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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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[rant] Poserphobia
nyah, tongueout, glasses, nerd
One of the problems which I can percieve occuring in the Otherkin and Were communities- and I'm certain many, many more- is Poserphobia.

Actually, that's not quite accurate. "Poserphobia" would break down as "the fear of posers." As I mean it, it means...

Poserphobia: n. The fear of appearing to be a poser, even though you're telling the truth.

This is more complicated than it looks.

People who have real metaphysical abilities, or just a number of odd experiences, may be a bit resistant to sharing them. I am one of those people. I- and others, I'm certain- do not tell of my abilities or my experiences for the fear of being cast out of the community- the only group availible where I can vent stress caused by my nature. It's a much-needed release.

But what if I were to share some of the more suspect parts of my reality? What if I shared the odd experiences I have?

I don't, because I'd probably get thrown out for it. It a.) sounds too much like what happened to someone else, and b.) is too unbelievable anyway, and the first person was better established in the community or mocked and disbelieved.

So what do I do? I make a few passing remarks here and there, and gauge the reaction. Is it safe for me to express myself, to share the even odder occurances?

I've come up with a rather definitive "no," and I hate it.

I've got a few Private posts- posts which I, and only I, can read. Not many, but a few. And they're all on this type of thing. I gotta put it somewhere.

This is probably a lot more common than would be expected, since people just flat-out don't mention it, even deny it when directly asked.

A few case histories, though, would seem to point otherwise. What about kaijima and baxil who share their metaphysical experiences... sometimes?

Well, look at the names I dropped! They're established in the community. Would you find it likely that either of them would be cast out for such claimes? Especially with evidence and confirmation on their side?

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I do think Bax and Kai really have these abilities, and do not consider either of them "posers" in any sense of the word. My use of them as examples is only because they do share their experiences, and they are so well founded in the community.

"But surely," you're saying, "people do share this type of thing? Who would keep it a secret?"

kistaro, for one. thrames is, from mentions on other posts, another example.

And probably a surprisingly large percentage of others, who still hide their ability or experiences.

But there are more problems than appearing at first. Currently, there's a very real chance of a misaccusation of KPKness (Kosmic Powar Kid) if you share it; but if it becomes acceptable to share such abilities, then people who really are Kozmik Powar Kidz will likely start causing problems- and not get called out for it.

I don't even see a middle ground. But something has to be done...

but what?

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I am a r0x0ring dragon prince with an army of familiars and magical things, and I use uberpowerful forcefields that will protect me when my friend's destroy the world weekly.

You have a point- 1337-5p33< is a good indication.

8|_|+ 1 4/\/\ ['|-||_|_|3|\|+ 1|\| |_33+5['34|< 4|\||) 1 4/\/\ |\|0 ['053|2

True, but you use it for comic relief purposes.

It's not a deadset indicator; it's just a good clue that whoever is addressing you in such a manner has a serious, chronic case of lameritis, which doesn't go well with claims of great importance.

But as I stated- and using you as an example- there really is the very real chance that such is true.

I'm not going to even try to read that... I get 'But I am' and then it all merges into weirdness.

KPKs using l33t sp33k makes them look like they're saying 'I'm a supremely powerful being - oh, and look, I can make my typing harder to read for no good reason! Go me!'

"But I am phluent in leetspeak and I am no poser"

My head hurts now.

I can understand the concern. It's not really something I can comment too much upon, as I have no experiences I can really share with anyone anyway; it's not an issue.

However, I can compare it to school in a way. F'rinstance, I got 20 out of 25 in my previous History coursework (I got 25 in my other one, which equalises it out). That's a B, and not what I'm really aiming for if I want to go to Cambridge. As I was waiting to ask my teacher how I could improve it, I heard the girl in front of me being quite happy about the fact that she should probably get a B. I felt really guilty then... how can I say I expect more? I sound full of myself for saying so.

It's not the same issue, but I think both connect - both that and poserphobia are about not wanting to put yourself across as big-headed (for want of a better word).

*nod* I've seen that picture before.

It's a vicious circle because even if you do have such abilities, any of the following could happen right when someone says "prove it":

A) Your energy levels are too low.
B) Surprised at the challenge, you ramp into overdrive and temporarily short out. (Any attempt to do it later is dismissed because you couldn't do it 'on demand')
C) Someone in the 'audience' is a nullifier and you're not strong enough to break through their powered disbelief. (a la Amazing Randi)
D) The Pixie that's been playing with your hair all day gets a brilliant idea for a prank.

Also, even if it does work right, you might not be using the same terms as the group and some more venerable individual says they get something completely different. Thanks for playing.

But. If we give people a little time with no pressure, then ask them to back up any claims, things might go better.

I've got two things that aren't 100% reliable but that keep popping up; a universal translator and the 'kenning.' I actually had someone do the 'prove it' bit for the translator, and I think having it sprung on me like that actually helped in that case. The kenning is just 'knowing things.' It's unpredictable, unreliable, and almost never useful in any practical way, but I find it next to impossible to ignore.

As for sharing the weirdness in my life. Well, I do. I'm just careful how I do. For example, I might clam up entirely at a gather, open up a little on a list, and I do pretty much spill everything in my journal. Varying degrees and levels of comfort. I don't even lock my journal entries because that's 'home ground.'

I don't really have to worry about it in real life because my friends already know all about me. ;-)

The thing that bugs me is when you mention that you did something (once or a long time ago or under very specific circumstances) and someone decides you should prove it, right now. Boggles the mind, especially when you were mentioning it out of the hope that someone else might be able to help you do it again.

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