Forums > Model Colloquy > Please People... Communication Is Key!

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

I don't use MM to find modeling talent very often, and for a very good reason, unbelievably poor communication on the part of the models. For instance, I recently contacted 10 models here on MM for a paid project. My budget was $500.00 for two hours of non-nude work. The person I wanted for the part responded quickly, but before we could begin any conversation about the project, she disappeared. One person responded about 10 days after I contacted her. I texted her to let her know that I had already shot the project having used a brick and mortar agency model, she didn't even read the text for another four days. I could go on ad nauseam, but I think you get the drift.

I'm headed into a phase of my career that requires alternate lifestyle models, basically that means talent willing to go places that brick and mortar talent isn't allowed to go. And that means Model Mayhem. However, if my experience in these hallowed halls continues in the same direction, I'll need to look elsewhere.

My advice to the talent on this site... act like professionals and answer your texts in a timely manner.

May 08 22 06:21 pm Link

Clothing Designer

veypurr

Posts: 420

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

MM I think for most models is an afterthought. I have had many models respond on Instagram within the hour but usually by the next day.

May 08 22 07:34 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

veypurr wrote:
MM I think for most models is an afterthought. I have had many models respond on Instagram within the hour but usually by the next day.

If your information is correct, I consider it tragic.

May 08 22 07:42 pm Link

Model

Alexandra Vincent

Posts: 294

Asheville, North Carolina, US

MM gained a poor reputation in the freelance model community, due to various issues over the years. These issues include everything from not having an up-to-date app, on par with other social media apps, to MM photographers exhibiting blatant misogyny on message boards. Other complications involve cultural changes that younger models now tend to embody, but the more conservative MM community has not come around to hiring/welcoming. Mainstream culture has become more accepting of body modifications, diverse age ranges, body-types and gender expressions in models' features. MM still caters to "blank canvas" cis-femme bodies that are very tall, thin and young. As a result of this type of stuff - and complications with practical usage of MM with contemporary social media - most now use Instagram and Facebook groups as their primary marketing networks.

Right before the pandemic, I moved from being MM-based for many years, to booking primarily through IG and FB as well. I found photographers there responded faster, were more open to hiring older and tattooed models, and generally it was a fast-paced and pleasant way to network. MM is better in that it still allows uncensored artistic nudity, and has something of a "community" feeling intact, despite all the ups and downs. Model Society, by comparison, has very good-quality work, allows uncensored artistic nudes, but there is no sense of community there and traffic is extremely slow.

In my experience, models go where they will be most welcome and find the most truly suitable work. MM is a bit of a dinosaur that may not feel inclusive for today's models, whether that's due to certain types of bias or clunky technology.

May 09 22 08:34 am Link

Photographer

John Jebbia

Posts: 28555

Phoenix, Arizona, US

I remember when a paid casting call on here would get more inquiries than I knew what to do with. People keep saying to use Instagram and I know some people who are doing that with some success. I just haven't figured out how to do it efficiently. 1st gotta find out if they're even local, then gotta determine if she's even available for the type of work you want to shoot. Try sending a nude inquiry to the wrong model and see how quickly you'll get put on blast all over InstaTokBook.

I agree, it sure is frustrating these days. A friend and I joke that booking models these days is almost a full time job in and of itself.

May 09 22 10:50 am Link

Model

Iona Lynn 2

Posts: 32

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

No one wants to be professional on this site, even when they babble on their bios how professional they are and they have run studios, yada yada yada...
I've got messages from over 20 people that are more interested in getting me to say "yes" then actually telling me what I'd be agreeing to.

The one shoot I have booked, I worked with him over 14 years ago, the first time that was an awesome shoot!
The rest of the people who "want to shoot" won't even give me the barest minimum of info to go on, they just expect me to say "yes".

Oh well, their loss.

May 09 22 06:02 pm Link

Photographer

goofus

Posts: 803

Santa Barbara, California, US

I've been 'trying' facebook groups and IG for a while now - and my experience is they are no better ( and infact - worse than) MM models with regard to  replying

MM infact, works better because one can sort by location - try THAT on IG

May 11 22 10:23 am Link

Clothing Designer

veypurr

Posts: 420

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

goofus  wrote:
I've been 'trying' facebook groups and IG for a while now - and my experience is they are no better ( and infact - worse than) MM models with regard to  replying

MM infact, works better because one can sort by location - try THAT on IG

I contacted 3 models today on IG and all three responded within hours. I guess everyone's experience can differ.

May 11 22 04:03 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

veypurr wrote:
I contacted 3 models today on IG and all three responded within hours. I guess everyone's experience can differ.

What is the specific process for finding models on IG? I just logged on and did a search for models, and while a bunch of stuff came up none of it was easy in terms of finding talent in a specific area. Mind you, I'm not conversant with all things IG, so I'm likely missing something.

May 11 22 05:47 pm Link

Clothing Designer

veypurr

Posts: 420

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

Robert Randall wrote:

What is the specific process for finding models on IG? I just logged on and did a search for models, and while a bunch of stuff came up none of it was easy in terms of finding talent in a specific area. Mind you, I'm not conversant with all things IG, so I'm likely missing something.

