Jump to content

Open Club  ·  51 members

Off Topic

Saddening ENA reviews


firelily
 Share

Recommended Posts

None of us get paid. And a lot of us are actually educated with counselling or have psychology backgrounds. not naming who, but there is actually quite a few.

 

But still the same thing, no one gets paid, not the mods, not the advisors. Being as it's a free service, you get all kinds of opinions. The beauty of this site is that you can pick and choose which advice you want to take...or not.

You can walk away and take none at all, or try another day.

 

But everything is done all on volunteer and that equates to hundreds of hours of people doing this, just to help...no other reason.

Sometimes it's great advice, sometimes not so much. But it really is up to the poster on if they want to take the advice or not.

 

I remember the days when they had actual therapists on here that were being paid. Yep, it didn't work. Most can't afford it.

So for now, you ask a question and get free advice, good or bad.

 

I think this is one of the best sites for advice. It is run really well, at least in my opinion. I have seen some of the others out there, they are a lot less professional and some are downright run very poorly.

 

I think the majority of advisors do their best to give good advice, but at the end of the day, we are only human too and not perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Sherry.

 

Yes, I seem to recall there was a "therapists' corner" here one time.

 

While on that note, and I fully agree that it is excellent to advise posters in trouble to seek therapy. However, therapy (everywhere) is very expensive. In these parts you would be looking at €150 a session. Private, that is. And just at random looking at U.S. psychologists I see prices of up to $400 per session quoted. I am talking well-qualified professionals.

 

For the financially disadvantaged that kind of money is beyond their means, given that therapy may involve scores, maybe hundreds, of sessions.

 

Waiting lists on the national health services are long, and a person might have to wait three months before even getting an appointment, and even then the number of sessions would be seriously curtailed.

 

So, while I fully endorse the idea of therapy, as perhaps the most valuable gift one can give oneself, I also ask, what are posters who cannot afford therapy to do?

 

We've seen here, all too often, the bad advice some posters get from their IRL "friends".

 

So, all in all, and in general, the advice and signposting on ENA is at least objective, and confidential.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

None of us get paid. And a lot of us are actually educated with counselling or have psychology backgrounds. not naming who, but there is actually quite a few.

 

But still the same thing, no one gets paid, not the mods, not the advisors. Being as it's a free service, you get all kinds of opinions. The beauty of this site is that you can pick and choose which advice you want to take...or not.

You can walk away and take none at all, or try another day.

 

But everything is done all on volunteer and that equates to hundreds of hours of people doing this, just to help...no other reason.

Sometimes it's great advice, sometimes not so much. But it really is up to the poster on if they want to take the advice or not.

 

I remember the days when they had actual therapists on here that were being paid. Yep, it didn't work. Most can't afford it.

So for now, you ask a question and get free advice, good or bad.

 

I think this is one of the best sites for advice. It is run really well, at least in my opinion. I have seen some of the others out there, they are a lot less professional and some are downright run very poorly.

 

I think the majority of advisors do their best to give good advice, but at the end of the day, we are only human too and not perfect.

 

I completely agree with this. I think you mean when they used to have these kind of "ask the expert" threads? I didn't pay that too much attention, wasn't my thing. I think it's about expectations. My expectations of this site are in line with what is written above. In addition I've had the privilege of meeting one of the moderators in person many years ago (geography made it very difficult to meet again, one of those right place/right time kind of things) and that just added to the positive experience. I've also had negative experiences a few times but those mostly had to do with private messaging situations where the person wasn't who he/she presented herself to be and it was hurtful (no, nothing to do with romance or dating, just platonic interactions). In one of those experiences a moderator stepped in to let me know that the person had been misleading me as to a certain situation. I really appreciated that input back then, it helped me remove myself from the situation with no "drama".

 

I also agree that in comparison to other sites this one rocks in particular.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you mean when they used to have these kind of "ask the expert" threads?

 

At the top of the site at one time they had an option to click onto a real live therapist for x amount of money per hour.

