But I'm beginning to think we need to start running classes on de-sensitivity training. When you get to some forums and chat rooms that try to shield us from the true trolls and irate nutjobs, it's like a haven-- but then the problem becomes the opposite.
You have to walk on eggshells on a lot of Wiccan/Pagan forums. Some people positively freak out on you because you disagree with something they believe in, or because you do something they see as 'dark' or 'evil'. You even say something simple like "I don't work with that pantheon" or "I don't practice that form of magic" and people who do take it as a personal slap in the face that something they love doesn't garner enough interest for you.
I remember a couple of years ago, a woman positively went off on a rampage because I said familiars are not a concept that come from Wicca (which, factually speaking, they're not). She reamed me for saying people can't believe in or have familiars, and how dare I insult people and their precious pets who they consider familiars, and that I have no right telling people what to believe or what to do on their spiritual path...
How she read all that into my simple sentence, I'll never know. But this strikes me as someone very insecure who needs hefty doses of external validation to feel good about themselves. And that's not good.
It's getting so where it's almost impossible to have a good, fair debate on serious topics-- because to have an opinion is apparently 'bashing' people who don't agree with it.
Then the occasional Christian evangelist wanders in to preach fire and brimstone, and oh brother-- the whole house falls down and people go nuts.
My Tip for You Today: Learn to live & let live, try to desensitize yourself.
If you find yourself frequently getting into a huff on message boards, always leaving people little lectures about how they should not say such things, or getting into arguments when trolls try to bait you... you just might be one of those people who need desensitivity training.
Having compassion and being respectful is a good thing, but going overboard where you can't take the slightest bit of disharmony is -- you guessed it -- imbalanced.
And we do strive for balance, don't we?
This kind of polarized (unbalanced) reaction to people doesn't mean other people need to be more sensitive of you, it means you need to learn to reel it in, and be more secure in your own opinion that someone with a different perspective doesn't send you into a tizzy.
Yes, it's wrong to be deliberately rude and mean and nasty and such-- but it's no better always being a powder keg ready to go off. Balance, people. Balance.
Do you have trouble keeping your balance when people express disagreement?