A Guide on Appreciated and Unappreciated Behavior. There are a list of questions we've found that needed to be asked and answered by our members in regards to how to appropriately approach another for a various number of reasons. So without further ado, here is an etiquette guide to try and help you along in being the best member and writing partner you can be. The proper and appropriate ways to welcome new members: When it comes to new members, we want them to feel welcomed here with open arms. So as such, we encourage our members to meet and greet with them and welcome them to our site. When you go in there read through not only their comments, but other’s as well so that you can perhaps find something new to talk about and welcome them for, or so you can find some common ground not only between you and the new member but between you and existing members as well. The more you learn about each other the more friendly you can become. Common ground helps us all to relate and allows friendships and writing partnerships to really flourish. Try to personalize every message you leave. Having a prerecorded greeting that is the same for everyone can seem impersonal and lead to hurt feelings or the feeling of being less welcomed than you may intend. How to not be rude about the things you don't like: We all have things we don’t like. We all have things we don’t like in general and about one another. There are times those things we don’t like are going to come up because others do. There is nothing wrong with expressing the fact that you don’t like something. But it is best to do it in such a way that those that do like it aren’t made to feel bad for enjoying the things they do. At the same time, we also want to make sure that the people expressing a dislike are not left out and made to feel bad for not liking something. We want all of our members to feel at home and comfortable here. If a topic comes up that is making you uncomfortable, politely expressing, “I’m sorry, but this topic makes me very uncomfortable, can we please talk about something else?” is sometimes the best way to go. Making snide comments about certain topics or people’s interests can be viewed very negatively and the more there are the more likely it can be viewed as harassment. Having courtesy for those being made to feel uncomfortable is something that is expected here on The Expanse RP Board. It is also expected that if many or most people are enjoying a conversation that is all in all harmless, allowing those people to finish their conversation is just as polite and considerate at times, even if it’s not a conversation you personally enjoy. Remember, there is a time and place for everything. It can be difficult to know when it’s appropriate to speak up and change the subject yourself or to politely bow out until the content naturally changes on its own. When in doubt, you can always ask a staff member to help you in that situation. We’re more than happy to step in and help mediate if needed at times. "Freedom of Speech" does not apply here - only Flexibility of Speech. This is a private website. You are welcomed to voice your opinions and believe what you want to believe - but not at the expense of forcing those opinions and beliefs on to others. Consider this our house. Should you become a problem in our house, you will get kicked out of our house. One final thing. We do not tolerate shaming of any kind for any reason. It is alright to express a dislike for something of course, but making another user feel bad about something they like or enjoy is not acceptable. Passive aggressive or snide remarks towards another user because of their tastes in roleplay or interests is frowned upon, and can lead to drama between members, something we would prefer to avoid. The differences between roleplaying characters and their writers: When it comes to roleplay, many people do not see the difference, and many more have a hard time understanding the difference that a character is not a writer. Even with members that create characters with similarities or as extensions of themselves, these characters are not ourselves and do not blur that line. Being clear with your partners that this is /just/ roleplay, not real life, and that you have no intentions of developing anything in real life with them is always a good idea when it comes to writing with a partner that is only looking to write relationships, smut or something more than that. Declining role play ideas in a neutral way, either because of the idea, or the partner: We’ve all come across that one or two RP idea that we felt just did not mesh well with our own interests or writing styles. Saying no to a potential writing partner is not wrong. You are within your rights to say no. There are, however, polite ways to do so without making your turned down partner feel inferior or upset. Politely telling a partner, “I’m sorry, but I don’t really find this idea to be a part of my interests,” or, “I’m sorry but I don’t think our writing interests or styles match well enough for us both to be able to enjoy the RP properly,” are two good ways to express this without coming off as rude or condescending. Of course, there are those that will always take offense or will always feel badly for such a response. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about that. You can’t control how another person is going to feel or react, however, you can control what you say and do. Being nice, clear, concise, and firm with another member is likely the best way to go to avoid trouble and hurt feelings. Beating around the bush can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications, and can hurt you in the long run. Just because you’re nice to another person does not mean that you give in to them when it’s not something you want to do. Telling someone clearly, “no thank you” is not wrong, nor is it rude. Losing interest in a roleplay: The same could be said when you lose interest in a roleplay. The majority of writers would prefer you to tell them you’re losing interest rather than just vanishing from an RP and ignoring them. It can be quite hurtful to see one of your partner's, writing with other’s but leaving your RP with them alone for weeks and months on end. Honesty is sometimes the best policy when it comes to this situation. Let your partner know that you’ve lost interest and try to express why you’ve lost interest in a polite and nice way. Sometimes when you do so the two of you can hash out the problem and either 1. Make the RP more interesting to continue, or 2. Come up with a new roleplay idea that you both can agree on and find a new excitement for. Accepting refusals for roleplays: That all brings us to this. There are going to be times when your idea or proposal is rejected. Begging another user to write with you after they’ve already declined is a sure fire way to result in hurt feelings eventually when the other user has to become a little more than firm with you to get it across that they’ve said no. There are /many/ writers available at our disposal here on The Expans RP Board, and where one says no another might say yes. The best way to accept a rejection graciously is to simply say, okay, I understand, and move on and keep trying with new members you haven’t asked yet. Do not "Spite Delete" roleplay