Posted tagged ‘conflicts’

/ignore And Why I Don’t Like It…Much

June 28, 2010

– Jerkface is ignoring you –

What. the.

My face was suddenly sore from e-slap. Why is Jerkface ignoring me? I thought we were pretty good friends. We ran heroics together all the time, played on the same arena team. We’d even gotten smashed and wandered the streets of Toronto until 4 am once, just the two of us. Yes, the real life Toronto! Not Stormwind or Ironforge or Exodar. He did have a bad temper. Maybe we had a disagreement lately? I played the last few in-game days over in my mind. No. No fight.

An accident maybe?

Somehow I doubted it.

FINE, I thought, you ignore me, I’ll ignore you.

Smugly, I put him on my ignore list and went about my business. But I really wanted to know what he was saying. Really wanted to know. Really wanted to-

He must have stayed on my ignore list for grand 15 minutes before I realized that the idea was absolutely stupid.

To this day, I’ve never used the ignore feature since, save for a few beggers in Ironforge who made the list just long enough to get the hint.

I’m not a fan ignoring other players, with the exception of maybe really annoying strangers trying to take my gold or sell me theirs. I know the mentality is “if you can’t put up with someone, just put them on ignore”, but I don’t like that. Whether it’s puggers or guildies, hiding everything someone says doesn’t fix any problems and just makes it more difficult to get the job done.

/ignore in PuGs

Surprise, surprise, players in pugs can be socially inept, jerks, annoying or plain stupid. You’re only in a group with them for a few hours at most, you’ll likely never play with them again, why put up with their idiocies?

Well, you’re only in a group with them for a few hours, you’ll likely never play with the likes of them again, so why not just roll your eyes at their dumb contributions to chat?

Despite all the stupidity floating in the air, I still like to know what’s going on when I’m pugging. When I’m playing with strangers, I imagine the worst case scenario and in the worst case scenario, I’m going to have to cover for everyone elses mishaps. So the more information I have, the better.

And if that information is mainly “anal [random name]” or “ur mom”, then so be it.

/ignore in guilds

You don’t like someone’s sense of humour, you don’t like their attitude. Just /ignore them. Easy, right?

Not really.

I’m sure it’s great for a short term fix. Just hide what they say and you won’t have to worry about it ever again. But can you go on, day after day, week after week, raid after raid just not knowing what they’re saying?

Not being able to see their chatter might relieve some stress at first, but even if you can’t see it, they’re still talking. Their attitude is still infiltrating your bubble. They’re still there. (You know, in ur raid, offending ur person.) And not only are they there, but they’re your healers, your tanks, your healees, your teammates. Despite the (what you consider) crap they might spew out, in a raid setting, they might just say something useful to the success of the raid.

And that’s without counting the inevitable tension that slowly builds between yourself and your ignoree. Every time you play you remind yourself that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them and they remind themselves (because, yes, they will figure out soon enough they’re being ignored) that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them. In a world of thick skinned internet beasts, it may take awhile for tension to build, but it will built and it will explode. Then there’ll be ooze and blood and we’ll have to clean up and no one likes cleaning up.

You’re never going to like everyone

I’m often accused of being too nice and of liking everyone.

It’s not that I like everyone. Nor does everyone like me (as the story at the beginning of this post has proven to us!). I have my own personality and morals and they do clash with others at time. It might come as a surprise to some that, while I left my old guild of two years because I didn’t care for the playstyle and leadership structure anymore, it was an exploded personality conflict that burned my bridges and kept me from looking back. It’s not that either of us were terrible people, we were just terribly incompatible people. So, yes, no one likes everyone all the time and that’s completely ok.

How to put up with annoyances?

1- Pick your battles carefully. You won’t win them all, and those you lose will be like fuel on a fire. (Tell a bunch of boys they’re not allowed to say the word “rape” and the only word you’ll hear from them for the next 3 weeks will be “rape”) Unless someone is really crossing a line, it’s best to just tune them out without physically ignoring them. Also, the less often you put people in their place, the more impact you’ll have when you do.

