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Asking Questions?
Miniar
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Post: #1
Asking Questions?
We've all heard the story, some of us have been there, about how some person on some forum attacked a kin-person and told them how everything they said was false. Told them that they were liars, fluff-bunnies, fakers, roleplayers, or just plain human.
Maybe it's the fear of meeting this person that has started the reaction of seeing questions as a negative thing. Of course, most people do not react with smiles when their identities or the means of which they came to them are being questioned in any way. It is only natural to want to be right. And when we realize that we were wrong then we tend to feel a slight sting, or more.

However, at this point in time, it appears that the pendulum has swung from a fear of being questioned to a fear of being seen as mistrusting of others.

People seem quick to accept whatever one says without question. A person's first assumption of kintype is left alone no matter how silly the back story seems to be. (Now I'm not saying that people can't get it right the first time around but that an identity needs to be questioned at least a little to be truly understood, not by other but by the person themselves.) People assert/proclaim their entire identities based on some one thing, a thing that could be considered completely normal and human, and find that no one questions them what so ever.
Is that people are so afraid of being seen as the aggressive, mistrusting, a-hole that I mentioned in the start of this post? Why would we assume that any question comes with all that with it? Or is it that people are so afraid of being questioned that they do not ask questions for the fear that that would open them up to questioning?

One would think that the subject of one's identity is something serious enough to be approached with both caution and criticism. That it's serious enough so that you should avoid making shortcuts.

Who are we doing a favour if we don't ask?
The answer is simple, ourselves.

How can anyone really know without research of some sort? The first assumption could be right but you'll never really know until you've poked at it and tried to work out if it is. A stranger's questions from a forum could easily be seen as more objective than one's own.

So why are people so afraid of asking questions?
Yes, I am aware that a few people do ask questions, but haven't you notice how most of the time these questions come with an apology?
Shouldn't these questions be seen as a good thing?

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"Those who can't approach discussion with a basic level of intelligence and maturity shouldn't expect to be taken seriously." ~ Qualia Soup
2008-02-07 19:07
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Shiari
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Post: #2
Re: Asking Questions?
I think the questions come with an apology so that new members are not driven away. I awoke at 14, and discovered the concept of otherkin at 19. I didn't get on my first forum until I was 20, because I was shy. If the first thing that came out of someone's mouth was "Aren't you too heavy to fly? Doesn't your limb placement look awkward? Why didn't you have scales? How come you're warm blooded? Why a dragon? What you claim doesn't really look like a dragon. Why aren't you just a dinosaur? Don't you think you need to spend more time thinking about this before claiming anything?" I would have up, left, and NEVER returned to the community.

New people are shy, hesitant, and learning. Getting faced with a billion technical, nitpicky, aggressive questions is intimidating, offputting, and annoying. That's why I like how some forums have a beginner and advanced section. The advanced area is where the aggressive questions get asked, and people post in there knowing that. Thus, the newbies who are unsure are capable of avoiding it until they feel confident enough to answer the questions.
2008-02-07 19:55
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Malakoi
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Post: #3
Re: Asking Questions?
I used to be the person who always doubted and always tried to poke holes in other people's theories, largely because I did want other people to return the favor (I didn't think then that I could possibly have actually been Otherkin). I still am that way if you meet me in person. However, due to being told that I shouldn't do that multiple times on Otherkin forums, I've stopped, not because I don't think about it but because I believe in choosing my battles wisely.

Plus, if someone is already convinced of something, no amount of proof will change his mind. That doesn't leave a lot of room for questions to begin with.

However, I do wish that we'd all get over our obsession with political correctness and tear each other's ideas apart until we actually get somewhere.

In fact, I'd volunteer to be the first person to get torn down. Interrogate me. =D

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2008-02-07 20:00
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Post: #4
Re: Asking Questions?
The above point is valid, and I congratulate you, Freetha, for bringing up a tough subject many people don't usually address.

I agree with you, but I also agree with Shiari. The thing one must remember when it comes to these things is, balance is everything. You can't completely ignore someone's claims, because then no learning will take place for either person. But, you also cannot charge in and bombard a new person with criticism, especially if they are new to the community and aren't sure of their footing.