 

Not sure how long ago that was. It didn't seem that long ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to make people aware too...there is not one advisor on this site that didn't get some kind of flack at one time. All of us have had someone at some point tell us off and argue with what we were saying or just plain be mean to us.

 

It happens.

 

But we still come back. Because at the end of the day...we are just trying to help in our perfectly imperfect kind of way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion. Follow me—or not, your choice—on a windy path to get to the meat of your inquiry:

 

I make a living producing things for public consumption—things that people invest time, money, and emotion in consuming. These things are reviewed, commented on—sometimes positively, sometimes not. What I've noticed is that those who review and comment on the internet—as opposed to those, say, who are professional reviewers—are by and large more aggressive, impulsive, and, generally, more prone to negativity. They think that what I do for a living is being done to them or for them. Meanwhile, I'm just a dude like you are a dudette, specks of dust trying to pay the bills and get by with the tools we have.

 

I respect internet review culture, as I respect the professionals, but I don't take any of it too seriously, and certainly not personally. Opinion, not fact. If I did? I'd have to stop doing what I do because I would be too busy hating myself because someone with a funny handle like bluecastle anointed me the devil incarnate, or being obsessed with myself because bluecastle deemed me special. In either hiding from myself or admiring myself I'd miss out on being myself, and doing something that brings me closer to myself. As for that thing I do? People will do with it what they please, say what they need to say. All good.

 

A site like this? That's my personal lens here, my attitude and approach. It makes perfect sense to me that people would leave negative reviews, and that bulk of the reviews (written by a tiny minority) would be negative. It's human nature 101. They want experience x, got experience y, and are upset, not unlike the child who wanted gummy bears but got chocolate—or, drats, no sweets at all. Some children cry, others sulk, still others don't fret. Humanity 101, all of it valuable. The few reviews you highlight are written by people who are particularly upset since the experience they wanted was connected to a vulnerable moment in their lives. Understandable. Allowed. So be it.

 

The beauty of this site, to me, is that it's a full-on democracy. You can leave, if it does't serve you. You can ignore people, and even "block" them if their modes of expression—of being themselves on any given day or year—does not bring value to your life, just like I can move from Los Angeles to Mumbai if I decide Los Angeles is a 0-star city and Mumbai is a 5-star city. Of course, I can also decide to stay in Los Angeles and howl at the moon about how awful it is and how much I'd rather be in Mumbai. That's a choice many people make, and find comfort and personal power in. Not for me, though I respect it.

 

The moderation of it all? Haven't really given it much thought, but I think it's pretty great. Not a lot of trolling or noise here; it gets filtered out fast. No nasty language—how refreshing. There seems to be a premium here on earnestness and sincerity—valuable things, and, in my opinion, a bit endangered in an age where validation can come so easily from the most base-level of human instincts. I mean, I'm writing this for how many eyeballs? Five, twenty? I could post a nude photo of myself straddling a gigantic plastic unicorn on Instagram and make a real day of it. But I doubt I'd sleep well once the sun sets.

 

I don't post much here asking for help—though it is why I came here, and I stayed out of both gratitude and because staying has enriched me, continued to help me. How do I feel about it all, ethically? Pretty great. I think of this site like a massive dinner party—with some compelling regulars and an ever-changing rotation of guests—one where everyone has had a bit too much to drink and are showing their truest colors. That color spectrum? Gosh, it's lovely. It really is lovely! It can get rowdy, it can get tense, and some may be here or visit here for dubious reasons; but if you're open to listening and being chastened it can be pretty rewarding, even profound. I've had my eyes opened by teenagers, by single mothers, by divorced men—from all over the world. Maybe I've opened some other eyes a millimeter or two.

