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Rules For Requesting Guidance & Replying To Requests

The rules below apply to the “Requests for Guidance” Posts in the Community.

Comments that violate these rules will be removed. The commenter will be notified why the comment was removed and what they can do differently so their comment is approved. If your comment is removed, please do not contact Marshall and his team to discuss it. Our decisions are final.

Rules For Requesting Guidance:

  1. Be specific about what you need in terms of guidance: Tools, strategies, what would you do
  2. Do not include graphic details of violence or harm in your comment, including sexualized violence, physical violence of any type, suicide, mentions of murder in your request
  3. Do not mention names of others involved
  4. Do not vent; venting is where a person shares all the details and emotions they have about a situation in order to get it off their mind or chest, so to speak. You can vent here: https://fd.freesetheslf.com
    1. Venting example: “I am so tired of my ex and his bullshit! I can’t take this. It is so, so frustrating. I hate him!”
    2. Guidance example: “What are some ways I can keep myself sane while dealing with him?”
  5. Do not mention spiritual, religious, or political topics in your comments; please review the Rules Governing Spiritual and Religious Discussion
  6. Trigger warnings:
    • I ask that trigger warnings be applied to any comment that involves:
      • Sexualized violence
      • Physical violence in any form
      • Mentioning of suicide
      • Mentioning of death and severe illnesses
      • Detailed descriptions of emotional/physical/mental cruelty

Rules for RESPONDING To Requests For Guidance:

  1. Do not mention spiritual, religious, or political topics in your comments; please review the Rules Governing Spiritual and Religious Discussion
  2. Do not dig on trauma and pain. Simply acknowledge and empathize.
    1. This involves digging into their pain with probing questions or trying to “unearth” trauma or
  3. Do not respond to comments where you feel an emotional charge. Instead, step away for a few hours, soothe your reaction and care for yourself
  4. Do not include graphic details of violence or harm in your comment, including sexualized violence, physical violence of any type, suicide, mentions of murder in your reply. This DOES NOT HELP.
  5. Do not promote yourself by linking to resources you’ve created; you’ll be removed without notice
  6. Do not argue with commenters; if you have a complaint or concern, take to a private conversation with that person. Do not contact Marshall or his team. We will not moderate these things.
  7. No aggression: If a commenter is accusatory or aggressive, the commenter will automatically be placed on post approval and discussion of the post’s approach will begin in the threads of the post.
  8. Consider Context first. What is context? Context is the background, situation, history, or pattern of experience the post creator has.It is easy to infer context, but that creates assumptions that often lead to feedback that isn’t constructive or useful to the post creator.
    1. Context is built by asking questions that help you understand their situation. I use these kinds of questions often:How often does this happen?
    2. Is this a pattern in the relationship?
    3. What is your history with this behavior and this person?
    4. What have you tried before?
    5. Questions lead to understanding; understanding creates connection; connection brings peace and co-regulation to distress.
  9. Don’t command. Instead, inquire and suggest:
    1. Command statements contain direct commands, often use the words, “should, must, have to, if you don’t,”; these are not allowed. I understand if this is challenging. This is a bad habit we gained from codependency
    2. Instead, Inquire: “What would you do?” or “what do you think I should do?”
      1. Inquiry is respectful, mature, and healthy. It gets the individual aligned with themselves and helps them navigate their reality. Remember, they’re the ones that live with the outcome – not you. Point them to their own wisdom
    3. Suggestions: This is where you can offer things that have worked for you or others
      1. Phrase it like this, “hey, have you thought about?” or “For me, this…”
      2. This keeps things in the realm of healthy helping and allows the other person to choose what they do
      3. Explore phrasing actions you think would help as questions, “what do you think about doing (action)?” or “For me, I did this. What do you think that would do for your situation?”
  10. If what you have to share feels blunt or confronting, please qualify it with “What I’m going to share is blunt, so read if/when you’re ready.” This helps the poster understand what they’re going to read and consent to it.
    1. Also, be mindful as to why you feel the impulse to be blunt. Ask yourself, “do I have all the facts? Do I understand the context? Are there questions I can ask to better understand what is happening for them?”
  11. Attempt to label to patterns of behavior rather than the person as “toxic”, “unhealthy”, or “a narcissist”. This helps train your brain to look at patterns of behavior more than just the person. This will be a challenge. Practice!
  12. Be mindful of your use of caps and of your tone within comments or posts. Refrain from accusations against others where there’s no evidence for the claimed behavior. Attempt to be direct, clear, and kind when sharing fear, hurt, pain. Assume positive intent here in The Community.
  13. Receive feedback from the original commenter you are replying to. If they say that you’re not understanding them, respect that and ask for clarification. Do not defend yourself or start an argument. You are welcome to disagree, but you are not welcome to fight here in the Community. Take all disagreements into private chat. Do not bring them to Marshall or his team. These are private matters between you and the other person. Comments that disagree will be either addressed directly in the comment thread or removed, per the discretion of Marshall and his team.
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