When I was teaching - one of the things that was drummed into my head as a young new teacher was to ALWAYS validate how a child felt. It made good sense to me - the one who feels things (even simple silly things) so deeply owns those feelings right or wrong. It has been a philosophy I have maintained in all aspects of my life.
If someone says "I feel.............. " I will listen and offer a shoulder and an ear - because ya know that's what they FEEL. I will try to offer a different way of looking at the situation but I won't ever say "you are wrong for feeling that"
I have used that same philosophy when newbies in the BDSM community react to situations. I ALWAYS validate what they are FEELING and then try to get them to see things from another calmer point of view. Usually those newbies are submissives.
BUT ya know sometimes..............
those feelings a sub has might just affect the way another well meaning person feels.
AND that never occurred to me.
I am sitting here this morning thinking/wondering IF perhaps we protect new submissives too much. IF we validate their feelings too much - even when we know in our heart of hearts that those feelings are wrong.
I was discussing this topic yesterday - and I realized - especially on Fetlife - we are all adults - yes we have the right to feelings ........ but I also think we have the right to block/delete/unfriend people who for whatever reason make us FEEL uncomfortable.
AND even more importantly
When we know the person's feelings were misplaced........ isn't that a teachable moment? (for lack of a better term). Shouldn't we (at the very least!!) - when the opportunity presents itself - introduce the two parties and help the newbie see that the "stalker" she saw in words on Fetlife - is in actual fact - a warm friendly person??
Sometimes I think we do a disservice to newbies when we don't show them that their initial feelings were wrong........ and we commit a worse disservice to the community at large by continuing to protect and validate false feelings.
It is time I think - to find a better way to make everyone - new and old a like - more responsible for their feelings, their actions and our responses to them.