Let me first start off by saying how ashamed I am that this post even has to be thought about let alone written. Secondly, I know I will receive some serious backlash for this post both publicly and privately. Thirdly, this is not a post to discredit anyone for their work in the DIY community. This is just to point out that some nasty behaviour that needs to be addressed in our small little DIY corner of the internet.
To answer the Question, yes. There is some horrible bullying that goes on in this DIY community. For the most part, the DIY community is a pretty decent community to be a part of as it is pretty self regulating. Of course there are those who worry about recipe/formula “stealing”, worry about how a persons new business will affect their business… but other than that? It’s mostly grand! There are a couple of big names in our little corner of the internet that seem to enjoy taking things over the top.
Being extraordinarily tall for my entire life, you can’t even begin to comprehend how horribly I was bullied as a kid and as a teenager. Then suffered through it again when an authority figure decided I was worthless and she made sure that I knew it. Often. Surviving through these two major bullying experiences in my life has helped made me who I am, helped me to learn how to overcome many things, but also made me feel like breathing sometimes was much too hard.
It has also taught me the importance of saying something when I see bullying and untoward behaviour. I’ve had enough of witnessing. I’ve stood on the sidelines for over two years watching this hoping each time it was just the last time it would happen. It just has gone on. Something has to be said. And I am well aware as I stated above, that by posting this, I will be opening myself up to a similar type of bullying.
In this DIY industry, there are only a small handful of wonderful communities where they should be so very proud of themselves for promoting such fantastic and wonderful communities. The biggest champion of a great community that I can recognise is Formula Botanica. With the thousands upon thousands of members, both students and graduates, there is so much encouragement and support, that it does deserve a huge recognition for promoting a true community involvement. They even continue their support when you publicly disagree with their core values. Which just helps to demonstrate how much of a community role model they are. That they agree and encourage open discussion; even when you are one of the few who firmly sit on the other side of the fence.
I do wish that there was a lot more of this kind of support and encouragement in the DIY world.
Unfortunately, the instances of encouragement and support, are few and far between.
In this DIY industry, there is a fair bit of catty, vindictive behaviour that runs rampant and is extremely uncalled for by a couple of pretty influential members. Bullying, as I have recently discovered, is difficult to define, so quoting Wiki which seems to have a nice concise definition:
~Wikipedia’s page on Bullying
School yard antics don’t belong in a community of adults. High school nastiness- which is known for its mean girl attitudes and passive aggressive comments and actions. Both of these don’t belong in our small community which is comprised of adults.
Passive aggressiveness does not belong in our community.
Bullying, most certainly does not belong in our community.
Vindictive behaviour does not belong in our community.
And before I get too high and mighty and jump on my soap box, I think there were times on this blog where I might also have been a little bit of a bully or just pig headed. I am not going to go back and edit my posts where I think this might have occurred, but I am taking responsibility and promise to check my behaviour in the future.
To watch this resentment that has gone on in the DIY community for another’s person’s success for no more than their artistic talent, these attacks that have gone on publicly, is just uncalled for.
A persons creativity, their passion, their enthusiasm, their behaviour, their substance, their grace, is what keeps you returning to read their posts, their findings, and their discoveries. Their personality and flare is what keeps you coming back for more.
Rather than being frightened of another persons success, learn from it.
Rather than being insecure, afraid, to the point of demeaning another persons amazing talents, why not show some grace?
Rather than nit picking, harping, and complaining, why not be inspired?
Let’s be adults here and look at the bigger picture. Take it all for what it really is. A challenge. Healthy competition. A learning opportunity. A push to become better. Like in all things, someone new comes along and finds ways to improve upon the way things are done. One better keep up or else you’ll fall behind.
Those of us who have any small or big corner of the internet, need to be reminded that we have a position of influence. And every time we say something nasty or take a stab at someone, it makes use look small and petty. We all need to remember to lead by example, and set a good example of how we want to be represented in this DIY community.