You are correct, it is much more difficult and takes much more time.

1. Follow local photographers in your area and follow those tagged models in the photos
2. Once you follow the models they may have modeled with other local models, follow those tagged models as well.
3. Follow the hashtags specific to your area examples #chicagomodel #illinoismodel #312model etc. Once a model comes up on with that hashtag follow them.
4. Generally follow all artists in your area as they will probably follow, tag and be friends with more photographers and models in your area.
5. Spend many hours commenting and liking the models photos to build rapor . Make respectful and thoughtful comments
6. Make sure you have tons of your work online and post everday so the models can view your work. Some models only view stories so you have to post at least 4 stories everyday. Today alone I posted 6. This will also up.your interaction in your area that will boost your prominence.
7. Make sure the models you work with tag you so that other models who follow them can now see you.I
8. Respectfully send out messages asking about the models availability.
9.Overall you need to spend about 3 hours a day interacting on IG for success.

I estimate I have shot about 110 IG models over the last 5 years so it does work. All thel photographers will say they don't have time for this and I understand their point but you wanted to know how I get IG to work for me and that's how I do it.

May 11 22 06:35 pm Link

Model

Alexandra Vincent

Posts: 294

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Robert Randall wrote:

What is the specific process for finding models on IG? I just logged on and did a search for models, and while a bunch of stuff came up none of it was easy in terms of finding talent in a specific area. Mind you, I'm not conversant with all things IG, so I'm likely missing something.

One of the details people seem to forget about when they attempt to transition from platforms like MM, to social media, is the need to constantly post new content in order to stay relevant to the community of artists you are following. If you don't post, you don't receive "air time" on social media. Period. When you are used to the old school model of portfolio curation, IG and FB seem terrible because you are always having to create and make daily posts, while also stay interactive with others' newest posting. You can't just set it and forget it on newer platforms, as we always did on MM and back in the OMP days. It's a constant hustle on contemporary social media, but the payoff is quite large overall.

May 12 22 07:31 am Link

Photographer

Roaring 20s

Posts: 37

Los Angeles, California, US

Its the opposite in LA. 100s of replies to casting calls on MM and many quick responses. The irony is that this area is known for flaky people. But from what I can tell, its now the center of the gig/hustle economy. Economic pressures are pretty heavy/extreme here too, maybe that contributes.

Also cis-femme-slim is still super in.

There are many threads reporting MM being some sort of barren doldrums everywhere ... else. Maybe they all came to LA.

May 12 22 08:24 am Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

veypurr wrote:
I estimate I have shot about 110 IG models over the last 5 years so it does work. All thel photographers will say they don't have time for this and I understand their point but you wanted to know how I get IG to work for me and that's how I do it.

Thank you.

While I appreciate your insights, and have no doubt they work, you're also right about time limits. My particular needs can normally be met by using the brick and mortar agencies in Chicago. I typically come in here for the more alternative range of talent, which amounts to very little in my long game. I may do some of thew things you recommend, but posting 3D backplates 6 times a day is not only impractical, it's completely undoable. Some of the plates I create take weeks to finish.

May 12 22 08:36 am Link

Photographer

Roaring 20s

Posts: 37

Los Angeles, California, US

Robert Randall wrote:
Thank you.

While I appreciate your insights, and have no doubt they work, you're also right about time limits. My particular needs can normally be met by using the brick and mortar agencies in Chicago. I typically come in here for the more alternative range of talent, which amounts to very little in my long game. I may do some of thew things you recommend, but posting 3D backplates 6 times a day is not only impractical, it's completely undoable. Some of the plates I create take weeks to finish.

Regarding Instagram. A couple thoughts on that.

A) the criticisms on MM in this thread are that it hasn't really changed in 15 years. Well, Instagram's interface changes every other week, which is the opposite extreme. But this can affect everyone's experience, as the changes are done in an A/B test, which means changes don't roll out to all users at once, if ever. Specifically when it comes to direct messaging capabilities. It is a complete black box on whether your direct messages will even reach the model, its a shitty inboxing system there and it also changes all the time. So one person may have great experience, that has nothing to do with you.

B) content does make you relevant on instagram, but you don't need to show good content, or even content representative of your prime work. you can stuff your instagram with behind the scenes work on set, not you honing your craft, just goofing off with models. people love seeing models on set. this goes on "the story", which is different than the static pictures / portfolio you more readily see or might imagine. you tag the model on your story, the model shares on their story, all their friends want to have the same experience. you can ask them to do this as well. I like offering "account takeovers" during the shoot, or just resharing like friends.

C) Instagram lacks a way to geographically search or have model's stats. Leading to some necessary and awkward conversations (cup size? height?) is what it is. Models and people wanting to be models will respond to those personal questions okay.