 

When I've sought advice, or even just participated in a long, heated thread? It's often the words that are sharpest—the ones I want to defend or reject or deem insensitive—that end up resonating with more weight and value as my own feelings and life settle out in the wilds of IRL. And after a year or so swimming around these digital waters? I've found that some regular posters who initially raised eyebrows in me have become sturdy little guideposts on my own journey. I'm grateful for them. They have enriched me. If I can absorb even a salt shake of enrichment from another human being, my life is better; that's my personal value system. If some sour moments come with the territory—well, that's okay. That's life. It's sometimes pretty annoying.

 

When I post anything? I trust myself that I am trying my best to connect, to help, to sensitively say thanks for those salt shakes of enrichment by offering up a few of my own—and I take it that everyone else is operating from a similar place: doing their best. A closed loop, self-fed by multiple selves, never perfect, but perfect is boring.

 

I'm also aware, of course, that there is a certain "selfishness" to posting—that I (and you, and you, and you) am getting something out of it. Were I to try to isolate that selfish thing? I'd say that in joining the dinner party I get fed: I get to sharpen my own value system. I hope that "selfish" instinct does not come at the expense of other selves, while being fully aware that what I write may land with a thud. As someone who has taken a lot of blows to the head and heart in the business of living, I trust that fellow humans can handle a pinch that comes from the screen.

 

In the world we are all people. On here, by the nature of it, we are personas. To personally invest too much emotion in personas—our own, others—is dangerous. So, those negative reviews? I would see that as a misguided emotional investment in personas, like someone who comes across my Instagram feed and for some reason feels "attacked" or "judged" just by scrolling through my photos. Similarly, I would see absorbing those reviews as facts to be an over-investment in personas—in allowing the words of others to define your story. They're just words written by people, not gavels in courtroom.

 

Not sure if any of that resonates. Words into the void, to be consumed, ignored, rebutted, agreed with, or otherwise, as you or anyone sees fit.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the top of the site at one time they had an option to click onto a real live therapist for x amount of money per hour.

 

Not sure how long ago that was. It didn't seem that long ago.

 

I can fully understand why a service like this would not work, nor be advised.

Same as paying to speak to a 'medical doctor' online for X amount of money. Highly unprofessional and to be avoided at all costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to make people aware too...there is not one advisor on this site that didn't get some kind of flack at one time. All of us have had someone at some point tell us off and argue with what we were saying or just plain be mean to us.

 

It happens.

 

But we still come back. Because at the end of the day...we are just trying to help in our perfectly imperfect kind of way.

 

Absolutely, all of us have been treated like crap at one time or another. I used have my PM’s open until I got a death threat and I promptly turned them off .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to make people aware too...there is not one advisor on this site that didn't get some kind of flack at one time. All of us have had someone at some point tell us off and argue with what we were saying or just plain be mean to us.

 

It happens.

 

But we still come back. Because at the end of the day...we are just trying to help in our perfectly imperfect kind of way.

 

Sure, Sherry.

 

Nothing wrong with lively debate, even robust debate. "Plain mean", well, when I see that I know the dispenser of the meanness is not right in the head.

Snide remarks are another matter entirely. No tolerance for the dispènser of those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting discussion!

 

First of all, I love ENA. I find people's situations and problems fascinating. I have learned so much from being on here and listening to other people's advice. I hope that when I give advice it offers something to somebody. As a rule, I don't offer advice unless I really feel that I can offer something worthwhile. Thus, I stick to what I have experience in and I veer away from problems I can't relate to.

 

I totally get what the OP is talking about though. There are people that answer on almost every single thread regardless of whether of whether they can relate to the thread or not. And you can tell by their response that very little thought has been put into answering the OP. 'Go to therapy' is suggested way to often, as is 'break up'. Those two answers are so useless to the average person online looking for advice.

 

I just wonder why people come on here every day and give a one or two sentence answer that is rude and berating to the OP. I guess they are getting something from this? I have to admit at times I've actually gotten cross at how insensitive people can be to people who are hurting but yeah its the internet and on the plus side it can help one develop a thicker skin.

 

All that being said, there are wonderful people on here that I really respect and admire and I do believe the good ones far outweigh the bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, just don't write on ENA. It is as simple as that. Some members on ENA are judgmental. True. It is a fact. But it is the same in real life too.

