The word politics is defined as : activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organisation. It is a practice that occurs in schools, social settings, work places and you guessed it, the paranormal field. There are always many casualties in the field where sometimes even the most well intentioned people just can’t handle it anymore and throw their white flag up and leave. It is not because they don’t love the work or have reached the end of their research, it is because they can’t put up with the politics or bullshit for a better word.
Social media has seen a massive rise in paranormal groups and public figures. Most groups have a Facebook page or discussion group and it is a way for us to showcase what we are doing and invite people along for the ride. It can be a great place for minds to interact and have discussions and to also promote events, podcasts, videos, youtube channels and hey even blogs! It is also a pretty great place if you want to torment, bully and effectively ruin a person. All in the name of - they think they know better.
Sneaky comments worded well enough so a person isn’t named but you know exactly who they are talking about, sometimes they even just name them. Groups competing with other groups. People purposely trolling pages or giving bad reviews. Gossip about things which sometimes have never even happened are blown out of proportion, hate parody groups are created on facebook, threats and just some plain old nastiness are just some of the things that platforms like Facebook have made so much easier. If something is written on Facebook it must be true right?
There is no top dog or number 1 in the field and nor will there be. There will be certain people in the spotlight at different times as they are usually receiving praise for achieving something. Something they have probably spent years working towards. Why can't they get a little recognition? Why do we attack or dismiss what they have done because 'we weren't there' or we have heard rumours about them? Even people that are well known in the field have a responsibility here to lead by example. They have been in the field for a long time and have no doubt dealt with their fair share of crap over this time. How they deal with it reflects on them and allows them to lead by example. How someone responds is equally important. Participating in toxic activities in an attempt to boost a profile is not the way to go and in the end will probably catch up with you. Let people like you or your group because of what you do. Let your work speak for itself. Respect is so much more valuable than likes. If someone is doing something that upsets you, don’t read it, don’t watch it or don’t listen to it. If you don’t like how they investigate then don’t investigate with them. My son’s teacher is always pulling me aside at school because he is so focused on what everyone else is doing, that he fails to finish his own work. He is constantly watching everyone else with a running commentary. We are always saying to him ‘worry about yourself’ and this is advice I want to give to anyone out there in the field that may be involved in some sort of politics. You may not even realise it.
Don’t worry about what someone else is doing. Who cares if they have a better location. Who cares if they are getting more attention you think should be focused on yourself. Focus that energy into your own work. By monitoring and worrying about what everyone else is doing, it is affecting your work because you are not putting 100% in. You may think that you are but you are not completely focused if you are worried about what everyone else is doing. Enjoy what you are doing, I mean that is why we are all here. Sure we want answers but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t enjoy it. What does take the joy out of it is all of the above politics.
Follow who you want to follow. Surround yourself with people who will support and lift you up and not drag you down. Do what you want to do. Focus your energy on positive intent. Take some time off Facebook. You don’t have to be in all the Facebook groups or tell everyone every single time you are out investigating. You know some of the best times I have is when I am doing things ‘under the radar’ where the only people that know about it are the people I am with. No one else will ever see what we have done or where we did or why we did it, because it was just for us. Remember who you are doing all this for. You aren’t doing it for the likes and you don't need the validation of a facebook like for your work.
Finally, lets all be nice. If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it. Attacking someone on social media, what exactly is that achieving? Sometimes you are bringing more attention to something by making a big deal out of it. Don’t get caught up the ‘politics’. Take every thing you see or hear with a grain of salt. Someone always has something bad to say about someone, but remember you also only getting one side of the story. You are smart, trust your gut and focus that energy into your own work. Don’t get caught up in the politics or sadly you may not last. So many times in the past I have thought of chucking it in. There were many times where people tried to drag my name through the mud or take credit for my work. Whenever something good happened, there was always someone waiting in the wings to try and do something to take it away because they felt they were more deserving. These in most cases were people I had never met or even heard of before so why were they coming after me? I have even been betrayed in the past by people I considered friends from the field that basically wanted to get ahead anyway they could. I didn't want to continue because how many times can you be used and hurt? How many times can you do something and have someone else try to take credit for it or dismiss what you have done as meaningless? What I very quickly realised was it didn't matter what anyone thought because as hard as it may be to believe, I don't blog for anyone but myself. I really enjoy researching and I love writing. I focus my energy on something positive and if people read it and even learn something from it, it is an added bonus. So for me I couldn't give it up, but it made me change the way that I worked. I had to stop worrying about what I thought people were thinking about me or saying about me. I had to stop worrying about if people will be upset about an article or viewpoint. Sometimes I would sit on an article for months worried it could create backlash just for expressing an opinion different to mainstream. If you are going to put your thoughts out there on a public forum, you have to expect negativity and backlash, it is just the society we live in. So I learnt to brush it off. The abusive emails get deleted immediately and I don't even read them all the way through. I had to have the confidence in myself that I was being true to myself. So I took steps to be able to do that. For me, it also meant continuing my paranormal journey in a solo capacity and no longer being a part of a paranormal group which is where a lot of the stress came from.
When I decided to go on my own and do things my own way without having to worry about the opinion and needs of other people in a group. I could go and investigate where I wanted, when I wanted, when it suited me and not having to wait for a group of people to all be available at the same time. I could be myself on an investigation without worrying that my more rational way of investigating wasn't offending people who were more spirtual. I stopped following a lot of things of Facebook, I stopped checking what other people were doing and I just focused on my own stuff. I didn't have to worry about other people or groups trying to get the contracts we had. It meant that I wasn't running events anymore so I didn't have to worry if people had a good time or if the management at the venue was happy with us. When it came to social media, if I saw something that someone was doing that I thought was awesome I would tell them. If I saw something that I didn’t agree with, I stayed silent and kept scrolling. I moved on and didn’t worry about it and 5 minutes later I had forgotten about it. Ill be honest there have been times in the past where I would be caught up on something that happened or something someone said or did and I'd talk to people about it, complain and I guess even bitch about it. What did it achieve? Absolutely nothing besides making me more frustrated. I had to let that side of it go. I came to realise that we all have our own ways of doing things and just because someone does something different to me or believes differently, doesn't make me right or them wrong. It was just our opinions which we are all entitled to.
Not everyone is going to get along. It doesn't work in life, and it doesn't work in the field. Sometimes there is someone you just won't get along with. We can’t pretend that we are in the this unified field because we are not. But what we can do, is not get caught up in all the bullshit and do what it is that we came here to do. It comes with time and I guess more experience in my case to be able to come to this point. You live and you learn and I really learnt the hard way. I learnt the person that I wanted to be. I am the happiest I have ever been within the paranormal field, because in a lot of ways, I am now oblivious to the politics going on and I am being completely true to myself and expressing my own voice confidently. I am only focusing on my own work and the positive contribution other people and groups are making to the field. Try it and you won't be sorry! Let's start enjoying the field again and build each other up instead of tearing each other down. It is not going to get rid of the politics because that will always be there, but you won't really notice or even care.
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