D) There are ways around instagram's limitations, its a social graph. people are around similar people. Hanging out with models will show you their model friends and colleagues, you can create their social graph within two encounters. Its not as much work as you think. So next time you have an agency model over, follow that person on instagram. look at their tagged photos, watch their story. Follow the people they tag in their stories, or that tagged them in posts. Follow the brands and photographers that tagged them, this all means they are actively working and already know other models that showed up, DM them! Or look at those third person's tags! It'll fan out for your area so quick that you'll even wonder why you ever had to debate about it. Agency models have alt model friends too. But when you finally do get an alt model over, do the same for them to find all the other alt models.

May 12 22 09:43 am Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Robert Randall wrote:

"I don't use MM to find modeling talent very often, and for a very good reason, unbelievably poor communication on the part of the models. "

Is the model colloquy the best place for you to unload on the models?  It is interesting how you specify "the models."  Not a few models.  Not some or a portion of the models.  The models.  Like, all of them?  I know you are a long timer here, and you are well respected. But, you haven't been active on MM in years, according to your profile, and the site has definitely changed in form and function in the much shorter time that I have been here.  Sometimes we all need to go the extra mile.

It is reasonable to expect prompt replies that exhibit "professionalism."  Of course, not everyone here is a professional.  Still, I am curious, what is the time frame requirement that must be met to be considered timely and professional?  I think that I would have to define my time frames for a model I was cold contacting.  Ever since I have joined this site, I have been made aware that "no reply is a reply."  Consequently, if a model doesn't reply,hasn't she been prompt and professional because she gave her reply immediately?  smile  If one simply assumes there is a different reply coming, which they felt the model was obligated to make, it really doesn't burden the model with doing it, does it?  In threads like these, we often haven't seen the copied and pasted messages that people sent, so we don't know if their messages to the models was professional, though, since you are well respected, I will grant you the benefit of the doubt.  Nor do we know how a requested expression of interest was defined and under what definition of a reasonable time frame.  For instance, "Please respond by eight pm tomorrow, if you are interested."  Opposed to, "Contact me if you are interested."  Both of which invite the recipient to not contact the sender if they are not interested.

Is it normal for MM photographers to tell the models that they were one in ten feelers that were put out?  Is it reasonable for a model to assume that when she gets a cold contact message that the offer was not made to her alone?  Therefore, the imperative for her to respond is reduced?  The best case scenario is that the models contacted in such a scenario have a one in ten chance of getting the job.  It is possible that every one of them could respond to similar situations and none could get the job, because, what the hell, this is MM where there are a lot people who act in very unprofessional ways while they are trying to hire models.  Furthermore, I am curious, is it professional behavior to cold contact 10 models, knowing that 9 of the models are wasting their time by responding?  If a person finds me in the "phone book" and states they are calling around among my peers, I know from experience they are most likely looking for specific criteria, like fast service and a low price.  Neither of which they will get from me.  If I have time to discuss projects with only a portion of the people that contact me, I am going to return calls to the person that says, "My friend (relative, another professional) gave me your name and they said you are the guy for this work," instead of the one that might have already come to an agreement with someone else because they are the very first one to answer their phone, or they will make a decision to go with someone else who is $25 cheaper on a $2000 project. 

Do most of the photographers here notify every model when someone else has been selected after the photographer cold contacted them, they responded and then the photographer rejected them for someone else?   

The OP made an offer that sounds very good on the surface.  $500 for two hours of non-nude, but what were the specifics?  Was it short notice?  A long drive?  Would an entire day be eaten up for that two hours?  Did it seem too good to be true and sounded like a scam?  We don't know any of the details, we just know the takeaways that that the OP fed us. 

We do know that the OP had booked and shot the project in less then 10 days.  I just looked at a recent MM bulletin.  The model lists everyday she is available for the month of May and June and that information was made available to everyone on her friend's list.  The bulletin was dated May 3rd. She had 5 days listed as available within the next 10 days and only 2 more for the balance of May.  She sent out a bulletin, so that makes me think she is looking for work.  Could it be the models we contact are busy people?  We don't know if the ones we cold contacted are full time models or if we hit someone up that would have to take time off from a regular job.

The OP claims that he doesn't use MM very often to hire models, with good reason, but then he said, "I'm headed into a phase of my career that requires alternate lifestyle models, basically that means talent willing to go places that brick and mortar talent isn't allowed to go."  Are we expecting the same behavior from models that aren't in agencies as the ones that are?  Isn't there a big difference in the way models get gigs if there is a big difference in the venues they can work in? 

In the case of someone that doesn't use MM often, then I wonder how much effort someone in that situation would normally put into cultivating relationships with potential MM models.  An above post describes what a colleague believes is required to find models on IG.  That sounds like a lot of effort.  I bet one could write a generic message to models on MM, in advance of having a specific shoot, introduce theirselves, and ask more generically if they are interested in working together on projects in the near future and then getting some input from them.

My experience on MM is that I can accept anyone that wants a job who answered a casting call- which tells me they are interested.  I can cold contact a bunch of models and get a very poor positive response rate.  Or I can contact a model I really want to work with and schedule weeks or months in advance- which really sucks when it comes to planning outdoors shoots in marginal weather months.  Since I do not paint on deadlines and my concepts are my own, I have the flexibility to wait for what best serves my needs.  I understand that ya'll that do commercial work don't have the luxury of conducting shoots like I do.

