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Meme Time! Finally - Support

You comment to my post asking for five words. I will give you five words that I think of when I think of you. You will post them to your blog and post what those words make you think of, in depth.

theafaye gave me: editing, beach, cats, commitment, support

Support
I have two versions of "support" upon which I'd like to elaborate here - one with regards to the lj idol competition (particularly with it being "fresh" and all) and one with regards to generalized "support" of family members and friends.

Let's start with the support of family members and friends.
I grew up constantly being questioned. It was a fact of life. If I made a decision (whatever the decision was), my father would question me about it until he understood my decision-making process, and then he usually solidly agreed that it was a good decision (assuming I'd made logical choices), and I could see a bit of pride in his eyes. I was fine with this, and in fact I grew to look forward to the questions that would invariably come up, because just talking about it often reinforced in my mind that I had made the right decision for me.

My sister, on the other hand, seemed to have a harder time making decisions on her own. She relied far too much on the feedback of others, and would often absorb it into her own being, only to realize later that she'd made a decision not on what she herself had wanted, but on what others had wanted. She couldn't tell that though until it was far too late and the decision was made. She resented being questioned on her decisions. Probably because she wasn't all that certain about them, but that's speculation on my part.

Her opinion was - if you support me, you won't question me. You will accept that I have thought things through, and that I have made a good decision for me. Questioning me, is showing a lack of support for me.

I just can't disagree more with this idea. I can support someone, without agreeing that they've made a good decision! The decision on whether or not to be supportive of someone, does not mean you have to agree with every single thing they do. I may support her as a person, but I won't support a decision for her to kill herself, for example. I support her in her choice of a husband, but I'm not likely to be supportive of a decision for her to get married in a place that won't allow my attendance for example (just an example - we're attending the wedding). Frankly, if she was marrying a crackhead, I might not be supportive of her choice in husband, but that didn't mean I wasn't supportive of her as a person. It''s not all or nothing!

Being my friend (and this is probably important for you to know, you who are on my friends list), means that I if I don't understand why you have made the choices you have made, and you are telling me about them expecting some kind of feedback, I will question you on them. And if I think they aren't good decisions (or if you are patting yourself on the back for something I think was pretty boneheaded), I will probably say so. And it doesn't mean I don't support you as a person. Much to the contrary. Sometimes, giving a person real and true feedback, is the best way to support someone, even if it's not what they want to hear. And it's particularly important if you have surrounded yourself with people who constantly blow sunshine up your ass. I will never, ever, be that person. If you added me to your friends list and you're someone who only ever wants to hear sunshine positive feedback, you should probably either mention that on each post, or drop me as an lj friend. Seriously.

I try to be kind if/when I question and/or challenge someone, but you lose a lot in written communication (e.g. voice tone, inflection, body language, etc.) so please don't assume I'm questioning/challenging you to be evil. It's generally done with the best of intentions. I typically only take the time to offer challenging feedback if either the person or issue is close to my heart.

Additionally, I'm quite open to having my own behaviour/decisions challenged, unless I specify that I am not. Depending on my mood at the time of my response, I may sound crusty and/or unappreciative, but I am generally open to kindly-offered feedback. Generally. And I try to remember to disable comments when I'm not.

In terms of the lj idol competition
There is a distinct difference between me voting for your entry, and me supporting you in the competition.

I vote for the entries I like. Except when voting for someone makes me unsupportive of someone I have chosen to support. Let me explain.

If I am supporting people in the idol competition, that means I have ranked them in order of whom I want to win. I will vote upon whom I think is best, up until one of the people I have chosen to support, is in danger of leaving. In that case I will remove votes from people who threaten the person (or persons) I have chosen to support.

Does this mean I have decided whom I want to win well ahead of time? No. My list (and rank) of people whom I support is not static - it fluctuates with my opinion of their performance over time.

Does this mean I only support people who are on my friends list? No. Several people in the competition this year, were completely unaware that they had my support, and I liked it that way. They were not on my friends list, and I'm not saying who they were either.

Do I always support everyone on my friends list? No. Whether or not I choose to support someone is based on many things, and may change week to week. One of the criteria is performance. I may have to withdraw my support if I see someone I usually like, writing below their calibre.

What does it mean if you are not on the list of people I have chosen to support? It means I will vote for the entries of yours that I like, up until the point where it becomes a choice between you and someone else whom I support. Then I will remove my vote for you, in order to keep supporting the one I've chosen.