My preferred process is to do things gradually. A greeting, maybe a few questions, but for the most part back off from the newbies for awhile. (Unless they seem deliberately or extremely fluffy; there are limits to everyone's patience) Then, after they've settled in a bit and begin participating, you can then talk to them about the harder points of their identity. In my experience, people tend to be far more defensive of themselves when entering new situations than they are dealing with things in situations they've experienced before. So, a gradual process is the ideal way to initiate learning, in my opinion.
2008-02-07 20:04
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Post: #5
Re: Asking Questions?
This is such a great topic!

I awoke at eleven or twelve years old, and figured out that there was a name for what I was going through -- as well as what my actual kintype is -- at seventeen. I thank all sorts of powers for not allowing me to discover 'kin forums when I first awakened, or even a few years after, because I was so fluffy and making such outrageous claims that I almost certainly would have been scared away, and might never have discovered the truth about myself. Now that I'm older and more sure of what's going on, I can better handle questions as long as they aren't outright attacks, and I'm mature enough to differentiate between an honest question or suggestion and an attack.

It's important, I think, to keep in mind that a lot of new folks are young and terribly frightened, as well as prone to delusions of grandeur. Remember, too, that most of us who have been around for a while aren't young enough anymore to know everything.

~ Ashaiel

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2008-02-07 21:49
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Post: #6
Re: Asking Questions?
I'm actually more for questioning newcomers, just a good deal more gently than you would with the more "Senior" kin. If you let them go on a road that's hypocritical or doesn't make sense, it'll be that much harder to help pull them off it later on. Left unchecked, it could quite easily spiral down into one of those "king of the multi-verse!" type things, in a way turning a true kin into a fluff-ball.

Myself, WHen I was made aware of the Kin community, I was already fairly well set and ready to answer any questions as best as I could. I just worried myself all night hoping that the first forum would accept me after some of my expected questions. And boy was I ever surprised to be met with no question whatsoever. That prolly unsettled me more than anything, made me wonder just how logically most of them went about with their other-ness. 'Course I have a tendency of being an odd-ball too, so yeah.
2008-02-08 0:46
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Post: #7
Re: Asking Questions?
Actually, without answering all the questions people asked of me, I might never have realized I was demon.
Ok, I WOULD have, but much later. For a while, to be honest, I thought therians were the only type of "kin" out there. So I thought that if I wasn't human, the only other option was: animal.

BUT, after reading loads of topics and experiences and STILL finding myself feeling completely alien to this group... I started going, "well, what if I'm not therian?" I thought, maybe then, it wasn't my soul at all. Maybe I felt different because I was just a different... human?

No, it didn't feel right. It didn't register in any part of my being as comfortable or right or valid or true. And THEN, I found it. Nestled in that therian forum was a topic about Otherkin of OTHER sorts.

So, kinda by chance, I found my way to other resources and came to this conclusion which really isn't a conclusion but more of a convenience.



Ok, now to cover the other part:

Going by my current line of thought thats been streaming through as of late, this whole Otherkin business is entirely subjective, meaning each individual's perception of the matter is entirely different. How could one person possibly define or understand another's viewpoint completely?

Even though it's fun to try.
Back to the matter:

We have people afraid to ask questions: why? How is being a mean, aggressive person such a big thing? People nitpick right and left about pleasantries and courtesies and apologize before saying something that couldn't even offend the Queen of England. JEESH. Stick a cork in it.

What are you? A Jabberwocky? Great! Now why are you a Jabberwocky? Because you say so? Great! That's an excellent reason, because it isn't my place to tell you what you are and what you are not. It is up to YOU, and YOU alone to decide whether or not you are deluding yourself, and in the meantime I will try my best to make you think, drink, and sometimes see a shrink.


And the power of suggestion, for your information, is just as bad as outright telling someone they are something.

This isn't the (f)laws of Physics here(although I'm sure they're subjective too... somehow.)

With my personal kitchen set of beliefs(which you can own too for only four easy payments of your immortal soul... with a money-back guarantee!), there is not a single shred of 100% certifiable, verifiable, truth in the entire universe, or, for that matter, in any universe. In other words, WE DON'T KNOW JACK SQUAT.

So, why not just have some fun? The only reason I ask questions at all is out of sheer curiosity, which is why I suspect other people ask questions as well. I'd like to know why people think the way they do, believe the way they do... and sometimes I'm bound to appear very rude and careless because I have a habit of asking questions until I'm sick of it and feel like doing something else.

You know, the itch you just can't scratch... well, welcome to my world. I'm an itchy demon.

