Just out of curiosity—why is it when someone tries to introduce a positive thought there will be at least one individual who will interject a contradictory comment even when it’s non-solicited? Is it because … a. Some people just enjoy debating ANYTHING b. Some people don’t know HOW to think positive c. Some people just don’t think …
And let me just add to the comment I made previously ... I have also considered leaving HP for the same exact reasons. I seriously try to avoid controversial subject because I choose not to engage in stimulating conversations that become "overly stimulating."
However, there are the rare moments when I think out loud about certain things.
Or maybe even genuinely disagreeing with someones point of view. It's not all as negative as you make it out to be. Of course there are people who do this out of the reasons you mentioned, but by no means a majority.
There are a lot of knee-jerk people, whose first reaction is to contradict. Not all of them do it deliberately. Let's forgive them, but that doesn't mean to put up with their behavior. They could be energy vampires. It's serious. Often we don't realize it. I also agree with a., b. and c.
It sounds like you ran into a....troll. These people get a morbid fascination and "thrill" from attacking individuals or trying to generate controversy. Often, you can ignore them. Other times, you can give them a taste of their own medicine. I've many epic battles with them on Twitter.
People are passionate and like to express themselves and there is room for all sorts of ideas. Debate is not a bad thing if it gets people thinking and pondering all sorts of perspectives. It's how we learn. There is a difference though in disagreeing tactfully - than in say trolling just looking to pick a fight.
I'm all for disagreement and discussion - not so much for name calling, antagonizing, starting trouble for the sake of it, etc.
I don't think it's a "hidden" agenda at all - in fact I think it kind of puts it all out there right in the open . The exception would be trolling - where it typically is a hidden way to incite others into a fight. You know the ones, they say something controversial or mean spirited, but pretend to be saying it in all seriousness just to get a rise out of people. Trolling does not equal debate / discussion though
I would agree up to a point. I have found that there are people who find the challenge of a heated discussion undesirable. To them it may be even intimidating. Everything in its place as my late mother used to say.
If the topic is one that is of a question/what's your opinion sort ... then by all means those who are interested in the camaraderie should participate. However, there are topics where people just wish to express their appreciation for a "job well done." There is only an expression of gratitude and this is where I truly believe there is a "hidden agenda" if I say "I truly enjoy the acting talents of Steven Seagal and someone turns around and states "but he was lousy in ..." I, Me ... Jacqueline doesn't appreciate it!
I don't see why it is OK for someone to say they like something, but "bad" or negative if they say they don't like something? No one has to get sucked into an argument, but people do have a right so say what they think. There seems to a bias against perceived "negative" comments as if they weren't as valid as positive comments. Being too positive can be just as closed-minded as being too negative.
"No one cares about your stupid comments" vs. "I can definitely understand your point of view however, what do YOU think about ..."
It turns the focus on the other person but in a way that is not argumentative or destructive. Pointing out that there are people who seem to focus on using negative comments is not the same (in my humble opinion) as being negative. At least it should not be seen that way (again in my humble opinion.)
Is that meant to relate to my post, because I don't really see it. Negative means expressing refusal or opposition. If you actually meant being insulting and rude--that's a whole different thing which I am sure most of us can agree about. It is a forum rule after all.
But the OP was about wanting to debate and being negative. Both of which strike me as valid approaches on a forum.
Actually, no. If my point of view has seemed to be personalize ... then accept my humble apology. I am just giving an example of how words can be used in both a positive and negative manner. I shall humbly agree to disagree. I have no desire to create a chaotic atmosphere but to look out of my window onto my beautiful deck and marvel how wonderful nature is.
I shall in like manner turn my attention to such pass times as working on my novel and enjoying my daughter's lovely pictures of Jamaica and desperately wishing I was with her!
Have a simply lovely day everyone and thank you for a most interesting and stimulating conversation! Au revoir!
Debate only truly happens when you have humans who have been taught the skills to debate. Logical thinking, informational progression, researching, historical precedent...to me, all that underpins a debate.
What I see in the forums is people who say the same unquantified/unqualified statements of personal opinion over and over, getting more and more indignant and insulting each time, and they genuinely think they are debating.
I agree, but that was the behavior raised in OP. And debate strikes me as a good thing, negativity per se as neutral. Rudeness, irrationality and pique--not that is what annoys me. Not just someone contradicting an assertion in the negative for a rational reason.