I understand the models.  I am so busy that I am booked for a couple of months and I have been refusing work like crazy for months.  In fact, if potential clients don't already have an established relationship with me, or do not offer me a compelling reason to help them, or do not offer a job that is interesting and easy, (I don't need any that are interesting and a potential nightmare), I am not interested in working with them at this time.  I try not to laugh at the ones that tell me they aren't in a hurry, but tell me that anytime in the next couple of weeks will do.  To me, that means they are in a big hurry and did not plan well.  I notice they never want to pay what it costs for me to drop everything and handle their work, which would also mean that I would miss deadlines for dozens of other clients.  Something for which they would have to accept the associated financial responsibilities.

I find that MM is a very workable solution to my model needs, but I have to be realistic, flexible, generous, reliable and considerate to get positive results.  I have to be easy to work with, not a demanding prima donna, and I have to be the one that ensures that I start with good communication and make it easy for them.

May 13 22 06:21 am Link

Photographer

csybt

Posts: 29

Denver, Colorado, US

About 25% of the people on my block list are people who can't communicate.

If it takes you 2-4 or more weeks to respond, there's no way in hell I can keep opportunities for you open. And if I can't keep opportunities open for your wanted communication schedule, then we won't have opportunities to shoot. So blocking makes both our lives easier. You can find photographers that somehow keep opportunities open for months on end and I don't have to worry about people messaging me who work on a schedule I can't facilitate.

May 13 22 06:38 am Link

Photographer

In Balance Photography

Posts: 3376

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Hunter  GWPB wrote:
... but I have to be realistic, flexible, generous, reliable and considerate to get positive results.  I have to be easy to work with, not a demanding prima donna, and I have to be the one that ensures that I start with good communication and make it easy for them.

So very true, and so very easy to forget (I forget all the time).

May 13 22 11:45 am Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

Hunter  GWPB wrote:

"I don't use MM to find modeling talent very often, and for a very good reason, unbelievably poor communication on the part of the models. "

Is the model colloquy the best place for you to unload on the models?  It is interesting how you specify "the models."  Not a few models.  Not some or a portion of the models.  The models.  Like, all of them?  I know you are a long timer here, and you are well respected. But, you haven't been active on MM in years, according to your profile, and the site has definitely changed in form and function in the much shorter time that I have been here.  Sometimes we all need to go the extra mile.

It is reasonable to expect prompt replies that exhibit "professionalism."  Of course, not everyone here is a professional.  Still, I am curious, what is the time frame requirement are that must be met to be considered timely and professional.  I think that I would have to define my time frames for a model I was cold contacting.  Ever since I have joined this site, I have been made aware that "no reply is a reply."  Consequently, if a model doesn't reply, she has been prompt and professional because she gave her reply immediately.  smile  If one simply assumes there is a different reply coming, which they felt the model was obligated to make, it really doesn't burden the model with doing it.  In threads like these, we often haven't seen the copied and pasted messages that people sent, so we don't know if their messages to the models was professional, though, since you are well respected, I will grant you the benefit of the doubt.  Nor do we know how a requested expression of interest was defined and under what definition of a reasonable time frame.  For instance, "Please respond by eight pm tomorrow, if you are interested."  Opposed to, "Contact me if you are interested."  Both of which invite the recipient to not contact the sender if they are not interested.

Is it normal for MM photographers to tell the models that they were one in ten feelers that were put out?  Is it reasonable for a model to assume that when she gets a cold contact message that the offer was not made to her alone?  Therefore, the imperative for her to respond is reduced?  The best case scenario is that the models contacted in such a scenario have a one in ten chance of getting the job.  It is possible that every one of them could respond to similar situations and none could get the job, because, what the hell, this is MM where there are a lot people who act in very unprofessional ways while they are trying to hire models.  Furthermore, I am curious, is it professional behavior to cold contact 10 models, knowing that 9 of the models are wasting their time by responding?  If a person finds me in the "phone book" and states they are calling around among my peers, I know from experience they are most likely looking for specific criteria, like fast service and a low price.  Neither of which they will get from me.  If I have time to discuss projects with only a portion of the people that contact me, I am going to return calls to the person that says, "My friend (relative, another professional) gave me your name and they said you are the guy for this work," instead of the one that might have already come to an agreement with someone else because they are the very first one to answer their phone, or they will make a decision to go with someone else who is $25 cheaper on a $2000 project. 

Do most of the photographers here notify every model when someone else has been selected after the photographer cold contacted them, they responded and then the photographer rejected them for someone else?   

The OP made an offer that sounds very good on the surface.  $500 for two hours of non-nude, but what were the specifics?  Was it short notice?  A long drive?  Would an entire day be eaten up for that two hours?  Did it seem too good to be true and sounded like a scam?  We don't know any of the details, we just know the takeaways that that the OP fed us. 

We do know that the OP had booked and shot the project in less then 10 days.  I just looked at a recent MM bulletin.  The model lists everyday she is available for the month of May and June and that information was made available to everyone on her friend's list.  The bulletin was dated May 3rd. She had 5 days listed as available within the next 10 days and only 2 more for the balance of May.  She sent out a bulletin, so that makes me think she is looking for work.  Could it be the models we contact are busy people?  We don't know if the ones we cold contacted are full time models or if we hit someone up that would have to take time off from a regular job.

