Don't hate the playa; hate the game.
-- Ice T
One particular aspect of AssumeGoodFaith is that we concentrate on the quality and effect of contributions by community members, and not on the personality or character of the member themselves.
A particular place where we often fail to AssumeGoodFaith is in conflicts. Although there are some contributors who thrive on conflict (WhatIsaTroll), most do not. Conflicts can be incredibly frustrating, but it's important not to take those frustrations out on other, perfectly well-meaning community members. Use the frustration to fix the conflict instead.
Not hating the player means realizing that entirely sane, rational, non-child-molesting citizens can in fact get involved in conflicts. Even more incredibly, it's actually possible for those individuals who conflict with you to have healthy brains, normal social and family relations, and fingernails free of encrusted hair and blood. Really! It's amazing but true!
For these reasons, it's important to address resolving the conflict and not resolving the opponent. Some good guidelines:
- Avoid making conflicts personal. Do not generalize a person's behavior or contributions to ascribe certain personality traits or defects to them.
- You don't know your opponent. Remember that you're interacting through imperfect mediating technology in just one aspect of a person's life. Don't use a conflict as an opportunity to practice your amateur psychology skills.
- Don't fall for personal attacks. Deflect personal criticisms towards yourself with humor or humility. You are not the issue; they are not the issue; the issue is the issue.
- Explain principles. Point people at explanations of principles you're arguing, or elaborate them in community documentation if they are unwritten.
- Don't be a bully. Avoid using your standing in a community as a weapon to punish those who disagree with you. Be humble. Maybe you don't have everything figured out. Accept challenges to accepted ideas with an open mind.
- Don't be a martyr. Realize that if your standing in the community is still larval, this doesn't mean that everyone's ganging up on you. If lots of people are disagreeing with you, it probably means that you don't yet get the BehavioralNorm"s.
[new] [fr]Ca c'est grande: [en]You are not the issue; they are not the issue; the issue is the issue.