that you will annoy those who don't share your point of view enough to deliberately inflame others. So which is it? Do you think you are so entitled to agreement that this is all that would happen or is the OP a forum flammer?

lemongrove Sat 05-Oct-19 09:33:15

BradfordLass yes, a very fair point, and one I have considered about certain posters.However, if they are never brought up short about their behaviour presumably would carry on forever.I do just ignore certain ones though, it’s the best way.

Elegran Sat 05-Oct-19 09:41:05

Quite a few of the tart comments that appear in threads are between people who have a history of flyting exchanges, so don't always assume that it is newcomers who are being attacked. If I were giving examples, I might even include GracesGranMK3's reply to Bradfordlass's original post in those exchanges - both of them being frequent posters in the more robust threads.

My advice to newcomers would be to spend a while just reading posts before plunging into the middle of a robust discussion - then you will get an idea of which posters could turn on you, and know that it is just their habit to do so, and not particularly personal.

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 09:45:44

I can understand why people are put off. I find it best to steer clear. If I do end up in something that's turning nasty then I just abandon ship, as it were.

I think the majority of posters are polite and kind.

There's only a handful who seem to enjoy causing mini spats.

They will know why.

GracesGranMK3 Sat 05-Oct-19 09:59:33

Like the nazis and every intolerant group in history, first you identify and divide, then you blame while being just as intolerant and, in at least one case, dictatorial as anyone on the forum.

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

If you think anyone who says this to those of you who set out to "other" and attack is angry you know less about human nature than even I believed possible. This thread just makes me feel very, very sad for our future.

Gonegirl Sat 05-Oct-19 10:03:16

Have you just been reading too many threads BradfordLass?

EllanVannin Sat 05-Oct-19 10:12:25

We're dealing with a few strong personalities and over the years I've learned to stand my ground thus at times sounding that I'm one of those " intolerant " posters but I call it " defending my corner " as I won't be walked over.

For the majority of the time I am tolerant but will still say things as they are rather than skirting around a subject which, may sound to others that I'm intolerant.

Perhaps some of us have dealt with life in general that bit more ?

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 10:20:22

I will definitely stand up for myself in real life. Just can't see the point of getting embroiled in arguments on threads.