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OK to Make Mistakes -- Wonderful to Apologize! IsoM

Posted by Mark H. on March 18, 2002, at 11:23:38

In reply to Just A Bit Extra, posted by IsoM on March 17, 2002, at 15:03:33

Dear IsoM (and not just IsoM),

You may be mistaking the natural roll-over of auto-archiving for the removal of your posts. I don't think you've been censored. Dr. Bob sometimes combines threads (and more rarely edits or removes posts), but chances are that what you wrote was simply moved into the archive by the server automatically. You can always check by clicking on a post in the thread and looking below the current text, where it lists all postings in that thread, even if they are archived.

Still, if you are worried that one of your postings was inappropriate, it is wonderful that you've taken time to publicly apologize for it. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. I've made more mistakes here than most people.

There are three things I've learned here that I'd like to pass on.

One is that it's important for me not to let Psycho-Babble become an obsession or my principal source of communication and strokes. I've made most of my mistakes here when I lost my objectivity and started writing as though I was in the same room with everyone. It just doesn't work, and the potential for hurt feelings and misunderstandings rises exponentially.

Second is to take occasional breaks, vacations from Psycho-Babbling, lasting from a few days to several weeks or even months if needed. What I noticed by doing so was that my presence, though appreciated (by some), was far from essential -- there are always really intelligent, warm, caring, skillful people here ready to pick up any slack. Also, since PB tends to re-cycle the same medication questions endlessly, fresh voices are needed to answer questions without the exasperation that can creep into my writing unintentionally when I've answered the same questions about Effexor withdrawal for the 10th time. :-)

Third, I find I can stay here longer, with fewer needs for "vacations," if I remember only to respond to threads where I feel a genuine heart connection with the poster. At first this felt like I was unfairly ignoring people whose personalities triggered upset, anger, or strong disagreement in me. But especially in this written format, where hugs and spontaneous laughter and ironic statements and humor cannot be utilized as effectively as they can in person, it's really better just to move on to the next post, rather than inject negativity or righteousness into a thread.

As I've said before, learning to walk away from a thread that makes me want to engage in intellectual battle was the hardest thing for me to learn. Dr. Bob (and other VERY patient and forgiving regulars) have taught me that saying nothing -- NOTHING! -- and focusing on being supportive, positive and helpful elsewhere is the best way to go.

Even if the bid to argue or fight comes in the middle of a thread in which I'm deeply involved, it's best for me and for everyone else if I just pretend it isn't there. It's the only way I've found to protect everyone's dignity here, including my own.

With fond regards,

Mark H.




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