Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Biggest Regret
I’ve written about my regrets plenty, as I’m sure you’ve seen over the past few years. However, when Amerence put out her call on Twitter to respond to this Blog Azeroth shared topic, I figured I’d lend a hand; it’s a lot of work to keep BA going, and with dwindling interest in WoW as a whole, I want to assist any chance I get. Thanks, Amerence, for running BA for several years now; I know you don’t get nearly as much gratitude as you should.
So my biggest regret is a tough call, but I think it probably goes back to that first guild disintegration. If you’re not versed in that travesty, you can read the linked post. If you’d rather not, here’s the TL;DR version: the guild had a bully that everyone tolerated; I acted very intolerant of the bully, which caused a guild schism, for which I was largely blamed.
I’m not sure if I really regret the intolerance of the bully, but I’m sure there were things I did that exacerbated the problem rather than helped remedy it. In particular, after having been threatened to be kicked by the bully involved, I told him that it wouldn’t matter, as my buddy, the guild leader, would just let me back in. I think that caused my buddy a lot of grief, as the bully’s wife started attacking him on a regular basis, harassing him about dealing with me and so forth. My point then was that his power over me was largely imaginary, but it was taken by several people that my statement meant that I believed I was untouchable and could behave any way I wanted. In the end, it was the first nail in WoW’s coffin for my buddy, as the constant harassment made him come to hate the game.
I’m not sure how I should have handled it differently. I went back and read the post and went over the details again with my buddy, which he doesn’t like to talk about, and I’m not sure much has changed in my perceptions of the event since when it first happened. I was angrier then, but bullies still annoy the hell out of me, so as much as I’d like to say I’d be different now, I’m just not sure. I did a similar thing in a guild years later, when I was being quite literally harassed about speccing into Lightwell and finally outted the guy publicly about his behavior. He left the guild not long after, and, since he was a valuable healer, I got secretly (at the time) blamed for that, too.
I’m not sure if I just don’t understand some basic social mechanism where it’s better to not make waves than to defend oneself or others against a bully. I can intellectually step back and acknowledge that may be the case, but emotionally when I see someone unfairly lording over someone else – whether it’s me or someone I care about – I simply don’t care about the intellectual part. I see bullies, and I want to break them. It’s as simple as that.
That may make me a bully, in fact. Sometimes I have an overly-prickly response to people that I think may be a bully, and later it may turn out that it was just a misunderstanding. You may remember that I wrote about a guy saying something very homophobic in vent out of the blue one day, and I bashed him on the blog. Nothing excuses what he said, but he turned out to be an otherwise decent guy. We later discussed it, and I admitted to perhaps prejudging him, and he apologized for what he said. We were cool about it, in the end.
Of course, that peace lasted only a few days, until others in the guild began behaving in some bullying behavior, which I wrote about here, and they came and attacked. Again, I refused to back down, and it led to more guild problems. I went ahead and left that guild, but it turned out the troublemakers left not long after. I don’t regret that one at all, as it led to my being where I am now, in which I feel comfortably situated, but it further goes to show my somewhat out-of-control nature when dealing with that type of personality.
So perhaps my regret comes not from one event but just that I react so strongly to what I perceive as bullying behavior, and those reactions may be exacerbated by bullying that I perceive as being accepted by others.
Though while it is a regret, I don’t know that I’d want it to be another way. The alternatives – being a bully, being a victim, or being accepting of bullies – seem worse.
Stubborn (who wants YOU (pointing) to support Blog Azeroth!)