 

What works for me IRL and on ENA: I never ask for advice or opinions. It works, try it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's awful :( Forums like you describe should be banned by law.

 

I didn't think of Enotalone as a place comparing to what you describe, but the reviews are alarming, and in many threads I've seen some comments being more harsh than they had to. I think a few times I've been harsher than I had to, sometimes, despite my carefulness not to do that.

I don't know. On the other hand, if it was doing it's best to be the least possibly awful with every year, there wouldn't be so many bad reviews on moderation and culture.
People enjoy complaining... way more than giving credit. Human nature it seems.

 

So...

 

 

I wouldn't pay much attention to people who "review" any site like this one. This is about laymen giving their personal opinions and some advice often followed by suggesting that the Opening Poster get the professional help they may need to help them move on from whatever it is they are suffering in.

 

If someone just wants to vent without hearing opinions then there is always the Journal section where they can do just that.

 

I've been on a few forum sites over the years and this is one of the most tame and what you've read about the moderators is totally untrue. People who don't want to hear anything but agreement to their own way of thinking should stay away from open message boards because they are not always going to hear what they expected to hear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Negative reviews on a forum like this is no surprise at all to be honest.

 

1) Perfectly happy people in fulfilled relationships do not come here. Those who do are often confused and heartbroken, and a lot of them are suffering with various mental health issues. People in this category are not going to be the easiest to communicate with.

 

2) A lot of people come here not for advice, but for comfort, attention, reassurance etc... And they are often offended or upset when they are challenged about their situation instead, which is often necessary to provide any meaningful advice. This forum is actually not that bad for this problem, if you go to a mental health community, 90%+ of posters are not actually looking for solutions, and offering them anything more than hollow comfort actually triggers them, because they just want to be told that it is okay to feel the way they do, not practical steps to change their situation.

 

3) The regular advisers here are a mix of people who are interested in relationships and mental health, maybe trainee counselors or other mental health professionals, or more likely, somebody who came here asking for advice to begin with, and then hung around for whatever reason. The former can be guilty of over-diagnosis, like a carpenter trying to solve every engineering problem with wood, the latter can inadvertently project their own baggage onto others. Nobody is paid for advice here, so frankly, there is no objective "quality control".

 

4) Every forum is a community, every community organically develops a certain culture and set of values that they deem to "correct", a powerful inner circle (clique) forms which reinforces that set of values by proactively censoring content that is deemed offensive and passively discouraging those whose values do not align. This is not unique to ENA. I am an open minded and curious person, I have joined a Christian forum before, among others, and whilst it was a very positive, friendly and loving place, the moment you question their core beliefs, the pitch forks come out... plus they tolerated a toxic fringe who were openly xenophobic and Islamophobic, justifying it in religious terms, which somehow made it okay in that community. My point, no community is perfect, you just got to find your own... though in the modern age of the internet, this is how misinformation reinforcement loops and echo chambers form, which is causing radicalization and extremism across the world in all sorts of issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, just don't write on ENA. It is as simple as that. Some members on ENA are judgmental. True. It is a fact. But it is the same in real life too.

 

What works for me IRL and on ENA: I never ask for advice or opinions. It works, try it.

 

I don't think it's a responsibility of adult people in crisis to have a thick skin for judgement. I think it's a help community's responsibility to make sure people in crisis are generally better after leaving this page than before. Cause otherwise it's bogus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"....and a lot of them are suffering with various mental health issues. People in this category are not going to be the easiest to communicate with."

 

I believe MK has stated the heart of the matter.

 

Equally I believe that only mental health professionals should attend the mentally ill. Posters here may be entirely well-intentioned and wish to help, but are not trained to speak with and/or advise the mentally ill, less so when all one has got is words on a screen and no way to "read" the unfortunate person.

That said the forum can be excellent for signposting people to services, and make suggestions as to best course of action.

