Normally, I would post the following as a comment under the original letter, but in this case I think my reply deserves its own post. The following is a response to this letter. It is a good example of what happens when writers to this column aren't really clear about the situation about which they are asking.
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Your response wasn't what I expected, at all. The fact you are accusing me of furthering drama that degrades the furry community is really a low blow and I sense a very aggressive overtone in your message. To answer your question I did finish the handpaws for him, since I didn't want to be in debt to him and having him posses power over me any longer.
After reading my initial message again, I see that I left out quite a bit of information. This interaction that sparked the entire fire happened over 3 years ago, given I have matured a lot in the recent few years as everyone does at university. I can see my errors and I'd like to rather see these as life experience than outright shortcomings. I have my fair share in selfish reactions in response to the situation and what happened and I have apologized to FurX for this and I've really been trying to move on from what happened.
Your response is quite accusing of my own behavior and given the information I gave you I can understand why you feel the way you do. I know for a FACT that his intentions of starting to make suits wasn't as pure and was simply to get attention and wanting to be better than me or anyone else for that matter. He has confessed to people that his only intention for even making suits is for the attention. I am honestly happy for him that he made his suit ,because before he made his own suit he would sit and sulk at meets where I or anyone else for that matter had our own suits there. Like a jealous petty child.
He is an EXTREMELY toxic and jealous person and isn't well received by our local community for this, as I even said in my original message he oppressed someone who considered him a friend merely because of the fact she started making her own suits and loving it and she is better than him at it because she has a pure passion for making the suit and making others happy probably a more pure intention than my own by the looks of it. He did the exact same to her what he did to me. He even told her that he doesn't understand why she gets commissions and he doesn't, he won a cosplay contest with his work and she didn't.
Your response is exactly what enrages me about this entire situation, his pathetic behavior is scoring him sympathy from outsiders. It's exactly the type of game he plays. He is the scourge this community can do without, but yet you accuse me of wanting to be "popufur"!? When his literal only agenda for doing anything, for entering a cosplay contest with a fursuit, for making a suit, for doing anything within the community is solely for the intention of garnering the attention of others.
We are in a communal telegram group started by myself to promote our local artists and crafters in our community, when others post their work in progress he rips them to shreds with condescending aggressive messages and criticism that breaks others down instead of giving valuable input to help others improve on their work. He constantly complains about how hard his life is and needs his ego stroked whenever he posts anything on the group. I try to be as objective as I can when it comes to his work but he makes it really difficult, it's come to the point where I just don't want to post anything I do anymore on the group due to him responding the way he does. It's a sick and toxic situation and I've been actively trying to work around it or resolve it.
Yet you accuse me of doing this? You feel I need a wake up call?
I give and give and try my best to resolve things but it's a one way street apparently and the more I try the more I come across as the person in the wrong? If I ignore him he gets worse, If I actively go out of my way to try and resolve things I get accused of being the toxic person? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
I've been trying to get out of this proverbial drama pit, but he constantly drags me back into it with petty behavior, passive aggressive responses to everything I say and do on chat groups. But it's my fault? Even though I've tried my absolute best to make amends, apologized to him on MANY times for my behavior yet he never does the same? It's easy to say just ignore his actions, but how much can a person really take before breaking?
To answer your 3 advice points directly
1)These hand paws were finished within a year of the initial agreement
2)I have done so, on multiple occasions in many different forms but it seems to always be in vain
3)I'm not jealous of him, I might have been intimidated by him starting to make his own suit back then since I was the fursuit maker of the community and was promoted as such and it did go to my head a bit. Your intial assumption of me acting in a manner that only benefits myself might have been correct was it 3 years ago, as I confessed I did act in a selfish manner of wanting to be "THE" maker, I have moved on from this mindset and I now actively go out of my way to try and help others starting the craft by giving them advice and constructive criticism. I guess I hate seeing in him what I saw in myself back then and that's what drives me to want to resolve it and give him advice where I can to help him out of the mindset. Yet it's always badly received by him and I come across as the person in the wrong.
Am I really to blame for his jealousy, how much of his behavior can I really be blamed for? I have done some injustices in the past and I have tried to correct these as I stated so many times on multiple occasions. I've tried moving on with my life, he somehow manages to worm himself right back into it. He wasn't in our crafters group until very recently and he just overwhelms it with his negativity, attention seeking petty behavior and if I call him out for it I'm in the wrong?
I'm honestly at an impasse where I'm highly considering just dropping all the furry stuff and moving on with my life as to get him out of my life for good. Maybe myself "leaving" the community would be what's best for it?
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I can only offer my replies based on the information I have been given. My original response was therefore appropriate. And I certainly stand by my advice that goes back not just to Mom but to Shakespeare: "Never a borrower nor a lender be." You also did not make clear that you had completed the paws, which is great, but I also stand by the statement that you should not have agreed to do something you didn't have time or desire to do. I am glad to hear that you have tried to apologize, and it is too bad he has not, apparently, accepted this apology.
Now my turn to apologize. I'm sorry I misinterpreted your letter and the situation. I'm also glad you have matured, but you need to not only mature but also move on. The letter you wrote to me portrayed a situation and a person (you) as they existed in 2016. My response was completely appropriate for 2016, as you yourself confess you were concerned about your reputation etc. etc.
So, back to square one, answering the question you initially asked. What does one do with a bothersome furry who has been causing drama for three years now and won't stop? It would have been much simpler, in this case, if you had simply asked something like, "What do I do about an annoying furry who criticizes everyone else's fursuit creations?"
The answer is that you treat them the same way you would any other troll. Ignore them, block them, shun them away. The only reason people do this sort of thing is to gain attention, and you are catering to that. NO, you are NOT to blame for his jealousy. You are not to blame for the way other people behave, just the way you behave. By letting this guy get to you, you are letting him win. AND! If you decide you will be "dropping all this furry stuff and moving on with my life" you definitely are giving up and letting him win.
Remember this, if nothing else: it takes at least two people for drama to be a problem: the drama giver and the drama receiver. Don't be a drama receiver? How? Well, by not allowing yourself to be upset by it, by not giving the other person power by reacting to it. Silence is your weapon. When I get criticized, I always think of this: "Do I respect the other person who is criticizing me?" For example, if my fiance, Michael, gave me harsh criticism, that would hurt me a lot because I love and respect him, and I would try to do something to improve myself and my actions. Do you respect and admire FurX? Obviously not, so why the hell do you care what he says? He's not worth it.
It takes two to tango, which also reflects back on my first letter in which I said you are part of the reason all this drama is still going on after three long years.
My advice is to make this letter your last one regarding FurX. Don't talk to him. Don't read his posts. Don't listen to him. And certainly don't give him the power to take away something you enjoy doing.
Hope you like this response better than my last one. And I hope you stay in the furry community. I'm sorry for any part I might have played in discouraging you.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.