Social Question

rebbel's avatar

Do you also, sometimes, feel bad for the third party?

Asked by rebbel (26774points) July 21st, 2010

The third party being those of which some of us talk about when we ask a question regarding a relationship problem, a row with a colleague, that nasty family member, etc.?
In real life we sometimes get to hear from a friend, spouse, family member, a story about someone who behaved like an ass hat or told a big lie about X or Y, and then, later, we (sometimes) get to hear the version of said person themselves.
Which can make us change our position on the matter altogether.
Here, on Fluther, or any other (social) internet site, we don’t have that possibility (the third parties, most probably are not aware that they are subjects of discussion).
Do you take that in consideration when you answer a question like that?
Do you, when you have a question like that, word it in a way that also the third party’s view gets reflected?
What is your view on it, if you please?

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

Very subtle and very profound @rebbel ; has my husband been complaining to you? I think I try to be aware that the situations presented on Fluther may well be distorted, but I’m not sure if I always succeed. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious from the way the question is asked that there is another side to the story as of course there always is.

Trillian's avatar

I try to keep this in mind at all times. One can pretty much tell by the way the person expresses him/herself however. One needs but to read between the lines. I am careful not to immediately give credit to assertions.

Jeruba's avatar

I do, often. I am generally on the alert for questions in which the asker is obviously looking for justification of an action that he or she has already taken: “My sister-in-law is a complete bitch and at a family gathering I called her a bitch in front of everybody. Did I do the right thing by calling this bitch the bitch that she is?” Some users post this type of question over and over again. Once I catch onto the pattern, I don’t answer them and try not to even read them. They’re not real questions.

Enough of those out of one person and I definitely pity the other party.

I’m so glad you asked this. I’ve wanted to say that for a long time.

perspicacious's avatar

We can’t reflect on a view which we haven’t heard.

rebbel's avatar

You know what, the fact that the four of you answered the question gives it away already, i feel, that is exactly how i had thought that you four act when confronted with a question like that.
I had something else to add, after i read your answers, but it has slipped my mind.
Will come back to it.
Thanks for now.

tranquilsea's avatar

There is a difference between looking for justification and looking for insight. I won’t answer questions of the former but I will for the latter.

The Internet can be a wonderful place to try to work through personal issues, if done so in the right way and always with a grain of salt.

Generally, I don’t like talking about other people as they are not here to defend themselves. I’ve done so once here but that is a problem that has been bubbling for years and I needed some help on coming to a conclusion on how I handle situations in the future. I got some awesome answers and the people who responded really did help.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Sure but you never really know until there’s a steady back and forth posting on a thread and then I go… “oh hey lookie there, must be the peops involved. Wow, maybe I’ll stop following now.”

marinelife's avatar

It is usually clear from the details whether the asker has an ax to grind or has perhaps slanted things even subconsciously.

I try to take the third party’s viewpoint into consideration in my answer.

MaekoPoisoning's avatar

I always begin by saying or in this case typing a question as I would referring to the person I am talking to… and then my conscience pushes my hand to the delete key and forces me to rewrite my question or comment in a way that is open to many different takes and perspectives.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I try to put myself in the 3rd party’s shoes most times when I think of my answer to a Q, and I think I can tell between a OP who seems to be at wit’s end vs. one who’s looking for an excuse to behave meanly or selfishly.

My former guardian would deny with tears in her eyes and a hand on the KJV anything I ever said in this forum or to my therapists about her behaviour, and would rip me a new one for thinking or saying anything about her or my relatives that wasn’t 100% positive at all times.

On the other hand, I have on occasion wondered if I haven’t “thrown her under a bus” by revealing family crap, even if it’s meant to help someone going through something similar to what I went through.

meagan's avatar

Great question!
Most of the questions are solid fact. “This happened. Which lead to this. yadda yadda.”
I’ve asked a question about a “friend” of mine on fluther once before. I was debating whether or not I wanted to be friends with a girl that put on black face and “war paint”, which is extremely offensive to me.
I didn’t exaggerate anything and basically told the facts. There isn’t any possible way someone could worm their way out of “Well I did black face because…”

rebbel's avatar

@meagan, @Simone_De_Beauvoir, @aprilsimnel, @MaekoPoisoning, @marinelife, @Neizvestnaya, @tranquilsea, @perspicacious, @Jeruba, @Trillian, @janbb , thank you for your insightful, clear answers!
I sometimes can see it before me…, somebody gets their friendship broken because their friend turned to Fluther to ask for opinions on a matter and ‘found out’ that the best thing is to: “Run, run away as fast as you can from that a..hole.”
Guess that is a bit exaggerated of me, but….

janbb's avatar

It’s a very good point @rebbel ; I am amazed sometimes with the unnuanced advice that is sometimes given to people on Fluther. It is well-worth thinking about the fact that you may not be seeing the whole picture.

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