Some Thoughts on Forum Debates, Conflict, and Etiquette

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by Deleted Account, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. This thread is related to some of NoFap's forum rules, but is more of an idea than something that could ever be enforced. It's just something I've learned through studying conflict resolution.

    I think the forum (and the world) would be a happier place if people preface what they say with "I think," "I feel," or "My opinion is." It is impossible argue with someone who is stating what they personally believe. That is, you can't tell someone else what they think or feel. At the same time, you can still disagree with that person.

    Where we get in trouble is when we say things like "This is how it is," "This is the Truth," "Porn is Bad," "Masturbation is Bad," or "What seems to be working for you is Bad because it doesn't fit my beliefs." In other words, any time you state your point of view as a fact. (Labeling things with Bad/Good/Should/Must can be problematic in its own right, but that's another topic.)

    That also involves realizing that very few things can be stated with 100% certainty as fact. Even something as basic and statistically well-supported as, "Watching porn isn't healthy," may someday be proven wrong (though most of us in the NoFap community highly doubt that). This requires a little bit of open-mindedness, and some humility. Views on PMO can be as deeply held as those on politics and religion (often directly related to those things!), and for good reason. We often need to develop strong opinions in order to address PMO for ourselves. We can believe them so strongly that we will defend them to the grave. I just think we will achieve better results as a community if we make sure to label them as "our opinions," nothing more.

    We can actually help this when we post threads as well as respond. So many posts on here ask questions in a way that invites a "point-of-view-as-fact" response, threads titled: "Is ____ a reset?" "Is ____ bad?" "When will i finally achieve/feel ____?" "Should I ____?" Seeing these, I would be inclined to respond with a similarly-phrased answer: "Yes, this is bad," "No, that is not a reset," "You should/should never do that." Instead, my favorite posts on here are ones that start with, "What is your opinion on____?" "I'm taking a poll, do you____? When did you ____?" or "Does anyone have advice on ____?" These invite more personal, less broad generalizing responses. I can choose whether or not to take someone's advice. It's harder to choose whether or not to follow an edict.

    I do have an answer to the "Is this a reset?" question often asked on this forum. I'll post it to the "Rebooting" section when I'm satisfied with the wording.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2014
  2. GayRomeo

    GayRomeo Fapstronaut

    Well-written, thoughtful, and great advice. This should be required reading for all commenters. Well done.
  3. ADC

    ADC Fapstronaut

    Really good thread, agree with everything you say.

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