The OP claims that he doesn't use MM very often to hire models, with good reason, but then he said, "I'm headed into a phase of my career that requires alternate lifestyle models, basically that means talent willing to go places that brick and mortar talent isn't allowed to go."  Are we expecting the same behavior from models that aren't in agencies as the ones that are?  Isn't there a big difference in the way models get gigs if there is a big difference in the venues they can work in? 

In the case of someone that doesn't use MM often, then I wonder how much effort someone in that situation would normally put into cultivating relationships with potential MM models.  An above post describes what a colleague believes is required to find models on IG.  That sounds like a lot of effort.  I bet one could write a generic message to models on MM, in advance of having a specific shoot, introduce theirselves, and ask more generically if they are interested in working together on projects in the near future and then getting some input from them.

My experience on MM is that I can accept anyone that wants a job who answered a casting call- which tells me they are interested.  I can cold contact a bunch of models and get a very poor positive response rate.  Or I can contact a model I really want to work with and schedule weeks or months in advance- which really sucks when it comes to planning outdoors shoots in marginal weather months.  Since I do not paint on deadlines and my concepts are my own, I have the flexibility to wait for what best serves my needs.  I understand that ya'll that do commercial work don't have the luxury of conducting shoots like I do.

I understand the models.  I am so busy that I am booked for a couple of months and I have been refusing work like crazy for months.  In fact, if potential clients don't already have an established relationship with me, or do not offer me a compelling reason to help them, or do not offer a job that is interesting and easy, (I don't need any that are interesting and a potential nightmare), I am not interested in working with them at this time.  I try not to laugh at the ones that tell me they aren't in a hurry, but tell me that anytime in the next couple of weeks will do.  To me, that means they are in a big hurry and did not plan well.  I notice they never want to pay what it costs for me to drop everything and handle their work, which would also mean that I would miss deadlines for dozens of other clients.  Something for which they would have to accept the associated financial responsibilities.

I find that MM is a very workable solution to my model needs, but I have to be realistic, flexible, generous, reliable and considerate to get positive results.  I have to be easy to work with, not a demanding prima donna, and I have to be the one that ensures that I start with good communication and make it easy for them.

I appreciate the fact that you thought War And Peace was a short story, but you haven't truly addressed the problem of talent not responding. Sure, you can proffer hypotheticals about their inclinations, but the reality is if they don't respond, your hypotheticals are pretty much trash.

But it was a fun read!

May 14 22 07:10 pm Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Robert Randall wrote:
I appreciate the fact that you thought War And Peace was a short story, but you haven't truly addressed the problem of talent not responding. Sure, you can proffer hypotheticals about their inclinations, but the reality is if they don't respond, your hypotheticals are pretty much trash.

But it was a fun read!

I do not express myself in fortune cookie style very often, especially when responding to flaw ridden, irrational comments.  I gotta love the people that think their own (often inadequate) writing is always of an appropriate length and then they make an absurd comparison as if they believe it reflects well on their objectivity.  Your comparison casts doubt on the veracity of your OP.  If you exaggerate here, then why should one think you didn't exaggerate your own proficiencies there? 

Considering the important information and objectivity you left out of your self-serving OP and the conclusions you made, such as that you are entitled to responses, and prompt ones at that, a thoughtful reply was warranted.  Considering the one-sided presentation of your opinions and the unverifiable take aways which you made, posing questions and hypotheticals is a valid communication technique and they can be employed as a tool to make readers think about other perspectives and possibilities.  Not withstanding that my expressions are an empathetic product of the opinions articulated by various models, many of whom use to respond to the type of tripe you wrote, before the model colloquy became a destination for photographers to bash models and models quit participating.   

Speaking of trash, your OP definitely qualified.  It is really easy to pack faulty logic and unsubstantiated personal opinions proffered as fact into short, faulty posts.  You disparaged models and MM and the crux of your solution was, "Do better. I'm cool."  You provided a criticism of the communication skills of others and failed to provide objective criteria for what you would consider to be appropriate responses and response times.  You displayed a willingness to waste other people's time and expressed self superiority. You expressed that you are oblivious to the point of view of models. 

So, if you want the fortune cookie version, "The solution to the communication problems of others begins with you."  Which was previously expressed.   

So sorry that my post didn't stroke your ego and commensurate in your misery as you expected.  Your passive aggressive reply was very reflective of why many models think the best communication method to facilitate rejecting an offer is "no response is the best response."  If you responded as such to me, why would you show any greater professionalism to them?  Because you pick and chose when to be professional?

In comparison to your experience, I have a shoot to do and yesterday I contacted one MM model, whom I have never previously worked with, but months ago we did break the ice with a discussion about future projects.  I got a prompt and affirmative response and we will be shooting in early June, which is a quick turnaround considering we are both very busy people.  Hmmm.  Hypotheticals, indeed!

