Enabling negativity

Why do we enable people to spread negative behaviour? Let me tell you a story that gives this question a little context and what inspired me to write this.

I am very well versed in running online comminities and I know character archetypes and how to deal with them. Nowthis story is about a community on facebook where I was pruning threads as they were off subject in the group. I expected a little backlash from the usual members as often happens but ordinarilly it's ignored and over time forgotten. This time however, I thought I should make a point, and duly posted expecting at least a little understanding of the counter-arguement. After a torrent of posts missing the point entirely, and some childish behaviour, I found myself for the first time genuinly angry at just how stupid some people can be. Now let's go back in time a little form before this incident. There was one member, who was particularly toxic but did provide some value to the community. He was banned twice for this toxic behaviour, but each time after apologies and requests to rejoin, I capitulated and allowed this member to join the group again. His persons behaviour was fine, a little opinionated but fine - I have always felt a wider spectrum of opinion is acceptable - but when this incident occured, instead of staying well clear, he joined in, rubbing salt into the conversation and for want of a better word, shit stirring everyone into a frenzy of nonsense, lies and vitriol with obvious pleasure.

Did this individual completely forget they were previously removed? Does this person have an ounce of gratitude for the fact that most other communities have perma-banned him? No. He turned into a complete and utter c**t, and betrayed the very little trust we had in him to begin with. 

Now at this point, and even a little now full of the spirit of vengeance, but I have enough resistance now to forget about this individual entirely, and remove them from all levels of interaction with me. There was no retaliation from me at all, but it was damn hard. It's been a policy of mine to always remove people in my life who only offer negativity, and it's worked fine. The question remains however, why did I even offer this person a chance, knowing they would turn on us again? 

People who engage in negative behaviour are most of the time, victims of some kind of abuse. This fact alone means I rarely act in retaliation, despite the sometimes hard to handle human need for justice. There is an undeniable comfort in knowing that, and this sounds very cruel but true, this person without any kind of help will likely die alone, and without any really  loving friends or family in their life. 

Perhaps we inadvertently enable people's behaviour because most of us who are not damaged, have higher levels of empathy and hope. We want people to be good people. Perhaps even we just want people to be like us. With our constant worship of diversity in all aspects of our existence here in the developed nations, are we denying something that nature is telling us? Scientifically, suffering parental, domestic physical abuse reduces on average a persons IQ by a whole 8 points*. Perhaps when we experience these behaviours, and punish people, or offer them 'a chance' to redeem themselves, we're treating the wound and not removing the bullet. Natural selection would remove them, but society perpetuates the problem. I know this comes across a little stark, even eugenic in nature - but I'm only talking fact, and we do have experts who know how to fix it if the problem was popular enough for politicians to use. 

It appears there are an increasing amount of these 'damaged' people out there - the question is, at what point will negative people outnumber positive people, by the hand of positive people? What will happen to us, when there are no 'good' people left? Let's step it up a level. Does a positive person, define them objectively as 'good'? Food for thought. 


*Source: "Domestic violence is associated with environmental suppression of IQ in young children"

Published by Amuro Rey


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