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habanero

After experiencing some really awful behavior, I can no longer be a member of this forum

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Are you referring to the OP's posts in

In my opinion, she didn't come close to telling someone that they were "going against the theme" of the board. The way I read post #9 in that thread, she wrote what drew her to the board ("I was drawn to TheGradCafe.com for the supportive and positive environment."), and how she thinks many others view the forum ("I think that many other posters feel the same way about this forum."). To me, that means sharing her experience and opinion ("I was drawn", "I think"), not telling anyone what's the "theme" of the board.

In reference to the other thread, would it hurt the OP to send the professors a personalized email if that's what she wants? I don't think it would, although I wouldn't have done it myself (but then, I also wasn't in that situation when I applied). And if it doesn't hurt sending personalized emails, then ANDS!'s advice was not really better than different views presented in the thread.

ANDS! first reply there, and the OP's reply to his/her post, were polite. But because the OP (politely) disagreed with ANDS!'s suggestion, she got back a sarcastic reply, "Well then by all means, craft personalized emails for these instructors you have had these substantive conversations with who I am quite sure will remember you in 5 or 10 years.", followed by another, "But hey I'm sure someone will come along and tell the OP what they want to hear: personalized hand written cards (perhaps scented) expressing deepest regrets and the hope that this doesn't completely shatter their graduate program." There were others who agreed with ANDS! that a canned email would suffice. The OP didn't/doesn't seem to be bothered by those, so was she really upset because she "wasn't told what she wanted to hear"? I'm not so sure. She's the only one who can answer that, but I would assume that what bothered her was the part of ANDS!'s post that she quoted in her 2nd reply to him/her (post #9). It's the same that bothered me, too.

Among all the fluff existing on the board, the experienced grad students who give good advice, imo, do it bluntly, but with clear good intentions. I hope we all reply to others with good intentions. But while I see the good intentions behind ANDS!'s first reply, I fail to see them behind the unnecessary, repeated sarcasm.

That said, giving negative reputation points for reasons that have nothing to do with the actual posts isn't exactly what I would call "really awful behavior." I've seen so much worse online. I understand it can be upsetting though (been there; it took some gentle guidance from a dear friend to learn not to care).

I can certainly see that perspective on the thread. It's just not how I read it, and I would assume by ANDS!'s response, not how they read it either.

To me, it seemed like a "usual" case of someone asking a very open ended question, getting one of the two possible answers, and then disagreeing with it. Which is frustrating.

If you have a specific opinion, why not state it in the original post? A pattern of asking for (and then disagreeing with) the opinion offered is kind of annoying, and it seems to happen a lot at this time of year.

I don't see the sarcastic reply as rude, and in fact, it made me chuckle, but I can see why it might have set the OP on edge, just as I hope they can see why their posts have done the same to others.

But it's not good form to ask someone to not reply to thier posts if they can't do it according to specific guidelines. Just like it's not generally a good idea to ask questions to which you want a specific answer.

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you're right. OP got butthurt in a different thread and created a new thread to troll and boohoo for attention. she's winning!

I see you are going for a Ph.D. in communication. Nice use of language there. Maybe your dissertation could be on the use of schoolyard taunts having a second life on the internet extending the adolescent mindset into young adulthood.Now that's trolling... I don't suggest you reply. If you do, I'll consider it "winning."

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ha!

you're right. OP got butthurt in a different thread and created a new thread to troll and boohoo for attention. she's winning!

@comm1980--

Given the information you've posted about yourself on this BB, I'm curious as to why you've made the decision to participate in this particular conversation in such a manner.

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I also saw the sarcastic replies as somewhat funny. The Internet is an amazing thing, and tone can be SO misconstrued. Reminds me of another thread where an unfortunate e-mail exchange caused an individual to reject a school's offer (). It is my opinion that the OP is being a bit sensitive, but it is her right to feel that way.

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Lol welcome to online forums.

I have to say that gradcafe is one of the most tame forums I've ever been on. So maybe that's why the OP is being so sensitive, because she's not used that kind of hostility on these boards. But if I've learned anything from geeking around on forums, it's that they all turn nasty at one point or another.