May 15 22 07:09 am Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

Hunter  GWPB wrote:
So sorry that my post didn't stroke your ego and commensurate in your misery as you expected.  Your passive aggressive reply was very reflective of why many models think the best communication method to facilitate rejecting an offer is "no response is the best response."  If you responded as such to me, why would you show any greater professionalism to them?  Because you pick and chose when to be professional?

Passive aggressive??? Are you kidding me? It was a direct salvo over your artsy fartsy bow.

May 15 22 06:30 pm Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Robert Randall wrote:
Passive aggressive??? Are you kidding me? It was a direct salvo over your artsy fartsy bow.

So many good comeback quips.

Okay.  Whatever it takes for you to save face.

May 15 22 07:15 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

I created this thread because I was surprised by the lack of response from the talent I had contacted. At the height of my activity on MM, getting a response was not only expected, but actually happened with a great deal of regularity. Now, when I address the problem as I perceive it, I find I'm being attacked for my passive aggressive behavior. So I thought I would clarify a few points about passive aggressive behavior as well as the inclination to have the last word. Sure, you could say I have the same last word issue as any other white knight protector of the realm, but do I really?

Specific signs of passive-aggressive behavior include:

Resentment and opposition to the demands of others, especially the demands of people in positions of authority
Resistance to cooperation, procrastination and intentional mistakes in response to others' demands
Cynical, sullen or hostile attitude
Frequent complaints about feeling underappreciated or cheated
Although passive-aggressive behavior can be a feature of various mental health conditions, it isn't considered a distinct mental illness. However, passive-aggressive behavior can interfere with relationships and cause difficulties on the job.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-life … q-20057901




Having the last word for some people means winning the argument. Whilst this clearly isn’t always true, it is a frustrating trait that applies to more than just Wikipedia!

It is worth remembering that the person who wins the debate is not necessarily the person who shouts the loudest, or gets in the last word.



Often a person with this personality is likely to be an egomaniac or bordering on being one. An egomaniac can be defined as a person who is obsessively self-centred or egotistical.

Why do egomaniacs feel the need to have the last word?

There are many reasons people behave as they do. Trying to understand the psyche behind aggressive behaviours can help to plan your course of action if you regularly deal with people who insist on always having the last word.

Insecurity:

Somebody who lacks confidence or self-esteem may try to assert themselves in other ways, by expressing himself or herself in a forceful way. This is a familiar scenario in bullying, where often the aggressor is a victim in another way.

Should this be the possible reason for their insistence on having the last word, trying to discuss your differences with sensitivity might help to reach a peaceful outcome. They probably need to be heard more strongly than they need to feel validated.

Arrogance:

A person with extreme arrogance may genuinely not be able to accept that they might be incorrect, or that another person’s opinion is equally as valid as their own. This is an unfortunate trait to have, and it may be that an extremely arrogant person simply isn’t worth arguing within any circumstance.

Egocentricity:

Some people simply need to be the centre of attention, and will argue black is white in order to keep the spotlight. This can occur for lots of reasons; they might feel ignored in their home life, or feel impotent in other areas of their social or professional relationships.

If a person is unreasonable simply for attention, it isn’t wise to stroke their ego. You will only find yourself drawn into their appeals for attention, and may be supporting their egocentricity by doing so.

Power:

Having the last word can be perceived as powerful, often by people who lack assertiveness in other areas of their lives. This is a difficult scenario to deal with, as you are the unwitting recipient of their onslaught that is enforcing their own feelings of control and power.



Try not to be drawn into a debate with this person; they will do their utmost to drive you down for their own self-esteem.

Anger:

Refusal to debate calmly can be a reaction to feelings of anger, and shouting down an opponent is a way to express their feelings. In this situation, it may be best to revisit the discussion when the other person has had time to calm down. Otherwise, debating with an angry opponent could quickly turn into a volatile situation.

Dominance:

As with power, a person who feels the innate need to dominate others or to establish their seniority may do so by insisting they have the final word in any conversation. A scenario most likely to exist in the workplace, people can try to demonstrate their dominance over peers or colleagues by forcing them to concede an argument.

In this situation, you need to reinforce your own self-esteem, and perhaps have a third party step in. Don’t be crushed by another person’s drive to control your actions; make sure your voice is heard even when you are speaking quietly.

How should you deal with an egomaniac, and is there any way to have a productive debate?

When you are having a discussion with somebody who refuses to listen, it is wise to choose not to continue the conversation. This might sound counterproductive, but channelling energy and time into a scenario that is never going to have a mutually agreeable outcome is not a worthwhile investment.

If an opponent makes the decision to step away from the debate, this can entirely diffuse the situation. You are not obliged to continue a dialogue that makes you feel uncomfortable. Nor is it your sole responsibility to change the mind of a person who refuses to listen to reason.

Take a step back. There is a better chance that your arguments will mature over time and that any valid points you have made will remain in their thought process and perhaps inform behaviour in time.

https://www.learning-mind.com/having-th … tant-deal/


I miss the fun I used to have on this site smile

May 16 22 06:56 pm Link

Photographer

Shadow Dancer

Posts: 9492

Bellingham, Washington, US

Robert Randall wrote:
I miss the fun I used to have on this site smile

Me too but that was then and this is now.

