About disagreements on the site...

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I've notice some bickering and hurt feelings on o few of the threads lately. I happen to be one of those who feel there is nothing wrong with disagreement or debate, as long as it doesn't resort to name calling or personal attacks.
It seems to me if all we hear from each other are validations of our own opinions then there is no point in even asking a question, it is hearing different points of view, even those we don't agree with, that allows us to learn from each other.

121 Comments

I agree. I have a rather in-your-face style. Sometimes people need to hear that. I think my style is very well balanced by those who respond on the other end of the spectrum.

If all of our posts sound like, "Oh, you poor thing," we really aren't helping. Sympathy needs a counterpoint.

Meet Maggie Counterpoint.

Good post. We all need to be reminded that, disagreements aside, we're all on the same team.
There are some hot button issues on AC that tend to cause bickering. They usually involve how much a person should sacrifice to keep a parent comfortable. I don't think there is any right or wrong here, because we all have different families and personalities. I really don't like to see someone attacked because they don't want to do everything for the parent. And I don't like to see someone attacked because they gave up a lot. I try to steer clear of those conversations now because I've read it all so many times and don't feel that there is a right or wrong as long as an elder is being taken care of. I appreciate so much the members who have been on both sides -- taking care of someone at home and in a NH. They tend to have a more balanced view of what goes into making care decisions.
Maggie, I notice that you and I do that. You're more direct and I'm often a little syrupy. Funny that I rarely ever disagree with you, but I've always been the diplomat. When I read what you write, sometimes I cringe, then think "That's just Maggie." You probably cringe at some of the things I say, too, since we can be so opposite.
Cwillie, excellent insight and suggestions on the disagreements. And I think you're very wise with a problem solving nature to address the issue as a separate post.

I suspect my posts don't seem very sympathetic because they're so pedantic, but that's what I became used to when working.

What I'm not sympathetic to are the same repeated issues from people over and over again, with no indication that any of the suggestions have been considered. I don't have a lot of tolerance for people who are simply seeking pity.
I think some disagreements are better handled through private messages on one's board than in the public view of the thread. It is distracting and sometimes painful. I am sure I'm not alone in a few times having experienced more than a mere disagreement, but an outright attack. Those, I've reported instead furthering things by responding back. I have appreciated those times when attacked that others who know me well on this site take up for me.

You are so right. We are here to support one another and not hear to fight! Go outside the site if you want to fight.
I know for myself I rather someone tell me upfront without any sugar coating or sprinkles what I need to hear, rather than what I want to hear.

Those postings that paint everyone with the same brush and doing so from their own experience.... not realizing that everyone has a different situation, different tolerance, and us caregivers are of different ages and health issues. But yet stand their ground saying if they could do it so could we.... not.

Someone who is a caregiver in their 40's have a different energy level than say others who are in their 60's. I know I was surprised how my energy level almost dropped in half as I had aged. Yikes, no one told me this would happen.

Thus, advise given to a 40 year old probably wouldn't work for someone who is 70 or 80.

And I feel the same as Garden Artist if I see someone who has been posting for over a year and hadn't taken any of our advice... I will go into a "why haven't you been listening to us" mode instead of a pat on the head mode.

I know when I first came onto the forum a writer said to me "you are too old to be a caregiver" and at first I was aghast, but later down the road by george she was so right :)
I think another thing to bear in mind is that there's really a spectrum of posters here - those who've been in the trenches and have gained wisdom to share, those who are still in the trenches, those teetering between solid ground and less stable ground while trying to balance life altering decisions, and those who are stuck for whatever reasons in situations beyond their control, and who may be floundering and literally posting for cyber life preservers.

Some people are going to come here with more sensitivity than others, either because of what they've experienced or what they're experiencing now. And some of the latter are literally on the edge. It's not unreasonable or not understandable that they're going to be especially sensitive.
That's one of the reasons I posted what I did on a thread recently about how at first I was offended about some who appeared to be too ready to place a parent in care when I first came here and then found out first hand I had much to learn and maybe needed to step back and read more and understand what this all mean which is a continual process.

I stand by the marketplace of ideas as essential to all parts of life no matter what our preferences. One thing about care giving, it doesn't care who you are, your skin color, nationality, politics, country or anything else people scream and holler about these days. Many of us feel the same kind of pain which is why I think this forum works so well most of the time.

These are important times and we should be able to debate, discuss, commiserate, encourage and love which sometimes may be a kick in the butt, but it can all still be done in love. We don't live in a monolithic world where we all must think the same way and we should and need to hear different opinions without resorting to it being personal and nasty. We need to think about things. If that had not been the case here, I wouldn't have come around to understanding and changing my thoughts on in home care and other care options as time goes on and I'm very thankful for this discourse.

Excellent replies everyone! I tend to make snap judgment sometimes about an issue or a poster, but my usual inclination is to hold back and see what others have to say. Many times after reading what others have written I have been able to see things from a different perspective. I get irritated when people hear something they don't like and threaten to quit the forum, usually if they would just be willing to keep posting/reading they would see that things usually balance out.
I do think that we need to be particularly sensitive to first-time posters. When we hit the computer, looking for support, we are often stressed and maybe hurting about what is going on. We can write something in a caring fashion or we can hit them like a brick. I know if I got a brick the first time I posted here, I would have never been back.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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