Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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On the other hand...

Despite the many wonderful things which took place at punt!t00bage, there were large parts of it where I was not a completely happy bunny. This was for different reasons to the usual, and so interesting. I derive a considerable part of my self-esteem and self-respect from considering myself to be someone who knows how to behave well and generally does so. Now defining "behave well" is an interesting topic in itself, but not for right now. There were parts of punt!t00bage weekend where I was not proud of, or impressed with, my own behaviour. I thought I had worked out how to conduct myself in group situations like this and I thought that I had become sufficiently comfortable with sufficiently many of the people there to be comfortable in the circumstances, but apparently not.

Now I wasn't a total git all weekend (...or was I? Maybe it's not my place to say!) and there were a few places where I did try to go out of my way to behave considerately and constructively, but there were also more than a few things I did of which I was not proud and which I thought I had taught myself not to do. If you think you know what I'm referring to then you're right, but only in part; only I know all my transgressions and that's the way I'd like it to stay. Now if you didn't see them and you thought that my behaviour all weekend was fine, that's fair enough, but at the end of the day it's my opinion of my own behaviour that matters to me - and it definitely wasn't what I'd like it to have been. Being well-behaved isn't about being well-behaved most of the time, it's about (a) being well-behaved all of the time and about (b) never being ill-behaved.

One incident deserves singling out as being different to the others. At one point, I made a very thoughtless remark of the type "I don't like Y", which seriously offended some of the people present. (I won't compound the error and/or embarrass by repeating what Y was.) It was a generalisation, and - as most generalisations - not completely correct, though certainly an accurate generalisation of my position. However, it was a closed-minded, immature and bigoted comment to make; I apologise for making it and for the offence I caused. You might remember the discussion about people who say "I don't like slash"; many concluded that was a closed-minded attitude and it would not be unreasonable to transfer that closed-mindedness and the contempt they deserve as a result to me for my counterpart attitude, though in a rather different context. Clearly I have much to learn about balancing tact, tactlessness and honesty.

Now the interesting thing here is that I didn't recognise this as being an offensive comment at the time when I made it, so I was rather knocked sideways to hear that it had caused offence. Still, hopefully I live and learn and will aim not to make that mistake again in the future. I also need to think about the general sort of technique to avoid.

That was the only mistake of that sort, though, to my knowledge. Many of the other things I did wrong were bad in a different way - I knew they were less kind than they could be before I did them, so I was not being inconsiderate but rather malconsiderate. (Again, I'll not compound the errors by going into detail.) On top of that, there have been a few occasions at punt!t00bage, at previous t00bages and over the past few months where I've done apparently kind things but with dishonest and dishonourable motives. I'll not go into details, because I'm not looking for absolution in a strange sort of confession but there have been more times than I'd like when I really haven't been impressed with my own behaviour. This weekend featured several of them. Let's just say that in hindsight, I made so many comments and displayed so many attitudes which were smart-assed, disrespectful or snobbish that if I hadn't been me, I'd probably have slapped me.

So, in conclusion, as well as the rule of "You can't judge what people are going to be like in person from how they are in their LiveJournal" - which I often failed to apply - I have now also induced a rule of "Just because people are happy joking about things in their LiveJournal doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be happy joking about things in real life." If I keep repeating these messages to myself frequently enough then maybe they'll eventually sink in.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, partly as an explanation why I didn't enjoy this weekend nearly as much as I ought to have done and partly to explain why I may be a lot more negative about participation in similar things in the future. We'll see. I can only apologise and demonstrate the sincerity of my apology by not repeating the same mistakes in the future. Mostly this will involve shutting the hell up a lot more, even at the risk of never seeming to have things to say and at the risk of letting my viewpoint go unsaid.

I'm explicitly not looking for "Don't worry about it, you were OK" replies here, for public forgiveness or for a blow-by-blow bitchfest about individual incidents, but it's your reply box to fill as you will - and turning replies off here would be a cop-out.
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