It has been several years since I photographed a model and the last one was not on MM.

For some unknown reason I'm back on here (sort of) and it looks like I will get to work with 2 local models around the end of May. They are also sisters, I'm hoping this will be fun (I just shoot for fun).

If it is, I'll try to work with them again. If it's not, I'll go back to photographing stuff I find at thrift stores and sell.
If you haven't found what you need here, try elsewhere. This is not what it once was and never will be again.

Cheers!

May 16 22 08:55 pm Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Robert Randall wrote:
I created this thread because I was surprised by the lack of response from the talent I had contacted. At the height of my activity on MM, getting a response was not only expected, but actually happened with a great deal of regularity. Now, when I address the problem as I perceive it, I find I'm being attacked for my passive aggressive behavior. So I thought I would clarify a few points about passive aggressive behavior as well as the inclination to have the last word. Sure, you could say I have the same last word issue as any other white knight protector of the realm, but do I really?

Oh, my goodness, Robert.  Such passive aggressive behavior again!  In neither of your previous replies to me did you refute the points I made about your post.   Nor in this one.  In one post, you exaggerated that my response made War and Peace look like a short story- think for a moment about how that silly exaggeration made you look.  Funny how it seems like the people that throw out the War and Peace analogy are unlikely to have ever read it.  In the other post, you claimed you were firing a salvo across my bow.  A salvo with a pea shooter blowing the smoke of self-righteous indignation isn't much of a response.  I would have respected a rational argument as to why I was wrong.  I haven't seen that yet.  It is ridiculous of you to imply I can't admit when I am wrong when you can't articulate an irrefutable reason as to why I am.

In the continuation of the thread this evening, you quickly jump into the same negative behavior with your White Knight comment and the insinuation that we are in a battle for the last word. (You may be, I am not.)  Regarding the White Knight comment, now that you have deployed it, I am surprised you didn't launch that deflection in your first response.  What does the White Knight comment represent?  It is used to disparage someone for taking the side of a woman, as if it is proper and acceptable to take the side of a man, but not that of a woman.  Have you ever used the comment when a man was defending a masculine point of view?  Anything similar?  What does that make you when you use the White Knight slur in place of reasoned discussion?  What do you reveal about yourself?

A rational person would understand that a discussion about communication, manners, respect and common decency would not be gender based.  Do you see it as gender related because it is male photographers making demands on female models?  Even if you could justify that, why are you making it gender related with a misogynistic term rather than discussing the issue from a gender neutral position?   Is it misogynistic or more debased?  Meaning that your go to position is to use what ever insults are required rather than discussing the topic at hand rationally?

Let's look back and see what is not in dispute between us.  It is not in dispute that communication on this site is difficult because "no response is a response" is very one sided.  What is in dispute is who we are holding responsible for the poor communication.  You hold other people responsible and you demand they live up to your expectations. (Arrogance?  Since you included it in the sundry list in your post.)  I suggest that good communication begins with me, because my words and actions are the only ones I can control.  If I get a "no response" response, then I shrug it off and move on.  You let us know how horribly put out you are and demand change.

You seem to have not absorbed the fact that this site is not the same site it was when you used it previously. Yes, you lament it isn't the same, but you didn't adjust.  You demand the adjustment from others.  You made it clear the site is deficient, the models unprofessional, and your solution is to lay blame, but God forbid you adapt of self evaluate yourself for deficiencies.

I am not aware of the individual hardships that each and every model has gone through, but I have been told stories, both by reading them in the forums and from conversations with the wonderful men and women who have granted me their expertise from time to time.  I understand them.  I have to put up with horrible people from time to time.  Most of us do.  Why then, would you expect a model to send a "thank you, but no thank you" to a photographer they do not know, if one has experienced even one instance of a photographer harassing her, abusing her and swearing at her for saying no?  I understand that she will quickly adopt no response as a response.  You seem to take it as if it is personal.  You want her to endure it for your benefit.  Better to have a photographer block her than shit all over her.

Now, this is important, Robert.  (Condescending and passive aggressive, but important.)  I criticized you and you know I am right, and that is what has pissed you off.  You haven't disputed my observations or conclusions.  You haven't addressed my questions.  I will take that to mean that you have capitulated to all of the shortcomings I have pointed out.  You are just pissed that I disagreed with your assessment, your non-solution and that I called you passive aggressive.  Come on!  Why else would you have created your last post in the manner that you did, if this wasn't a situation that hit too close to home for you?  Considering all the cutting and pasting you did, one would think that if you read your information, you might have noticed how the attributes apply to your behavior.  You don't have to tell me that I use passive aggressive techniques.  I am very aware of it.  If you don't like it- tough.  I have a tendency to give back that which I have received. 