 

Of course, posters can advise and support those coming to the site with what can be described more as "Agony Aunt" issues, or more practical difficulties..

 

MK also says: (and this resonates with me): "....a powerful inner circle (clique) forms which reinforces that set of values by proactively censoring content that is deemed offensive and passively discouraging those whose values do not align. "

 

It is IMO the task of the moderators to keep such cliques in line, even if only out of self-interest, because the clique members drive away and have driven away many valuable posters over time.

 

It is pointless, not to say, ill-mannered, to tell any poster to "leave if you don't like it" just because that poster might make some constructive criticism.

 

I am sure the site owners would prefer to know where improvement might be made, as would any organisation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's a responsibility of adult people in crisis to have a thick skin for judgement. I think it's a help community's responsibility to make sure people in crisis are generally better after leaving this page than before. Cause otherwise it's bogus.

 

Even in professional therapy people often leave feeling worse for wear when they have had a breakthrough and have thus been derailed from the tunnel vision they have settled in comfortably in, a comfort that has done nothing to free them from their issues. There are plenty of people to continue to give those in denial enabling dialogue but if we were all to do that, no progress would ever be made by anyone in the short period of time we have to give our opinion/advice/encouragement/non enabling advice.

 

This isn't about having a "thick skin" but rather helping some to see that they would do well to shed the old one. We don't have months or years to get to the that point and rather than coax it out of the Op, we have to get to the point. Those that are actually wanting to shed the old skin and are open to moving on, are mostly grateful and do not take any offence to a direct opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see it as my responsibility never to give the type of input that only a professional should give even if I were a member of that profession, especially to someone who claims to be in danger of harming someone else or himself/herself (for example, I just saw a new thread asking for legal advice - I won't respond with any advice, and obviously that person is not in danger but is asking something only a professional should give -and not probably to a stranger on the internet). I think the moderators should continue doing their awesome job of censoring and screening, etc. which will prevent someone who is in any serious harm -or suicidal! - from being in further danger. I do not see it as a collective responsibility to have someone feel better about his/her situation. That to me is an unfair responsibility to put on any individual here much less the "community" of strangers on the internet. I do not think that is the purpose of ENA at all- perhaps some do feel better and that's great, perhaps some feel worse, perhaps some feel angry in a misplaced way -meaning denial, etc. I think even in the medical profession isn't the responsibility to "do no harm?" -so even in a professional setting I'm not even sure it's a responsibility to have the person feel better.

 

I am in facebook groups for moms and the moderators in the last year have banned people from giving medical advice in comments. I like that idea (I never did as I'm not equipped for several reasons and sure I'm happy to say "hmm that rash looks something like what my son had and it was _____ but ask your doctor")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is many people just want to know someone is listening soooooo if we say you need a professional we get criticized. If we say nothing we get criticized. If we give experience and advice we get criticized.

 

Lesson= You are going to be criticized by someone no matter what you say or do or don’t do or say.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's right, Seraphim. We're meant to be perfect 24/7. It's just not realistic when we are humans who are doing this for free and are just giving our opinions.

 

I've never seen any of the long time posters mean any harm. Yes, some will express things more strongly and it's more to do with tough love rather than coddling.

But it's never meant to be harmful.

 

I don't know. It really is damned if you do, damned if you don't. We do the best we can but we have bad days too and yes, some posts are triggering for us.

That again is the human side in us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's right, Seraphim. We're meant to be perfect 24/7. It's just not realistic when we are humans who are doing this for free and are just giving our opinions.

 

I've never seen any of the long time posters mean any harm. Yes, some will express things more strongly and it's more to do with tough love rather than coddling.

But it's never meant to be harmful.

 

I don't know. It really is damned if you do, damned if you don't. We do the best we can but we have bad days too and yes, some posts are triggering for us.

That again is the human side in us.

100%.

......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"..... some will express things more strongly and it's more to do with tough love

 

Absolutely agree there is nothing wrong with expressing something strongly. In fact being straightforward is a virtue IMO. But strong expression must go hand in hand with kindliness.