I know a lot of people disagree with taking votes away, but I feel that I'm not supporting those I've chosen if I'm voting for their immediate competition. Make sense?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
theafaye
Aug. 8th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
I am EXACTLY the same as you when it comes to supporting friends. I am not an unconditional yes man - if I think that someone is doing something daft, I'll question it to understand it and if I disagree with what that person is saying, I'll say so...

...and then move on and let them make their own way. It's not my place to tell someone what to do and if it does all go horribly wrong, I'll be there to support them because that's what friends do - support each other through thick and thin. Just recently, there was someone who felt that because I don't unconditionally go YAY to every single thing that they do, therefore I look down on them, which isn't true. I don't look down on anyone for doing things differently the way that I do. I just won't say that every single thing is good when you can see a train wreck waiting to happen on the horizon.
sharya
Aug. 10th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Yup, it will be unlikely people will get unconditional yeses from me either. I believe (although I'm not positive) that this may be one of the reasons I lost someone I considered a very good friend earlier this year, although when the comments came out, it appeared that she had never really considered me a good friend, so perhaps the end was for the best if it was so one-sided. Lop-sided relationships (including friendships) tend not to work.

Part of it too maybe have been the issue of written communication. We all consider ourselves to be great written communicators, and for the most part we are, but I sure know I don't always put the same amount of thought into phrasing a comment, that I might put into an entry or an email. And I probably should. But then I might make much fewer comments, so I probably won't, and will just hope that people bring it up with me if I manage to offend them at the time of the offence. Hopefully they will know me well enough to know that the intention is good. I can probably count the number of times I've deliberately trolled someone on one hand, and they sure as hell weren't on my friends list.
theafaye
Aug. 13th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
That sounds a little passive aggressive on her part, that she just wanted to get a dig in because she could, you know "well I never really liked you anyway, so NER!"

I am aware that I can come off as being offensive at times, but I feel the same way as you - I don't have the energy to sugar coat things, so the best I can do is not post at all, which I do often opt for, especially if a friend is involved. If someone wants to push me on it, I am more than capable of letting them have it with both barrels - it's rare that someone pushes my buttons enough for me to really let them have it though. There was one time during boobgate last season of Idol and then the last time before that was years ago on a discussion board when someone claimed that the Christians were "doing it wrong" because she didn't feel any energy when she went into a church and couldn't get her brain around the notion that it simply meant she's not connected to the Christian current. My eventual response to her I think scared quite a lot of people when they realised just HOW brutally sarcastic I can get when pushed! Beyond that, I can't remember when I really let loose. Certainly with people I like, it's just not worth it.
xo_kizzy_xo
Aug. 8th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
See, there's a reason why both you and Thea are on my FL ;)

I'm very much like your sister in that 1) I'm very unsure of myself when it comes to decision-making because 2) I've never had anyone question me like your dad did (in fact, my opinions and such were always dismissed because "oh, she's just a kid"). 3) Because I lacked that external questioning force and because I was never taken seriously, I've always looked toward others for reinforcement. In other words, I have no idea if my decisions are valid/sound because I lack that inner "whatever". Do you know what I mean?

As for Idol -- I've taken away votes too, especially from somebody whom I support but isn't in danger of elimination.

Edited at 2011-08-08 12:42 pm (UTC)
sharya
Aug. 10th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
I do know exactly what you mean. You know, it might be helpful to develop a series of questions to ask yourself, for each major decision. Then whenever you have doubts, you can go through your list and be confident you chose what's best for you :)

Constantly analysing and questioning my own decisions (as well as those of others) has been great in so far as providing me with confidence in myself and my ability to make decisions. While my sister would disagree that I shouldn't question myself so much, I personally find it to be extraordinarily helpful.
(Deleted comment)
sharya
Aug. 30th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Hey! I didn't get this comment notification!

I'm really glad that's how I've come across. I've just not felt great about what happened earlier this year where I lost a friend, and I've been questioning a lot since then. Although I'm hoping I might get some resolution to that issue at some point in the not-too-distant future, so we'll see. At least some clarification and level-headed discussion would be supremely helpful.

If at any time I appear to cross a line (with you or anyone else that you've notice), please let me know! I'd rather evaluate my behaviour and address it, rather than lose friends over being careless in my word choices.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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