If anything, I like to poke holes in people's theories, merely because it makes them think and then when I ask ANOTHER question, I get more juicy details. More for Simim. ^_^


Helping people learn? Hah. I help people learn by making shadow puppets. Or singing in Swahili. Or making a juicy steak. Asking questions is for my own personal enjoyment. People learn by observation anyway; if I just act like myself(which is never myself(which is never myself(ad infinitum))), then anyone watching me's learned at least one new thing.

This is applicable on a forum: lurking is a great way to find answers. I post because I enjoy telling people what I think, because I am full of win. I'm sure some of you disagree.



Newbies: You probably already love me. Don't worry, I'll love you too unless you are a mixture of a donkey and a doughnut. You're also convenient target practice. <3

Simim: Rainbow poop at your disservice.
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2008-02-08 0:52
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Post: #8
Re: Asking Questions?
I let people dig their own grave. I wouldn't be a hero if I tromped everything I consider fluff; there's no reason to wonder around other people's faith, poking them with a stick. If you want to learn, you ask questions and listen to the answers given in response. If you don't, and you're just hanging around to stroke your ego, you'll get bored. Fluff pushes itself out, have you ever noticed? It takes very little effort to deal with a troll. Eventually they'll find a bridge to crawl under.

I've never been known for playing well with others, but I can pull it together enough to be respectful. The n00bs don't need to be handled with kid gloves, or wrapped in swaddling clothes, they just need to be respected. But if it looks like a fluffball, and smells like fluffball, its probably a fluffball.

But after slogging around here long enough, they'll shed the layers of refined fluff, or they lose intrest: No pain, no gain. A lot of people around here have extremely conflicting faiths and beliefs, we can get along well enough without too many trips to the ER. If a n00b won't shut up long enough to hear other people make sense, its best to just let that tick feed until it falls off.

Just because you believe in something out there, doesn't mean you have to believe in everything out there in order to avoid being a hypocrite.

Taiaka

"Will minus intellect constitutes vulgarity." -Arthur Schopenhauer


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2008-02-08 3:23
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Post: #9
Re: Asking Questions?
Freetha Wrote:...an identity needs to be questioned at least a little to be truly understood

Do you know what I don't get. Between my study of psychology, and psychological aspects in magick, why is it Otherkin think their identity is so simple? Ruling out all magick and past life stuff, most people never actually come to understand their identity. We live in a society that constantly batters us with new things to assimilate, rather than investigate. It takes years and years of hard dedication to really understand your identity, your personality, few ever really manage it, if any.

Why do Otherkin act like it is so easy? They're adding in past lives, and transspecies migration, which I think should complicate the matter, not simplify. On one hand, "dragon" is different than "a timidness created by your father's interaction with your older sister at your third birthday party", and perhaps more "pronounced" in flavour, but it's still another can of worms altogether.

Someone asked me why, as a "serious ceremonialist magickian"*, do I interact with Otherkin? My first response is usually "They question their identity to a greater degree" and yet, that's becoming less and less true of the community as a whole. Sure you can make arguments one way or another, about if questioning humanity is greater or lesser, than questioning tempers, social patterns, moral codings, etc. but the point is there is some questioning there, but it stops. "Something seems off...unhuman...what does it mean...could I be an elf? Yep, that's it...okay solved, everything in my life makes sense now, cause I'm an elf."

*They think I'm serious, I think I'm more an explorer.

Quote:Or is it that people are so afraid of being questioned that they do not ask questions for the fear that that would open them up to questioning?

An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

Granted, people who know me from other boards, chats, and to a lesser extent here, know I'm a huge fan of questions and questioning. I'm more afraid of people with "Answers" than I am of people with questions. Heck, you know (Freetha) that on another board we're on, I just started an Occaming topic, where I basically tell the relevant parts of my life for the last six years, and how it relates to my Otherkin identity, solely so that people can say "What made you think that?" "Why would you accept that as true?" "Did you consider X instead of Y?" etc. Obviously I don't think I'm perfect (well, I do, but that's in the processial perfection concept), but I don't get why there aren't more people willing to question themselves, or let people help them out, because sometimes we're too close to think of the really important questions. Hell, I was awake for years before someone finally asked "Does the blue tie into your identity?" "Oh...uh...hmm........"

Quote:One would think that the subject of one's identity is something serious enough to be approached with both caution and criticism. That it's serious enough so that you should avoid making shortcuts.

