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How to Handle an Asshat

Forum Communication
for the Dignified

by Shayalyn



QUESTION

I'm not afraid of trolls and other creatures in Vanguard, but the
trolls on the Vanguard forums at Ten Ton Hammer drive me nuts. What can
I do?

ANSWER

So, you’ve arrived at the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=38">Ten
Ton Hammer Vanguard forum. Congratulations--you’ve
found one of the strongest and most active Vanguard communities on the
Interwebs. You’ve signed up and verified your forum account
and you gotten down to the business of posting. But what’s
this? You took the time to post your opinions and now some jerk is
trying to pick a fight with you!



Unfortunately, jerks are a fact of forum life. Not everyone knows how
to conduct themselves with dignity and respect like you do. (You style="font-style: italic;">do conduct yourself
with dignity and respect, don’t you?) For you, the Good Forum
Citizen, I present a simple yet effective guide to dealing with,
well...asshats.


  1. Remain calm.
    Nothing rattles an irrational person more than a calm and
    logical argument. If you can stay calm and avoid becoming
    defensive in the face of someone who's trying to provoke
    you'll manage to make yourself look composed and eloquent while he
    looks like he's foaming at the virtual mouth.
  2. Don't fight
    fire with fire
    . It's easy to sling insults back at the
    person who's slinging them at you. But while it may be easy, there's no
    dignity in it. Remember this rule: never argue with an idiot; they'll
    drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience. 
  3. Correct
    factual errors
    . It's certainly okay to post a correction
    if Mr. Asshat has used an argument that doesn't hold
    water...just make sure you're armed with facts. It won't do to say,
    "You're an idiot! You've got your facts all wrong!" Instead, show your
    proof that the person is mistaken. And by proof I mean whatever you can
    find (usually links) to show that you're right and the other person is
    wrong. Do this without name calling and without trying to provoke.
  4. Know the
    difference between fact and opinion
    . Facts can be proved.
    An opinion is "a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not
    substantiated by positive knowledge or proof." If you believe something
    to be true but you don't have proof, it's an opinion. Asshats often
    mistake their opinions for fact. Don't do the same.


  5. Don't argue
    to win; use reason to make your point.
    If you enter an
    argument with an asshat (a dangerous thing to begin with--see #2) go
    into it knowing that you can't win...at least not where the asshat is
    concerned. It's unlikely the person you're arguing with is ever going
    to concede his point, so your job is to make your own point and make it
    with style. Others may not agree with you, but they don't have to .
    You're entitled to your opinion. Make it peaceably and then let it go.
    No, really--LET IT GO.
  6. Don't make it
    personal
    . Whatever point you're arguing...stick to that
    point. If you're talking about the rate of experience gain and
    progression in Vanguard, don't try to make your case by saying that the
    poster (even if he's being a jerk) is a clueless newb who should go
    play Super Mario Brothers if he can't handle MMOs. Making it personal
    is the asshat's territory. You don't want to go there.
  7. The only
    winning move is not to play
    . You can tell when someone
    who's taken a jab at you is just a few egg rolls short of a pupu
    platter, can't you? In cases like this it's really best not to
    engage (which is the virtual equivalent of avoiding eye contact). The
    insane ramblings of the crazy asshat will be called out as troll-ism
    soon enough. You don't want to take a walk on that particular wild side.
  8. Use the
    report feature
    . If you've been flamed (or you've seen
    someone else roasted) please make liberal use of the report feature as
    explained in our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/announcement.php?f=81">Forum
    Guidelines. Reporting someone when they've attacked you
    doesn't make you a wuss; it helps the Ten Ton Hammer moderators do
    their job of keeping the forums a hospitable place to hang out.

There are two kinds of jerks--those who are jerks by choice, and those
who are jerks by accident. Those who are jerks by choice wouldn't heed
the advice above. This advice is not for them, it's for you, the Good
Forum Citizen, to prevent you from letting the asshats drag you down.



Stand tall, keep it sane, and be excellent to each other!




style="font-weight: bold;">Got a newb question you'd like
answered in Tuesday's Tips? Or maybe you're the resident
answer person and you've made it your mission in life to help new
players. Head on over to href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=340">The
Newb Haven on our forum. We just may feature your question or
answer!







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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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