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Aethelwine's avatar

Do you do your best to provide positive contributions to Fluther?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) January 24th, 2018

I didn’t quite know how to word this. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some former users. Users who have committed suicide. I know of at least 3–4 over the years. One was last summer.

This member contacted me and wanted to visit my husband and I. He lived a few hours from us. He was in our neck of the woods and I blew him off. A month later he killed himself. I wonder if things would be different if I or any others had reached out and made an effort. I wish I could have that moment back.

Do you do your best to show compassion when others are hurting and looking for support? Is your opinion more important than the feelings of the user who is struggling?

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16 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I try to do my best in helping people get to a healthy conclusion but there is no reason to feel guilty. I wouldn’t. I am not a mental health professional of any type. I keep all my personal information strictly private because you never know if someone may want to hurt you because they felt slighted or have become obsessive about you. It very possible that a visit with you may have set them off eventually or maybe just never did any good. It’s like when I give advise to someone who is in an abusive relationship. Sometimes I have to tell them the truth. The truth is that they remain in the relationship because they are too weak to walk away. At a certain point in our lives, we have to accept the mess in our lives are of our own making. People can only abuse those willing to be abused.

Sometimes I feel some of them may take that hard. I believe in tough love. Helping them to see themselves as victims doesn’t give them the courage to fight for their happiness. It just confirms to them that they should give up.

Life isn’t pretty and so there are times when truth isn’t pretty either.
I try to give my honest opinion and I try often to make it as inoffensive as possible. A way that can encourage them to change and yet not see themselves as victim or hopeless.
Suicidal thoughts is not a quick fix cure. That may require medication and it definitely requires a mental health professional.

Also many people don’t really download everything that is going on in there lives. Some people come here looking for a purpose, some out of curiosity, some out of loneliness and some to escape their lives.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I don’t even need anyone to ask for help. When I sense someone in trouble, I automatically reach out.

But over the years I have learned this sad truth: some people thrive on their own misery, and there is nothing I can do to help them feel more positive. Those kinds of people are very easy to spot.

When I help people I expect them to be cooperative. Solving problems is a two-way street. You can get all the help you want, but it’s ultimately up to you to choose to take the advice or not.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If someone is in need, yes. Even if I don’t have good advice, I typically try to offer support, or motivation. I will sometimes steer clear of a question that seems obviously posted by a minor. I’m not trying to get dragged into anything.

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, my opinion is not more important than someone’s feelings. I care very deeply for many of my online friends, and love to transition that to RL when it works out.

You can’t beat yourself up and get that moment back, but you can change how you react in future. Sorry that happened.

Mariah's avatar

Good question.

I think about the user you mention a lot too. He and I got off to a bad start with a misunderstanding, and from there we argued quite nastily for awhile. Then last year when I was in the hospital and Trump had just been elected and it felt like the entire world was on fire, my brain did its clarity thing it only seems capable of during crisis, and I realized I had had too many conflicts over stupid things. I reached out to several people who I felt I had been unfairly unkind to and apologized. He was one of them. He was very suspicious at first! Thought I had a trick up my sleeve. I told him, no, my life is just falling apart and I’m trying to get back to what’s really important, and Fluther fights are not that thing. After that, he accepted my apology, and proceeded to engage me in one of the most genuine conversations I’ve ever had on Fluther. I was blown away. He showed genuine concern over my situation and offered advice. He confided in me about some really personal problems of his own (which still haunts me – I should have understood better how serious his situation was…). We commiserated over our mutually crumbling lives.

I too wish I had realized how dire things were for him and had made a greater effort to help in some way. But at least things did not end the way they started for us, at least we got over our bad blood. I would have a lot more regrets otherwise. Sometimes I think we all need to just take a step back, reevaluate how important all our little arguments actually are in the grand scheme of things, and just choose to be kind.

Anyways, it’s not as though I’m innocent of bad behavior. If it weren’t for the wakeup call of my own personal crisis last year I would’ve just kept on being an ass to him. And I’m still an ass in plenty of ways still to plenty of other people. No, I don’t always set aside my opinions for the sake of kindness. It’s harder than ever, right now, when so much of what’s happening is so personally threatening to me, to not take things personally.

But overall I think my track record on Fluther is pretty OK. I like to debate, but I usually don’t descend to dirty behavior while debating. I rarely gossip or get involved in drama. I’ve tried to extend a hand to some folks who were struggling, as many people did for me in the past when I was struggling. I’ve donated money to a few jellies in need.

I’ve been spending less time here lately, just because I think my opinions are getting a little too radical for Fluther. I’ve been spending time on other sites talking with people whose goals are more closely aligned with my own.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Probably not. There are always going to be threads where it is nakedly obvious that someone is being driven by their torments. Then there are others vulnerable to having their hostile buttons pushed and still others with a talent for pushing em. I’m sure that for the most part I roll through here willy-nilly, oblivious to the fact that when we come here we bring our baggage with us.

Aethelwine's avatar

I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. Thank you.

flutherother's avatar

I try to be positive most of the time, here and in real life but you can’t always tell what is happening in someone else’s head. Many years ago a very good friend of mine attempted suicide. I was really shocked as I thought I knew him very well and I had been with him the previous night. I knew he had been having a lot of troubles that were hitting him very hard but I did not expect that and he gave me no indication he was thinking of taking his life. Fortunately he lived to tell the tale.

janbb's avatar

I hope so. I think I am quite compassionate both online and in person. I don’t, however, necessarily suffer fools gladly and I will be snarky on occasion to puncture hubris. Nevertheless, I don’t think I would ever knowingly try to hurt someone who is troubled.

kritiper's avatar

Yes, provided the question appears to be legit and serious. If it leaves the door open to BS, then look out!

LornaLove's avatar

I do try to. I suffer depression and anxiety myself and it would be nice to receive some support from somewhere. I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that most people don’t bother.

So, having said that, I’ve kind of lost interest in helping others too. I think people should care for one another, particularly if they are hanging around a forum or site where they are known a little. Some are very private though and don’t want that. It’s hard to discern the difference. I was to my mind a ‘too’ caring person in my life and so perhaps not caring too much has helped me a little. It’s a tough question this one.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Lorna You can always talk to me, dealt with moms depression my whole life. Seriously.

NomoreY_A's avatar

What, me worry?

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stanleybmanly's avatar

Define “positive” what answer revived this question?

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