Sadly in general, that's not the way the western world is shaping up. Again, thinking of this relating to psychology, we're getting out of the model that problems can be solved by counselling, thinking, talking, creating, it's all now about pills, or one-hit-wonder sessions (I'll teach you to walk over hot coals, and it'll be like your priest never touched you there!).

Quote:Who are we doing a favour if we don't ask?
The answer is simple, ourselves.

Well I rarely do a soapboxy spiritual thing, this is a good point to do so. Are we actually doing ourselves a favour by not asking? No. If you want to look at is as Enlightenment from a Dharmic perspective, or from a Dhammic perspective, or doing our Will, or the Great Work, they all require us to know ourselves, and what we are really about, what we are really like inside. If we don't ask, we aren't helping ourselves, we're avoiding a little pain, and in the long run hurting everyone around us, most clearly ourselves.

Quote:Yes, I am aware that a few people do ask questions, but haven't you notice how most of the time these questions come with an apology?

I tend to apologize when I'm new somewhere, or with a new person. Not because I think I'm doing anything wrong, it's because I know some people are so sensitive with questioning. With me it's more of a professional habit, "I'm sorry to ask, I know you're sensitive about this, but tell me about your brother's suicide" etc. It's partly the professional in me, knowing that people take things to heart a lot, so excuse yourself, but do it, because in the end, you're helping them. But I also know where to draw the line. There is a difference between questioning, showing holes in logic/procedures, and just beating a dead horse. What I can't stand with questions is when people will contain the same point after the person they're questioning says "I don't know." When I see "I don't know" I either leave it alone, cause it's their time, or suggest ways for them to try to find. "Questions are the start of knowledge, answers the start of ignorance."

Now, my disclaimer. There are times when I do dislike being questioned, but that tends to be a jading. I've done a lot of introspective work, and had a lot of people take shots at me, that when I get questioned sometimes its "Oy, not again, been there done that." It tends mainly to happen on forums I've been on for a while, and probably answered everything elsewhere. But I always love a unique question.

Silyon Wrote:I'm actually more for questioning newcomers, just a good deal more gently than you would with the more "Senior" kin. If you let them go on a road that's hypocritical or doesn't make sense, it'll be that much harder to help pull them off it later on. Left unchecked, it could quite easily spiral down into one of those "king of the multi-verse!" type things, in a way turning a true kin into a fluff-ball.

*nods* I agree. Oldbies and newbies are different beasts, and should be treated so. When I question newer Kin, unless it's an extreme claim (they're the lynchpin for 2012, they've found one of the four horsemen in cave, real vampires are killing homeless people in their town etc) I generally stick to questions about the nature of their ideas. "What does that mean to you?" "What difference would this make?" "Why do you accept this?" "Can you question this?" The point at this stage isn't the holes in logic, or shaking their foundations, but just making sure they stay open-minded and rational as best as they can.

simim23 Wrote:It is up to YOU, and YOU alone to decide whether or not you are deluding yourself, and in the meantime I will try my best to make you think, drink, and sometimes see a shrink.

This is a great point. People who don't know me, sometimes think I'm out to get people to admit they're delusional, which is not the case, and is wrong in more ways than most can grok. My purpose isn't that at all, but like you, to make people think, I can't decide for you if you're delusional or not, I can only point out blips in your process, information or your communication, and from there, it is in your court.

Taiaka Wrote:The n00bs don't need to be handled with kid gloves, or wrapped in swaddling clothes, they just need to be respected.

I feel almost silly just quoting it to say "I completely agree," but I feel that is the best I can do with that comment.

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As we grow all things are external.
As we learn all things are internal.
As we understand all things are not.
2008-02-08 5:49
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Post: #10
Re: Asking Questions?
Speaking purely from personal experiences, not necassarily on this board or the board prior to this one, but else where, I get questioned a lot, and I don't really have a "back story" or tons of details about my fronting kintype. I have been in the awakening process for a bit over 12 years now, and I aways question myself, which is how the fronting went from being wolf, to vampire, to hyena, to faun in the first place. I love that people question me on any/all aspects of any of my current "claims" or past experiences. It makes me feel that those people are sane, that they don't just say "oh yeah that's cool man" or what not. I like to question new people I meet, but I don't always like questioning people on more public forums, like on message boards and the like. I prefer to question in a more private arena, if that makes any sense. I am always pestering people I personally know (online and offline) about how they came up with things, or why they believe whatever they believe and whatnot. But then again, that's just me ^^.
2008-02-08 15:26
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