July 20, 2017

Swappers Worst Fears

      I  will lead with these are my opinions and everything shared here is meant for a positive end. 

I have been in the swapping world for a few years now. I was in it back when it was still a baby and new to the world. I have blogged about it in depth.  I am sure that there was drama from the start. Isn't that the way it works? It is social media and all. Plus, I have hosted some swaps. Some were a complete success and others not so much. Sometimes, I am left thinking why in the world do I keep doing this. I have seen and heard things, and I thought it was about time we talked about the brass tacks.

Worst Fear

I remember back when I was brand new to swapping. I tried my best, of course. It might not have been the best. I am human. I was entering a world full of fabulous makers and wanted to be accepted just like anyone else in the world. You know, like the saying, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. As I plan, cut, and make I hope beyond hope....

That this will be good enough
That the person will like what I have made
Will I be accepted

Yes, I think this? Don't you? I have talked to other swappers that worry too. Being shamed can be real or talked about behind your back. Of course, the other side of the spectrum is that someone will slap something together and call it done. This happens, and that's that. That is wrong of someone else, but how we deal with it,that's what makes the difference. 

Yes,  I still worry after all this time swapping. Even though, when work is shared you can comment on it in a positive way and let the other person know that you don't like it. It isn't your taste. That's what mosaics are there for in a swap. Also, talked about on this blog. 

NOT Naming Names

A little story among friends, I will make it short. I was talking to a friend way back about not really liking my swap items. It's shameful, right? I felt bad as it was coming out of my mouth. So, this was the gist of that conversation.  I was talking about getting what you put out, and admitting that something that I received wasn't anything that I really liked....at all (while I am sharing and being honest). Now, before you drag me over the coals, let me finish. I was like, I hate saying this, and she told me something that changed me as a person and swapper. It influences me every time I swap or host. 

They tried their best. You aren't always going to get what you give. 
It is about the giving and the experience.

Isn't that just beautiful! Let's just focus in on that. 

So, if you swap, these are the truths. You may not always get what you like, and that's ok. If it isn't ok, then swapping isn't for you. Guess what, that is ok. It is about making connections with others. Having a sense of community and all that mushy gushy stuff. It isn't about tearing someone down. Sometimes, even the best people have a bad swap. 

Let's Get back to being Positive

First off, in my humble opinion, this is my opinion and I believe in being positive, even when someone else has done something that is negative or impacted us in a negative way. I don't think that blasting on social media is right or kind. In fact, I think that is genuinely, down right wrong! (And yes, I used an exclamation point.) I feel like lately the shame game is getting nastier and nastier.

You could have taken the high road. Known that you did your best and moved forward. That's what people will remember about you. They would remember your work. Now, they probably won't. They will know you for what you have said and have their opinions.  Also, you could talk to your swap mama in confidence. You could have figured out a way to  address it that's has a better impact. Maybe, you could message that person directly and expressed your feelings. You could wait and think it through. Also, you might want to consider there feelings and their side of the story. Also, what will you get out of shaming someone else, even if they deserve it. Now, that's a thinker.

What I would like to know is do you think that they wanted to make something bad or crappy so that they can be shamed? I truly don't think so.

The Ugly Truth

The ugly truth is that sometimes, that might be the persons best. In fact, I was tactfully approached by a swapper. If you are thinking that it is you, you might be right. I have been approached numerous times about quality and how the package is not well done. I have seen photos of how things were packaged and know that the person telling me these things is opening up to me. They are sharing their feelings. It doesn't feel good when someone doesn't put in effort. In one of these occasions, the person showed me the work. I have seen this person's previous work many times.

Incredibly, to my surprise, the work was better. It was their best work!

Honestly, I was proud of the person that made it in that moment. I mean, just amazed at the work. I even said that this is good work. I can tell that they were really trying. Grade A effort.

I get it, people. You put your best work out there, and sometimes what you get might suck. It is how we handle it that matters. Public shaming is real. Keep in mind that stern comments from swap mamas are not shaming. Swap mamas do have to do that. Imagine following after a hundred people, I digress....sorry.  I know that it sucks, because I have had to do it. People are going to not like something. That's just how the story ends. Not everyone can be happy. I am sure that the swapping drama will continue, but maybe we can sprinkle a little kindness on it.

Those are my thoughts, and I stand by them. I am sure that I could keep my mouth shut and keep scrolling, but that just isn't me.

***Also, in my swaps, public shaming will not be tolerated. You can continue to share your feelings and photos. I will make sure that you get something that you might like in return. We will handle it privately. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

****Everything that you have read here is my opinions. I felt that they needed to be expressed. I have left people anonymous for good reason. I think we should build community and be positive. Just some behind the curtain naughtiness going on around social media these days. However, if shaming is the way you roll, that's on you.

© Quilty Dream
Maira Gall