Best thing to do is to just remember that it's the internet, brush it off, and move on.

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HEY GUYS!! Some people went and downvoted some of my posts that were previously upvoted. I'M BEING STALKED. HALP.

Hahaha, this made me laugh. I needed that.

:D :D

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It's just when someone bluntly states an opinion that they didn't want to hear.

If anything, this board goes towards a snowball effect of down-voting on anyone that doesn't rain sunshine and rainbows on the OP, often enough.

Agree x 1000. I think many GradCafers confuse being supportive, and being sycophantic.

People telling you you are a special little snowflake and YAY you'll get into all your schools and WOOO aren't we supportive does absolutely nothing to improve your chances of getting into grad school, which I maybe mistakenly assumed is the main goal of most posters. There is no box to check on grad apps to indicate MPAGrad87 quoted you and said Nice job! : )

People identifying what you are doing wrong, and telling you about it DOES improve your chance at grad school success, as long as you are not so sensitive that you can't accept any negative feedback. If your SOP sucks and someone identifies this, you can fix it and improve your chances. If you are not competitive for the schools you're applying for, and someone identifies this, they maybe just saved you from an oh-fer. Whether the advice is kind or blunt, it is still helping you in ways the sunshine+puppy kisses of "supportive" posters do not.

I would 10 times out of 10 rather have someone rudely but accurately tell me what I am doing wrong (so I can fix it), than someone kindly but inaccurately cheerlead for me (so I can stumble into failure.)

Edited by MYRNIST

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I would 10 times out of 10 rather have someone rudely but accurately tell me what I am doing wrong (so I can fix it), than someone kindly but inaccurately cheerlead for me (so I can stumble into failure.)

I'm not so sure if the OP was upset because someone was telling her accurate information. I think it was moreso because they were doing it in a rude way. You might be OK with that, but not everyone can handle rude sarcasm.

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I'm not so sure if the OP was upset because someone was telling her accurate information. I think it was moreso because they were doing it in a rude way. You might be OK with that, but not everyone can handle rude sarcasm.

Then OP is hamstringing themselves. 99.9% people in the world have zero personal investment in your happiness or feelings. A good percentage of that number will not spend the effort to make information emotionally palatable as possible for you. If you decide to only listen to people who are kind and sensitive to total strangers, you are massively limiting your exposure to new, often important information.

The same quality that makes people expert in a field and hence well-worth listening to (devotion to truth + knowledge over feelings and "truthiness") often means they are not the gentlest souls around. Obviously there are exceptions and I certainly am not advocating for being an asshole, but in my experience most of the truly expert people I've met are not very "nice" on an inter-personal level. The Fields Medal winner, the Cabinet member, etc. are typically thinking about their work, not your feelings.

Edited by MYRNIST

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I can certainly see that perspective on the thread. It's just not how I read it, and I would assume by ANDS!'s response, not how they read it either.

To me, it seemed like a "usual" case of someone asking a very open ended question, getting one of the two possible answers, and then disagreeing with it. Which is frustrating.

If you have a specific opinion, why not state it in the original post? A pattern of asking for (and then disagreeing with) the opinion offered is kind of annoying, and it seems to happen a lot at this time of year.

I agree that there was no way for us to divine the kind of answers the OP wanted. I originally read the thread the same way as you did, as having two possible answers: "write some standard reply for all the programs you decline" or "write something personalized, for e.g. <insert idea>". After reading it a few more times, I can see how "new & fresh" might refer to ideas for personalized emails, and exclude the old and boring (?) reply, "just send a standard reply". But it's not how I first read it either. Had I answered the OP, I would have suggested the old and boring email. Then I would have been frustrated by the OP's first reply, but I would have kept it nice, I wouldn't have mocked her preference... and I certainly wouldn't have gone back through her posts to give negative rep points. (I have more interesting ways to procrastinate, lol.)