content from the site: Things happen: be it a falling out with partners or a disliking for the site. However, the content you post here is a collaboration with others- you both share the work put into it. Neither of you own exclusive rights to it. Deleting your roleplay content from a collaboration is against site policy. Note on nudging partners / making sure it's not harassment: And now we come to this. There are times, I’m sure we’ve all experienced when a partner takes weeks to respond to your RP and you often times find yourself wondering where they are at. Politely nudging your partner to see where they are at with your post is not only to be expected but isn’t all that unreasonable. If a couple of weeks have gone by you are more than welcome to send a note to your partner asking if everything is okay and when you might be able to expect a post. Asking them if they’re still interested or just checking in with them, in general, is also quite reasonable. With busy people and busy lives sometimes roleplaying can get put on the backburner, and at other times forgotten about. It can happen to the best of us. And finding out where you stand is a natural and reasonable thing to want to know. However, constantly pestering a partner for a post, ie: asking them for a reply every day or even several times a day, especially when you know they might be busy, is not as acceptable. When you go from a simple note to ask, to a constant barrage of inquiries, it can be seen by your partner as harassment and can make a partner lose interest in roleplaying with you. Learning to be patient can sometimes be difficult, but it is something that is well appreciated with busy members that have jobs, children, and staff duties on top of their RP’s. A good guide to help in this is to discuss when is a good time to request a post with your partner. Some people will do posts daily, others will take a week before a poke is good to go. It's about what two people agree on between them. Also seeing where they are on replies, we all have busy lives and more the one role play, so seeing where you stand on when your reply may be up is another great way in poking for a reply. Exsnay on the Possessive Behavior: First we have to say that we understand that relationships develop, either offsite, onsite, or even those that preexist before you came here. However, possessive behavior is frowned upon, to an extent. Within existing relationships, we also understand that agreed upon rules are sometimes established. That's great and we happily accept that. However, if it's going to lead to drama please keep it between yourselves. Coming here and establishing relationships with members though, strictly to keep them all to yourselves and to restrict them from being able to roleplay freely on the site with other members is unacceptable. Starting drama in the chats or other public spaces of the site with other members for roleplaying with your partner who has chosen freely to roleplay with others is unacceptable. The best way to handle such issues between intimate partners is to contain that intimacy and any arguments, disagreements, or drama regarding roleplaying with others between the two of you solely and do not involve other members in the fray. If you feel that you are having such an issue with a member being possessive over you and restricting what you can write or who you can write with, and you've already tried making sure the person understands what you want, or to back off, please log the necessary information and provide it to a staff member for help. We can and will help where we can. Warning signs of creepy manipulators and how to handle them: There are some easy ways to tell if someone is being creepy or manipulative. Diving straight into discord and asking for personal messages and whatnot from people that person has never spoken to. (Especially in a cyber manner). Stalking. If a conversation isn't returned or the person doesn't seem interested, then proceeding to browse through their posts and comment / try and drag out communication even if it's not happening naturally. (Not in a way of just making friends, We mean if someone is targeting a specific person around the forums.) Excessive sexual or snide remarks toward you. Such as jokes and whatnot. Or if they've been rejected and start to resort to snide remarks and/or rumor basing information about you. Constantly asking members offsite for Discord or other messengers, so just finding members to take off-site for whatever purpose. Becoming overly friendly with role play partners and then proceeding to attempt cybering through a seemingly safe role play partner relationship. Making a 'claim' on someone as 'your' something, so possessive behavior really. This could be seen as manipulative especially if it ends up affecting who that person roleplays with. Behavior that attempts to pressure people into posting. Such as frequent posts on status messages about not having replies to do, although that person has several roleplays. Things like that, but in excess, so it's either around the forums or discord in a way that most people have seen this and therefore so have their partners. Gaining access to a person's personal information, either by them giving it away, or other nefarious means, and using said personal info to blackmail them into doing things they would not otherwise do. Trying to coerce people into real-life relationships that border on abuse, or trying to coerce people into sending nudes or camming. These can all be signs of creepy or manipulative behavior. If you feel someone is being manipulative with you or using things about you in order to blackmail you into doing things you do not wish to do. Take screenshots of the logs and bring them to a staff member for help. Negative topics and how they apply: We all understand that people need to vent from time to time. Even frequently. But there is a difference between venting between friends and trying to use the site as a counseling service. Something we must be clear on is that we’re not counselors. We are not trained in any way shape or form to be able to help you combat personal issues and/or mental health disorders. If you have a severe problem that leads you to be harmful to yourself or others, please contact a professional. You can also contact the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website Here. You can contact a help service as well through HopeLine at 919-231-4525 or 1-877-235-4525 or by visiting their website Here. These are trained professionals that are far better equipped to handle and help cope with severe mental health disorders, suicide, or harmful actions. If you’re having a problem and need help now, call them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We expect that drama and hateful, hurtful, or harmful subjects be left at the door as much as possible, outside venting occasionally about your day or an issue you may be dealing with between friends. If we see frequent harmful or negative comments from you on your wall, in our chat, or on the forums, we may come and speak to you. Otherwise, we try to keep the site and its chat as positive and enlightening as we can and prefer that touchy subjects that lead to heated discussions or arguments be left off our site. Credit to Diana for the original guide.