 

It's no great effort to just temper even the strongest view or advice with kindliness. Both here and IRL.

 

Snideness I cannot abide. That is more likely to drive people away than so-called toughness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The forum rules are clear enough, but the FAQ can be a bit difficult to navigate. No one here is a professional "adviser", therefore no practitioner-client relationship is established, especially with a group of anonymous screen names that may or may not share or offer input that may or may not resonate with another poster.

 

For example someone may mean well with their input, but another poster dislikes it nonetheless. If people want therapy or therapeutic input/assessments they will have to do so locally through groups, hospitals, community resources, libraries, helplines, private therapy, etc.

 

What people can take away from whatever responses they get is a random sampling of ideas opinions and takes on whatever they posted, just as one would in a group setting. .Perhaps viewing it more as a Rorschach test, where one person sees a butterfly and another a spider or a church, whatever. People are people. The most important thing to remember is that this is not one of those doctor-on-demand sites, but a collection of various people.

I don't think it's a responsibility of adult people in crisis to have a thick skin for judgement. I think it's a help community's responsibility to make sure people in crisis are generally better after leaving this page than before. Cause otherwise it's bogus.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share


  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • Girls Will Act Like THIS When They Develop Feelings For You (Early Signs Of Affection & Attraction)
      Is she developing feelings for me? In today's video we're going to be discussing those very early initial signs she is developing feelings for you. Just as a girl starts to fall for you her actions and behaviours will begin to change when she's around you. From the types of texts she sends you to the way she is in your company.

      There is no better feelings in the world than that of falling in love with someone. Finding someone that you can share your life with is the best and it's something that everyone is searching for. Women are known for wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and when they fall for someone they fall deeply for them. And often experience the feeling of love before the other person does. So they normally try to keep this to themselves though because they don't like feeling vulnerable. And they want to make sure that you feel the same before they say anything.

      So because of this it can make it difficult for the men because it's hard to tell if they are developing feelings for you or not. It often means that men have to take that initial risk and announce their feelings before a lady does. So today's video I'm going to tell you what girls do when they start to develop feeling for you. Now this is going to help you understand when a lady likes you or if she doesn't. And it should help you be more confident when it comes to making that first move.

       
      • 0 replies
    • How to Break the Spell of Trauma Bond Relationships
      Can you be addicted to a person? If romantic relationships turn to obsession, especially after they're over, it's time to heal trauma bonds that "hook" you in to people who are selfish, manipulative, and who "blow hot and cold." In this video I respond to a letter from a man who struggles to detach from an ex who tries to keep him at arm's length, but hooked on her all the same.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 7 SIGNS YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE (Even If You Don’t Think So)! 😏
      7 SIGNS YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE (Even If You Don’t Think So)! 😏 // Do you ever feel like you aren’t attractive? If yes, then you are totally normal! However, it’s time for you to know the truth. Once you learn the signs you are an attractive man and the signs you are attractive to women, your life will never be the same. This is about more than how to look good or how to attract women. These signs help you see why you actually can attract women in a way that makes them want a relationship with you! EVEN if you sometimes feel that’s impossible. Ready to learn how to know if you’re attractive and the signs you’re attractive? Let’s dive into 7 Signs You Are Attractive (EVEN If You Don’t Think So)!

       
      • 0 replies
    • The Social Minimalist | Can we be Happy without Friends?
      A minimalist lifestyle concerns itself with minimizing the number of material resources we need to be satisfied. A tremendous benefit of this approach is the reduced cost of living. The less we need, the more time, money, and energy we save. So, can we also apply minimalism to our social connections to gain the same benefits? Can we be happy with a minimal amount of friends, or even without friends? This video explores the benefits and downsides of friendship, the current state of friendships, and if we actually need friends.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 6 Secret Habits Smart People Do Every Day
      Do you find yourself more productive in the morning or at night? Did you know that smart people tailor their work routine to whether they are a night owl or a morning bird?

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...