But it's not good form to ask someone to not reply to thier posts if they can't do it according to specific guidelines. Just like it's not generally a good idea to ask questions to which you want a specific answer.

Or to post "swan songs". While I can understand the OP's anger and frustration, I think there would have been wiser, less board-dividing ways to handle these feelings and the situation in general (privately, with the admins/mods, and then by PM with people who noticed/would notice her absence). None of us can control how others reply to us, but when someone is mean and working hard to annoy us, we can outsmart them by learning to ignore their antics; their behavior will reflect negatively on them more than their actions do on us. Hopefully the OP will take a deep breath, calm down, perhaps let some time pass, and learn something from what happened. I think most of us wouldn't want her to leave.

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Then OP is hamstringing themselves. 99.9% people in the world have zero personal investment in your happiness or feelings. A good percentage of that number will not spend the effort to make information emotionally palatable as possible for you. If you decide to only listen to people who are kind and sensitive to total strangers, you are massively limiting your exposure to new, often important information.

The same quality that makes people expert in a field and hence well-worth listening to (devotion to truth + knowledge over feelings and "truthiness") often means they are not the gentlest souls around. Obviously there are exceptions and I certainly am not advocating for being an asshole, but in my experience most of the truly expert people I've met are not very "nice" on an inter-personal level. The Fields Medal winner, the Cabinet member, etc. are typically thinking about their work, not your feelings.

I think the best mentors are able to give criticism impersonally, succinctly, and in large quantities. I certainly don't think 99.9% of the world doesn't care about how you feel. I do think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby going into working relationships with that mentality tends to elicit that response (why would you care about someone who assumes you don't?). I've certainly worked for a couple of difficult people, but the majority of my mentors have been absolutely wonderful human beings. If you surround yourself with these people (or at least behave in a way that makes the average person a good mentor), you won't have time to pay attention to the turds.

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Then OP is hamstringing themselves. 99.9% people in the world have zero personal investment in your happiness or feelings. A good percentage of that number will not spend the effort to make information emotionally palatable as possible for you. If you decide to only listen to people who are kind and sensitive to total strangers, you are massively limiting your exposure to new, often important information.

The same quality that makes people expert in a field and hence well-worth listening to (devotion to truth + knowledge over feelings and "truthiness") often means they are not the gentlest souls around. Obviously there are exceptions and I certainly am not advocating for being an asshole, but in my experience most of the truly expert people I've met are not very "nice" on an inter-personal level. The Fields Medal winner, the Cabinet member, etc. are typically thinking about their work, not your feelings.

I agree with the first part of your post, but not with the second. Being a 'truth-seeker' and being devoted to your work doesn't mean you have to be an asshole. That's also pretty irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I agree with you that people should not be so sensitive over what others say to them on the internet, but making an assumption that the OP will be terrible in grad school because she got offended over someone's comments on a GradCafe forum is kind of a far stretch don't you think?

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If getting your posts downvoted on an online message board qualifies as "really aweful behavior" then I feel your moral compass is broken. There is way worse going on in this world. Also in the thread you refer to in your initial post you complain alot about people downvoting you. This is to me a very annoying habbit, and one that leads me to downvote any post where you complain about being downvoted, as I feel that kind of complaint doesnt add anything to the discussion.

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Hello Habanero, you seem upset about the ratings but you shouldnt care. No one is focused on your ratings, EVERYONE here is more concerned with getting and sharing advice, venting, and just connecting in general with other grads. I can honestly say until this post, I never even knew there was a rating system. If you use this forum as support as you matriculate you shouldn't let "ratings" stop you. At the same time as a grad in psychology I also wonder if maybe your upset because of issues within your graduate program (maybe lately you've received a lot of criticism from your adviser or committee and the stress is affecting you? Often graduate students feel like even when they are giving it their all they still feel behind, or stupid, or unoriginal. Coming here to see other people criticize even more could just be adding to it. Actually the other day I read that grad students have 3x the stress level of people who's spouses have just died). My point is that maybe we can all be a little more sensitive, if anything we should understand the stress of grad school better than anyone else because we're there.

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