Gaslighting discussion (split from: Justin’s Miscellaneous Posts)

This sounds like an infallibilist view. You are saying that if people don’t act in the way that you think is best, then you dismiss them as being bad and not worth talking to. You don’t view it as an unresolved disagreement, you view it as you being right and them being wrong.

It’s also interesting that you interpret them as being unreasonable, haughty, and arrogant, when you are actually being those things. You are unreasonably expecting that you were entitled to other people’s time and attention. And you are arrogantly assuming that your opinion is correct, and that anyone who doesn’t follow your judgment is wrong and not worth your time.

I don’t think this is the only area of your life you do this in. I think you routinely have negative judgments of other people, and instead of trying to learn about or understand their perspective, you dismiss them as wrong and not worth talking to or interacting with. You don’t resolve the issues or even notice that you are having disagreements, because you are just interpreting it as other people being bad or immoral or whatever. So you don’t see any disagreement to resolve, you just see that other people are bad, so you aren’t going to talk to them. You also dismiss interests you don’t have as bad and not legitimate interests (e.g., when you dismissed the Barbie movie).

I don’t think the engagement you are getting here is worse than or less than what you would get in a “normal” forum with a “normal” context. In fact, I think you are getting considerably more engagement and effort than you would get at a “normal” forum. I don’t think that you would have gotten over 2 months of discussion and hundreds of messages on reddit or something.

So it’s actually insulting to me for you to claim that you are receiving some kind of sub-normal discussion from me, but that’s OK because you did something bad and so you don’t really deserve normal discussion. It’s a very backhanded thing to be saying, where you are basically smearing my actions and acting like some kind of willing victim. And it is misrepresenting what I think are pretty clear and measurable things.

I have clearly put a ton of time and effort into engagement and talking to you. I have clearly spent at least dozens of hours trying to explain things to you. But you are implying that what I have done is less than what you would have gotten in a “normal” context.

It is correct that your behavior towards me is a problem, and this added context makes what you are doing worse. But the way you wrote this sounds like you are saying that it is OK that I am not giving you a normal level of discussion, because you have previously treated me badly, so my behavior is excusable. But the reality is that I am give you more discussion and engagement than you would get in a normal context. I am not giving you less. So this also seems like a misrepresentation of the situation.

It’s not just that you are a hypocrite. Your own behavior signals what you think is appropriate in the discussion. When you ignore short, direct questions, and instead talk about other things, that signals that you are not treating it as a thorough discussion where you think all questions should be answered. You said that you expect “reciprocity”. Given that you have ignored simple direct questions, then the other person not answering all of your questions is reciprocity. And, actually, I think that you are receiving more value from the discussion than you are adding to it. It is you who is not reciprocating.

I think that what you expect is not actually reciprocity. You expect to be treated with a level of deference. You expect the other person to put more work into the discussion than you do. You expect to be treated as if you are special, as if you are the main character. You think that your own wants are primary, and that other people should do what you want, while you are unwilling to reciprocate and do the same for them.

Yes, that is one issue. This is part of the infallibilist view that I was talking about earlier. You have an infalliblist view of the world. When there are disagreements, you just view yourself as obviously right, and get upset when other people don’t do things your way.

But there is another thing too. I think that you could recognize, in some other context, that the thing you are asking for is nonsensical. I think you have been on the internet long enough to understand that not only are people not owed responses to all of their questions, but that’s it literally not even possible. People create too many errors, they ask too many questions, they bring up too many tangents. And people will do things like go on forums and ask questions that are clearly answered in the FAQ, and then get mad when they are ignored. I know you are familiar with this dynamic. And I know you are familiar with people doing problematic things on this forum and FI, where they just create multiple new errors with every message, and that it isn’t possible to respond to and correct every single one, since every explanation will be met with more responses with more errors, and it will fractal.

The message you wrote about trees was really problematic. I had already said, more than once in the discussion, that I was trying to limit it, to not pursue a bunch of tangents. I already said that I was having trouble with it. I had suggested that you could write an outline – something that you were already planning on doing on your own – in a way that would be helpful to the discussion, instead of writing one to try to explain it to other people. I said that could be a way for you to add some value to the discussion, and could make things easier on me, since I was putting so much time in. Your response to that was to ask me for more tangential back and forth discussion to help you figure out what kind of tree to write. That is basically the opposite of what I had suggested.

I found it problematic enough that I wasn’t sure how to reply to it nicely and helpfully. So I started a private side-discussion with you, to try to address the ongoing issue of you repeatedly trying to get my time and attention through writing problematic or targeted messages. You have repeatedly done that during both this discussion and previous ones. Your response was to get annoyed that I didn’t give you the time and attention that you were trying to get when you started a tangential discussion, which I had already asked you to stop doing. (And you acted like you were just trying to follow my suggestion when you started the tangential discussion.)

The bad part of this is not that you explicitly admitted to being annoyed. The bad part is that you got annoyed in the first place.

Even after you recognized that you were wrong to get annoyed, and tried to write about that, you still wrote problematic things that imply that I am not giving you a normal level of attention and engagement. You imply that you are getting less than a normal level of engagement from me, when I am in fact giving you above and beyond a normal level of engagement and discussion and explanations and help. You don’t appreciate the time and value that I give you, and you get annoyed when it is not endless.

I do not have infinite time to explain everything to you, to answer every single question, to reply to every single tangent that you bring up. This isn’t just because we have some past history where you have done this to me repeatedly. You aren’t just being denied my attention because you already took too much of it. You are, in fact, still getting a huge amount of attention and engagement from me. It is ludicrous that you would imply otherwise.

I also don’t have the time to figure out how to properly “reject” your tangents, to figure out how to brush off every single problematic post in a way that won’t cause more trouble, upset you, invite more tangents, etc. People often do not appreciate that even short brush-off replies take time and effort, and that they also come with their own risks. (Similar to this, men are often mad that women don’t reply on dating apps. But many women get so many messages that it would take an unreasonable amount of time to reply to all of them. And their rejection messages often lead to negative behavior from the rejected person.)