" In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. "
It is horrible and very distasteful, Jacqueline. It shows that some trolls (with the descriptions ChristinS gave us) that some people just have a very low and wicked mentality. It happens all the time in our forums and even in comments on hubs. This is one reason I very much appreciate the fact that HubPages has given us options to not receive notices on forums we do not want to get involved in or even see in our newsfeed, and to be able to delete comments on our hubs.
I can usually handle different points of view, but every once in a while someone will just push my buttons. I recently posted a hub straight from research on a topic that is in the news right now. A reader took exception to my point of view but attacked me personally for the content. And I do mean personally. It was all I could do not to return her venom in kind, but then I thought: what's the point?
I can see that all folks here have pretty serious views. What confuses me forever is what positive and negative means. For instance, if I say that Adolf Hitler was a wonderful person, is that positive? If I say that J.Edgar Hoover was a cross-dresser, is that negative. If I say that J.Edgar Hoover was not a cross-dresser, is that positive or negative? It seems that when people use the term positive or negative, they usually have a political agenda. Is there anyway that an individual can express an opinion about sexual preference without being demonized? We are in a time and place where simply refusing to write about some subjects is probably more constructive. Of course, that might be a positive or negative view.
As in "positive attitude" it means to emphasize what is laudable, hopeful or to the good; constructive.
Therefore, I feel safe to say that what is positive does not violate the feelings of others but is a devise used to uplift, encourage and produce a feeling of well being.
When our comments are criticized in such a way that it makes us feel unhappy then this is not a "positive reaction." Being considerate of other people's feelings whether we are addressing what someone wrote or face-to-face interactions should be the desire of every SANE human being. And it is human nature to defend ourselves when we feel threaten whether real or imagined.
Here here, I agree totally with these points Jacqueline. I joined a seemingly innocent forum titled something like "what is the best book you have read recently?" It was going fine until a commenter (who is not a Hubber but frequents forums, mainly on religion) chimed in saying 'origin of the Species' then commenced berating everyone who hadn't read it or didn't want to as 'narrow minded-Christians'. The original topic was nothing about religion.
That sounds a lot like a Predator to me. Predators lie in wait for unsuspecting people and then attempt to cause mayhem. I am sorry that you had to have such a negative experience. We should be able to enjoy friendly interactions without interference from such people.
It is indeed so very sad that "civilized man" cannot work toward a common good without someone saying something negative, hurtful or hateful to someone else. What necessitates the desire to be destructive? What damage will it do to be polite, courteous and considerate?
This is human nature though. There are always people who will play the Devil's Advocate. Some do it in a nicer way, and some in a more rude way. Some people genuinely try to point out a different way of seeing things, whilst others will simply be having a bad day and will get their frustrations and anger out in rude comments. Just see things for what they are instead of trying to unrealistically force everyone to be positive and "civilized".
But sometimes "negative" comments can be just as constructive as "positive" comments. Sometimes it is only being told something with "negative" honestly that gets some people to realize what they were doing wrong instead of trying to point it out using a kid gloved hand.
I personally prefer the "kid gloves" approach. To each his own. I will not now or ever personally agree that purposely hurting someone is "for their own good." I am a firm believer of the Law of Reciprocity: what you give will return to you. And, usually it is a lot worse.
I never said that it was ... what I am saying is that there is a diplomatic way to tell anybody something without being offensive. My emphasis is on tactfulness which is not a negative trait. It is having concern for the feels of others. Some may call it being "civilized."
Have you never met anyone who simply does not understand tactful hints and kind words and will only react if they are talked to in a more forceful way? Your theory would only work if everyone were "civilized" and had they same calm personality that would allow them to listen to and accept "positive" criticism. A finger wag and slap on the wrist will not work for many people as well as a more forceful approach.
I see where Jacqueline is coming from here. Constructive criticism is fine and correcting someone if they have made an incorrect statement is too, but on the Internet you have to be more tactful in the way you do it than if you were talking to them in person. It is difficult to read the intonation and intent in the written word without the added assistance of tone of voice and body language, so if someone is a littlest sensitive about a certain subject they can take your helpful remark as harsh criticism if it is not worded carefully. I agree you should never deliberately try to hurt someone.
