We’ve received a great response to the 18th century reenacting survey , which we posted about last week, and already people are asking more questions about the themes presented and are beginning to come to their own conclusions. We love it! Its getting people talking and not only is it getting them reflecting on their own experiences, but many are beginning to consider how others in the hobby may perceive them and their actions, whether intentional or not.
Some great observations about authenticity and attitudes have been made that may account for the feelings of bullying and cliquey behavior, not discounting peoples feelings at all but simply trying to make sense of the big picture – is this an issue of true bullying or more of an issue of unwanted criticism or poorly worded, yet well meant advice? The truth is we’ll probably never know (unless of course we do a more in depth survey on bullying, but we’ll save that for another day) but there are some things we can do now to help change these perceptions of bullying and cliques within the hobby. Below are several suggestions that were presented in response to our prompt on “how to be accessible and build a stronger community”
- Be the unofficial welcome wagon for events. Take your posse around to every camp, introduce yourself and invite them to stop by your camp sometime for refreshments.
- If you’re a more experienced participant go out of your way to greet new faces at events. Being the newbie can be intimidating and a friendly face can make the difference between someone really enjoying the event or hating it.
- Don’t give criticism unless specifically asked, pay compliments instead.
- Try sharing your favorite resources freely and encourage others to get as excited about them as you are. Show the process behind the research instead of quoting the hard and fast rules.
- Welcome interpretations and views that may differ from yours. Its ok to agree to disagree sometimes.
- Don’t be afraid to call out obvious bullying.
- Be thoughtful about the words you use when communicating online. Its easy to misconstrue text, to avoid misunderstandings and further problems be thoughtful and consider how someone else may read into what you’re typing.
What other ideas might you add to our list?