Guild drama is something that is admittedly entertaining to read about, if usually not pleasant to experience first-hand. Many people will say that they try to avoid it, but I'm pretty sure it's impossible to never get involved in any drama if you're guilded for any period of time. Still, when was the last time you created guild drama?
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I might actually be a reasonably large source of drama in my guild. At the time I was having a pretty big row with our healing lead - in private messages, so at least it wasn't public guild drama, but I'm sure it gave him quite a headache nonetheless. I was pretty heavily affected by the whole ordeal was well, and felt down for several days afterwards. I asked myself why I was bothering to argue so much anyway.
Last night I stumbled across this post by IndecentHealer, in which he talks about cliques in his guild. This quote really jumped out at me:
Now, I would be claiming to be a better person than I am if i didn’t admit that there have been people whom I thought had no place in the guild I am in. [...] Therefore, I am left with two main options when something like that happens. I can accept that said person is part of the guild, and stay because I want to stay with the rest of the guild, or i can decide that it is really unacceptable – and leave. The often perceived third option – trying to convince the guild that this person really is not good for them – that is in my eyes invalid.
I quite disagree with that last notion, but that aside I was wondering why he considered the third option invalid; unfortunately he didn't elaborate on that. The fact that I had such a strong gut reaction in response to the subject however immediately reminded me of the argument with my healing lead - I don't consider it wrong to fight when I feel that people are harming the guild. Does that make me an inciter of drama?
I pondered what Indecent apparently considers the only alternative options. Acceptance... well, it goes without saying that there is a lot of behaviour that we have to tolerate even if we don't like it, else we'll never be able to settle down anywhere; such is life. But at the same time it should be obvious that just tolerating everything, no matter what, is unlikely to be a good idea.
And flight? I've considered that one quite often when I felt that things were going badly, but at the end of the day I always felt that it was unfair that I should leave my guild of several years, with many people I care about, just because of one upstart newcomer, regardless of how much he bothered me. It's the equivalent of getting a divorce because your husband's new co-worker is a tit; it just feels... wrong. Also, I've seen this kind of scenario often enough to know that if anything, a long-standing guild member leaving over one incident is anything but a peaceful solution, it just creates a different kind of drama.
The problem with arguing and putting up a fight is that no matter how much you try to keep it reasonable and on topic, it never stays that way. I've often put up forum threads when I didn't agree with a change in general raiding or loot policy, trying to gauge other's opinions and give some input. However, no matter how polite these threads start out, they are almost always derailed into something completely different, with at least two people snapping at each other over something or other by the end of it.
Also, some disagreements don't even need to be derailed to be looked upon as nasty. Say, you've seen a trialist act like a complete c-weasel and tell an officer about it because you think he should fail his trial. Looking at it from a more detached point of view, you are simply trying to subvert someone's position in the guild, which isn't a nice thing to do regardless of reasons. But does that always make it wrong?
And then of course there is the biggest issue with opposing something or someone in the guild... since the world isn't black and white, you can never really be completely sure that you're actually right. For example we had a guy in our guild who had given me nothing but reasons to dislike him, but for some to me completely unfathomable reason he was extremely popular with a large part of the guild, including all the officers and some of my friends. I spoke up against him once or twice, but everyone just responded with annoyance... he's such a great guy, why do I have a vendetta against him? In the end I gave up that fight, feeling very bewildered. I still thought that my reasons to dislike him were valid, but at the same time so many people that I cared about and respected seemed to think the opposite, so maybe I was mistaken in some way? It didn't make me like the guy any more, but it made me feel awkward about having made his presence an issue.
In other words, any attempt to argue and overcome a problem you have with your guild has a huge potential for creating drama. Yet I've done it all regardless: I've started forum threads that were derailed into arguments, and I regularly send officers private messages when something or someone bothers me, trying to achieve change into a direction that I find more appealing. Does that make me an officer's nightmare I wonder?
The one thing I can say though is that I feel very strongly connected to my guild, and I think my urge to fight what I consider unjust or inappropriate behaviour in that environment is simply an expression of that. If I didn't care as much it would be much easier to just ignore things or leave; I've seen enough people do it. Because I care, because I want the guild to remain a place I can care about, I fight for it, and in the end the old saying holds true that what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, and with every bit of drama that the guild overcomes successfully I feel even more connected to it. Surely that can't be an entirely bad thing?
And What of Another Middle-earth?
21 minutes ago