I would add though that people are often emotionally attached to their opinions - in that they take a constructive criticism of an idea as a personal assault. This happens a lot in forums - you can disagree with a persons idea and be respectful, but some people will still take the disagreement with their idea as you being a bully or they will see themselves as a victim - when in actuality you were only pointing out disagreement with their ideas. I have many people who I deeply respect that I disagree with vehemently - but I still have love for the person even if I don't like their particular mindset on things.
We live in a vast world full of different people with a myriad of experiences, perspectives and opinions all their own. I think it's terrible to sanitize everything so much to avoid hurting feelings that good ideas get lost. It is definitely a delicate balance.
What separates humans from lower forms of animals is our ability to emphasize. Intelligent beings with sensitive natures are normally very artistic and caring. Most people are known by their words ... not having the ability to "read minds" we are sometimes limited to the "verbal responses" of others.
Without the ability to "read" body language I can only translate your feelings by what you write and the way in which you write it. I can't "see" that you only mean well if the "tone" of your writing denotes otherwise. Expressions like "please" ... "thank you" ... "if you don't mind" and the very popular "don't take this personal" a some ways of buffering your words.
However, if you criticize my words ... you ARE criticizing me :-) After all, they are my words!
Not at all - I have found though that sometimes phrases like "No offense" lol - are code for "I'm about to offend you" lol.
By all means, people can - and should - be polite and respectful in their statements. I've just learned that sometimes, especially around subjects that people tend to be very passionate about - religion, politics, parenting styles etc. that sometimes if you say "I disagree because this this and that" - they reach the conclusion that if you disagree with me, you are attacking me. - precisely for the reasons you just stated actually - that in writing especially it's hard to gauge tone, intent etc. and a lot can get lost that way. Communication on the net is certainly like the wild west sometimes. I think too the anonymity of the net gives people a lot of courage to cross the line to personal insults. Things you wouldn't dare say to someone's face are somehow easier when it's someone you don't really know and it's on a keyboard.
There are some people, when given a choice, would rather be mean and malicious, rather than be positive and offer suggestions instead of criticism. It's inevitable. Personally, I don't like offering critical words because words can hurt like nobody's business...I'm just saying...
You know as a child I learned "Sticks and stones may break my bones; but, names will never hurt me." That is so not true. And I try very diligently to teach my children the value of the words they choose. Once a word, name, etc. is spoken, you can never take it back. It may be forgiven; but, never forgotten.
This is so true, Shirley! Words have a much longer lasting affect than those "sticks and stones." No matter how you try; the words linger on! This is a wonderful lesson you are teaching your children. It never hurts to treat people in a kind, courteous and respectable manner. It will pay off ... maybe not now but it will pay off!
Growing up in the 1950's which was a great tyme to be alive when everything was nieve and innocent so to speak we never heard of the 'hidden agenda' until after college life. Well it came to pass that i got involved in a hidden agenda or in another term 'feathering one's own nest' and it soon became apparent that perhaps there is a hidden agenda behind practically everthing! That is why i decided to become involved in the counter culture and i reckon even that has been penetrated with the buying and selling of consumables. We probably don't even know what the biggest hidden agenda is but what does the media persist in trying to tell us daily in the news?:
In theory this is very sound advise ... however, there are times when I find it difficult to "not take things personally" especially when it is a direct attack against something I have said. So maybe its safer to just "stir clear" of certain subjects :-)
I hate to hear moderates, the voices of reason, concede discussions of important topics of the day. If you/we don't lift our voices the extremes will be the only voices heard. I'd hate to see that happen to HP.
It is also true that forums are not just for show and tell. You are--in most cases-- inviting comment, elaboration or disagreement from other members. To just display something you want appreciated without comment or critique, there are better venues (like a hub).
It is my opinion that oversensitive people who are averse to criticism make their own life miserable and also make the life of those close to them miserable. They tend to lack humor. I love humor. I get a sort of sadistic joy in teasing them and I chuckle and laugh when they hit me back in vengeance!
In my experience, the scenario raised in the OP is not debate. I agree that those interjecting humans may *think* they are debating, when it strikes me a lot more like a script-free reenactment of the Monty Python skit about the argument clinic.
What the OP is on about is explained in that skit: automatic gainsayers.
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