Dear Constant Reader,
This is a tough tip for me to release into the wild. I’ve wanted to talk about this for a long time, but I’ve been afraid. Scared of being clumsy with my words and offending someone and being attacked. I’ve seen it happen and I’m cowardly enough to keep my head down and hope I’m not noticed. There are some vicious people in the burlesque world.
A confluence of several things recently made me need to say something. One of those things was this essay by Jet Noir, which you absolutely should read. He says some important things better than I can.
I had a hard time deciding on the wording of the tip, so you get two versions.
Conversation, not cancellation and Talk to people, not about them.
If you have a problem with someone, talk to them. Don’t just call them out or send an open letter or screenshot them and then block them — there’s no resolution and nothing will change.
Sharing screen shots in a closed group may make the participants feel smug and righteous, but it does nothing to address the problem and nothing will change.
You may not know the entire context of the situation. The person you have a conflict with may not be aware of the result of their actions. People make mistakes and it doesn’t necessarily make someone a total lost cause. Two-way communication is the way to resolve and improve things.
Social media posts, texts, emails have no nuance — subtleties of meaning are lost. It’s so easy to perpetuate misunderstandings. The best way to really communicate with someone is in person. It’s not just the words; it’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language that lead to understanding. Sitting down with someone also reminds you that there’s a real person behind that screen.
If you can’t talk in person, at least pick up the phone and have a real-time conversation. And these days technology makes it possible to have a face to face discussion from a distance.
Yes, I know there are exceptions and special circumstances but this is just a tip, not a lengthy essay addressing all sorts of “what if”s. I admit there is no talking to some people, but it’s worth at least trying.
Above all, be kind.
This was a challenging tip to write and I’d like to challenge myself more. If you liked it, consider supporting me on Patreon. With more support, I’ll write more!