I've been apart of the furry community for a while now, but I never met a furry until I moved here about 3 months ago. I was searching to try and meet furries, and soon I found some and was integrated into a nice little furry circle of friends. I love it and they are all awesome. But other furries that are part of the official group and aren't in our circle of friends are for some odd reason bringing up drama from the past and it's gotten to the point where I may now be unwillingly involved and threatened to involve another furry friend of mine, scaring her to the point of leaving all of the fur groups and blocking everyone on FB who was a furry until this blew over.
The stuff that's happening is being blown way out of proportion and I want nothing to do with this other little group of troublemakers. All of this drama apparently started before I had joined and as much as my group of friends just want's nothing to do with it and back off, the other group has one individual that continues to harass us.
Me and my friends were debating dropping out of the current group and creating a new group just for us and people we invite to communicate and have fun without the drama and just forget about their harassment. But they were able to obtain things like my phone number and where I live when I don't store things like that on the internet. I also have the feeling that all they really want to do anyway is stir up drama. What should I do?
Dear Troubled Fur,
This is a little difficult for Papabear to answer as your letter does not give a lot of details, so it is hard to know exactly what is going on. If I have this straight, you joined a group of furries that, apparently, had experienced a bit of drama with another “official” group of furries (not sure what makes their group more official than yours, but whatever) before you joined the group, and now this other group of furries won’t let it go, even though you have tried to put distance between you. It sounds, too, as if one furry in particular is causing most of the headaches.
It’s not clear to Papabear why they are targeting you, apparently, when you had nothing to do with the original issue. From what I can tell in your letter, it sounds like another case in which an irrational person wants to hurt other people in order to make him/herself feel better about his/her own life. In other words: a bully.
There are several ways of dealing with a bully. The best way, as you have already tried, is to ignore him or her until they get tired of trying to (unsuccessfully) annoy you and go away. Bullies thrive on attention, and they dry up and blow away like old dog feces in the desert sun when they are ignored.
Now, you don’t say that any of this has become physically threatening, so I will assume it hasn’t. On the other hand, it is very disturbing that, even though you did not make your contact information readily available online, this person has sought it out, found it out, and now has located you again and is again, apparently, bullying you.
Your next option is to confront the bully. Have you been able to talk to this person and try to straighten out the issue? Nine times out of ten, “drama” happens because of a misunderstanding. Effective communication can cause the other person to realize that he/she was all wrong and there was really nothing to be angry about.
Let’s say, next, that you either have tried to talk to this person and nothing was resolved, or you were unable to get them to talk to you. Now you are at the point where you need to double your efforts to cut this person out of your existence so you can get on with your life and have fun with your furiends.
The first thing you need to do is stop them from calling you. I’m sure you have already blocked them from contacting you online; now you can do the same thing with your phone. There are several apps you can download on your phone, including “Mr. Number” and “Call Block” that you can use to block someone from calling you from a particular number. These two are free, and there are also some that charge a small fee. For your land line, if you have one, you need to contact your phone company, give them the offending number, and tell them to block it.
Now, if this person is actually coming to your HOME and harassing you, you have the law on your side. You can contact your local police and tell them you believe you are being stalked. You can even, in extreme cases, get a restraining order. You might, too, find out what your local cyberbullying and cyberharassing laws are. Recent tragedies have led lawmakers to beef up these laws to protect people who have reason to believe they are in serious danger. I’m not sure if this is the case with you—and I hope it isn’t!—but it can be your final resort.
An important step in making your case against being harassed is to document everything. Whenever this person calls you, write down the number, date, and time of the call and what transpired. If they send you emails or IMs, save them. If they are writing you letters, save them. If they come to your door, take pictures of them or record them on video, and if they ask you what you are doing, tell them you are keeping a record of what they are doing.
I really hope that the problems you are having with this bully are not that extreme and can be resolved with rational dialog, but I am trying to cover all the bases here, since I don’t know for sure what is going on.
If you can’t make this person go away by ignoring them, then do what Papabear does: get your grrr on! Stick up for yourself and defend your territory, which, in this case, is you and your friends having the right to enjoy being furries without fear of being harassed by petty people.
Good luck! Let Papabear know how it works out!
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