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Drama Mamas: Of flirtations and gquits

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

This week's letter writer is busted.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I recently had a bit of a blow-up with a guild I used to be in that's really making me feel kinda crappy about myself...and I'm not really sure if it wasn't my fault.

Okay, so I was a casual member (i.e, not a raider) in a raiding guild with a female GM who has an....admirer, I'll call him B. B is a core raider who flirts openly and rather explicitly at times with GM (also a raider) over guild chat. GM does nothing to encourage it, but nothing to discourage it either, and as far as I know she's already in a relationship, and she and B live in different parts of the country. She added me to Real ID so we chatted and still do from time to time - I have no romantic interest in her whatsoever since I'm already in a relationship.
My response to this behavior - and this is where I'll openly admit I screwed up and was a jerk - is to make sarcastic comments to B in guild chat over what I perceive to be highly inappropriate behavior....comments like, "I'm not a big fan of chasing things I can't have, but that's just me", or, in response to his insistence that she and him were just friends, "Mmhmm, sure, maybe from her perspective."

Finally, B gets tired of me being condescending toward him, and confronts me in guild chat about it. He says, "It's all in good fun, we're just friends, so just telling you bro to bro before something bad happens." I respond by asking if they're just friends, then why do my comments bother him so much. He insists that I was "hitting a sensitive spot" in his life with those comments, and then I state that I've never really had much sympathy for guys that mack on girls over the internet who have no interest in them. A heated argument ensues, and the GM (who was witness to this entire conversation) finally very firmly tells us both to stop, and insists this is a "friendly guild" and that we should remember their "no drama" rule.

I knew he wasn't going anywhere since he's a core raider, so I decide to gquit. He whispers me trying to be all buddy-buddy, I tell him to *%$^ off and just /ignore him. The GM whispers me asking if it was "really that bad" that I had to gquit, and I responded by saying that I have no patience for people who treat other human beings as toys for their own amusement and then have the nerve to claim they're "sensitive". She said, "Okay, I understand your viewpoint but did you really have to gquit over it?", and then tried to convince me to come back, saying that she and other people like me being here, but I told her it was either me or him. She seemed disappointed, but finally just dropped it.

Was it wrong for me to go out of my way to be a jerk to B? Or did I just have a poor reaction to what I saw as highly inappropriate behavior occurring openly and frequently in guild chat? Any input would be appreciated, as this is really eating me up inside.

Irked at Internet Horndog
Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: Irked, as a mom, I have a +5 to my Guilt Trip roll. Brace yourself.

In answer to your questions, yes, it's your fault, yes, it was wrong of you to go out of your way to be a jerk to B, and yes, you had a poor reaction. Let's break it down.
  • You are a close enough friend with the GM so that you have exchanged Real IDs.
  • You don't actually know if the GM does have a committed relationship ("as far as I know").
  • B flirts, sometimes explicitly, with the GM.
  • The GM doesn't ask B to stop. Hence, she is encouraging him to continue.
  • You caused drama by being snitty to B in guildchat -- in other words, in front of the rest of the guild.
  • B confronts you, again in guildchat.
  • B tells you he is going through some rough times romantically by saying you hit a sensitive spot.
  • You tell B you don't care about his issues.
  • The GM let the drama go on in guildchat too long, rather than telling you both to take it to tells right away.
  • You /gquit in a huff.
  • B tries to make things up with you via whispers.
  • You are verbally hostile to B and put him on /ignore.
  • The GM tries to coax you back to the guild, even with all of the drama you've been causing in her "no drama" guild.
  • You issue her an ultimatum.
What I don't see here, and from your information it doesn't look like it happened, is your asking the GM how she felt about the "inappropriate" flirting. She's a friend. You could have offered her some consolation and advice, or accepted her statement that it wasn't a problem at all. So you let your friend the GM down.

I also don't see any reference to B's behavior being against the guild rules. It is not up to one member to determine what is inappropriate behavior in guildchat. But,it is always inappropriate to snipe and argue in guildchat, particularly in a drama-free guild. It is also never appropriate to /gquit in a huff.

After all of your bad behavior, the fact that both B and the GM wanted to mend fences is rather magnanimous on their part. It does make me wonder: is there actually something going on between them and they feel guilty that it affected you so negatively? Or are they genuinely nice people who just feel this incident got out of hand? I'm not sure, but you may not have actually burned a bridge with this guild -- through no fault of your own.

Did I make you feel bad enough yet? I don't like doing it, but I do think it's necessary for you to see what actually happened here. Now you have to make a decision, Irked. Do you want to return to this guild, knowing that the flirting is still going to continue and that guildchat will be awkward for a while after you return? Or do you want to find a casual home with stricter guildchat rules? Regardless of which you choose, I think you should apologize to both B and the GM -- separately and in whispers. It was none of your business and you overreacted. After that, you can humbly ask to return, or let them know you're going to go your own way.

May you find a new home or be comfortable in your old one. Let us know what happens ... if you're still talking to me.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: Irked, the weather's finally cooling off where I live, and I was just enjoying a cooler breeze through the windows, ruffling my hair -- but you're making me jam on the mama hat, darn it. Gotta wear the uniform, though, because this is definitely a basic with the kids: We don't hit other people just because we saw them throwing rocks first.

Nothing in this string of events, Irked, shows that you gave any considerable thought to anyone or anything beyond your own sense of righteous indignation. Your poor, challenged patience is no excuse to throw courtesy and respect out the window. You treated B badly because you disapproved of his behavior. (Please, oh please don't whine, "But he did it first!") You grabbed all your toys and ran home at the first sign that playtime wasn't going your way. ("Sorry, guys, guess you're not as important as getting my way!") Then you slammed the virtual door in your friend B's face when he tried to smooth things over, and you topped that by doing it yet again to your guild leader.

You'll notice that nowhere in this discussion is the question of whether your guildmates' behavior and reactions were right or wrong. That's because it's time to pipe down and mind your own business, Irked. Right about now, said business includes apologies to the people (your friends, right?) you offended. Then if they'll have you, get your butt back into that guild. Yes, you've made a mess of things (and a fool of yourself). It happens. (A little less in the future, we hope.) Don't throw away your friends in the bargain.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

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