2- Remember that human beings aren’t 2 dimensional. With some individuals, it can be really hard to remind yourself of their redeeming features, but for the team (and your sanity)’s sake, you have to. Many WoW players are very socially inept, but behind the strange facades they put up, you’ll usually find intelligent, helpful, passionate people who appreciate any kind of attention you give them. Also, what looks like nastyness to some can actually be a sign of people comfortable enough with each other to tease

3- Master the art of subtlety changing the subject. WoW players are passionate folk. If they stray onto a topic you don’t like, bring up class changes, patch notes or whatever else they feel strongly about. Problem solved. When all else fails, the line “now, now, that’s not very nice” has the double effect of causing laughter and ending the current conversation. (I have to give credit to my GM for that one, I stole that line from him and tried it a few times, works like a charm.)

4- If it can’t be fixed, it might be time to move on. I’m guilty of getting attached to guildies and convincing them to stay despite elements of our guild culture making them absolutely miserable. What I’ve realized lately is that by doing this, I was just causing everyone tons of stress. Some personality conflicts can’t be resolved. When it gets to the point where you just can’t allow yourself to see what a person is typing, then it’s time to find a more fitting home. There are a lot of former guildies that I miss with all my heart, but I much prefer to hear them speak excitedly about their new teammates than comfort them as they complain about my teammates.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day, the ignore feature is great for getting rid of gold sellers, gold beggers and that annoying level 2 guy in Exodar asking how to get to Stormwind. It’s not so great for stretching out an unresolvable personality conflict or masking a too-big guild culture shock.

At the end of the day, we play this game for enjoyment, whether that enjoyment comes from downing bosses in the most efficient way possible or from socializing with people from across the continent or a mixture of column A and column B. If you have to entirely block out an individual, you’re doing neither of the above. Go, go and be with people you don’t have to block out.

Just sent me an email once in awhile, because, you know, I kinda get attached to people.

I don’t want to see your dirty laundry, but…

July 6, 2009

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

My guild does not believe in hidden forums. Anything good enough for the boards should be good enough for the world looking in – including potential applicants evaluting us.

This is rarely problematic as most of the posts are raid threads and contain nothing but lines akin to “I’ll be 5 minutes late” or “sorry I can’t make it, good luck in there!” or “here are the stats for the night”. Occasionally someone will post a funny link. Nothing embarassing, nothing incriminating.

Then, out of the blue, something less….dull…. will happen. A person will disagree with another. Or several people with several others. Discussions start, tempers get heated, the texttypers post something illegible and so on. Oh the horror!

Officer emails suddenly abound (the officers in my guild correspond by email) and the team devides itself into three groups :

Group 1 : OMG close the offending thread and bury it! Delete it if we can!

Group 2 : We can’t censor people or I really don’t care what the world sees

Group 3: What thread?

Are disagrements always bad and embarassing? I don’t think so.

Some types of conflict (read: drama) are better off hidden from the world. Heck, the guild itself doesn’t need to watch personal conflicts explode. Equally, threads containing “I worked so hard for you guys and in return you stab me in the back and now my life is ruined and you suck and I hate you all” or its modern cousin “i wrkd so hard 4 u giz n in rtrn u stab me in teh back n no my liefz rund n u sukc n i h8 u all” might not be helpful for recruitement. Just saying.

But what about something along the lines of “I’m not sure I agree with this rule for reasons X, Y and Z. I would like to propose changing it a bit to the following…”? Is that harmful? I mean, if a few people in the guild don’t like this rule, the guild must be awful and we should never apply or associate them. Obviously, in order for a group to have a good environnement, everyone must agree with all the rules all the time…. And anyone who thinks that way has yet to experience kindergarden. Or at least experience a group with a positive environnment.

As soon as you have a group of people, some will disagree on something at some time. Thats just how things work. Is that bad? Of course not! By disagreeing, you’re introducing a new perspective, you’re opening the lines of communication and you’re showing that you’re comfortable enough to take an emotional risk. Now, the frequency of disagreement, the topic of disagreement, the way the disagreement is expressed and the way the disagreement is received make all the difference.

I can’t say I shop for guilds on a daily basis. However, I do frequently have to choose to be around various groups of people, be it in a professional, acedemic or recreational setting. And yes, I like to know how often people argue, what they argue about, are they respectful and constructive in expressing their dissent and are dissents in turn accepted in a respect and constructive manner. In real life, we rarely get to see conflicts within a group until its too late. However, when browsing guild forums, we often do get that chance. And should your guild forums have the rare thread where people are constructively discussing in a grown-up, mature fashion varying points of vue on a perticular rule, I believe it may play in your advantage.

Besides, a guild composed of members and officers with good conflict resolution skills is nothing to be ashamed of!