Shall we look to another one of the passive aggressive techniques that you used in the above albatross?  This a not a battle with me to get the last word.  You are trying to slay windmills if you are accusing me of having a need to get the last word.  Do you know why it is a passive aggressive comment to bring up getting the last word?  Because you are trying to shame or bully me into not responding to your post?   You are hoping I am concerned about the implication of your references, and I will "let" you have the last word because you are a bully?  I will let you have the last word.  Maybe.  Maybe not. I would definitely let you have the last word if you earn it with rational discussion showing me how I am wrong.  I predict that you will keep giving me fodder to respond to, though.   I am not responding to your non-defenses of your OP to argue with you or to exert superiority by achieving the last word- I am responding because I have something to say in response to your dribble, and I am going to say it, if I so chose.  You aren't going to bully me into silence.   I may argue well past the time you give it up, if I have something I want to say.  Or if you motivate me with your feeble attempts to exert your perceived sense of power and superiority.  I stand up to bullies like you as a matter of course.  Label me as you will for doing that.

Do you have a need for power and dominance?  Is that why you chose the imagery you used in your post, such as a salvo over your bow?  Is that why you feel like you are being attacked?  Everything is a peer struggle for you?  Is this why you insist that other people adapt to your desires rather than you adjusting to reality?

Interesting that in your OP, you are complaining about your lack of control over other people when they employ no responses as a response.  But now, you want me to employ no response as a response so that you get the last word and save face?

Considering what you have put forth in the post above, you could also consider doing the research on what it means when someone perpetuates a losing discussions with expressions of his anger through defections, in lieu of rational discussion; is unable to consider other views and discuss them; and is unable to admit that he is wrong.  Well, it is true that some of these are addressed in your last post, but I suspect you were to busy projecting to be reflective.  There was good advice in the stuff you pasted.  If you aren't described by those terms, why did you ignore the advice?  You engaged after I stepped back.  You refuse to disengage.  You really should read the advice you posted.  Every personality trait you tried to label me with, per your juvenile response, could, perhaps, apply to you, right?

I doubt very much that I was the only person who saw the fallacies and rudeness in your OP.  I understand why others would not post given that you behaved as one would be concerned you would.

By the way, when the models didn't respond to you, that does not prove that the hypotheticals I presented were irrelevant.  It demonstrated that they were a viable option.  No, not proof of the theorem, but not disproving it either.  The proof is in what many models have said in the past when they described their reasoning to not respond.  You couldn't take a breath, and ask a follow up question to get feed back from the models?  Just as you did in your OP, you laid out for everyone what you demand unequivocally.  What did your sources say about people that won't listen?

This communication problem is on you.  If not because your responses have proved it, then certainly because it is only your behavior which you can improve.

May 16 22 10:26 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

I was curious as to why someone would pick a fight over such an innocuous subject as models not responding. At first I thought it might be the age old White Knight syndrome where the protector comes swooping in to save the damsels in distress only to later tie them up in their dungeon (mother's basement) for psycho/sexual amusement. But, I dug a little deeper into the issue and found the following on the Google search...

"How to Spot an Internet Troll

Internet trolls are easy to spot once you are aware of certain online behavior patterns.

They don’t show their own face in their profile image. Instead, they typically  use a seemingly “funny” photo of a cartoon character, a celebrity photo, or a random image.
Their username is a nickname rather than their real name.
Their education is listed “The School of Hard Knocks” or some other cliché.
They are typically following several accounts but have few to no followers themselves.
They usually have a lot of memes on their profile.
There often have several offensive and controversial posts or interactions with controversial comments.
They usually take extreme political or opinion positions on certain issues and repeatedly focus on them.
They are likely attacking more than one account.


Trolls are characterised by the 'Dark Tetrad' of personality traits, including psychopathy, Machiavellianism, Narcissism and sadism. In internet parlance, a troll is generally defined as a person who posts abusive, insulting, inflammatory, extraneous, off-topic or digressive messages in an online community.

In internet parlance, a troll is generally defined as a person who posts abusive, insulting, inflammatory, extraneous, off-topic or digressive messages in an online community.

In this article, I present a psychological analysis of trolls in the current Indian context. An analysis of a very large number of trolls reveals that, contrary to a benign belief, their purpose is not amusement, annoying others, drawing attention, or to disrupt a discussion by a foolish contradiction of common knowledge; rather they are driven by motives that are nothing but sinister.

Trolling, for them, is also a way of demonstrating their numerical strength and thus constitutes an indirect threat that they will prevail by sheer numbers, if not by merit.

That is why the conventional wisdom of not feeding the trolls by simply ignoring them or not responding to them does little to them. Isolated trolls could be ignored, not thousands of them. Moreover, since many of them contain implicit or explicit threats of violence and sexual violence, some of them might need to be reported to the police also.


Many trolls are actually dangerously depraved people because their viciousness is agenda-driven. Whatever they write, they write deliberately, not on impulse, and this puts more purpose into it.

For them the online virtual world is just an extension of the real world where they do horrible things. Dr. Jennifer Golbeck of the University of Maryland writes that trolling is linked with the ‘Dark Tetrad’ of personality traits.

The ‘Dark Triad’ of personality traits is characterised by psychopathy (continuous anti-social behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callous and unemotional traits and remorselessness), Machiavellianism (manipulation and exploitation of others, an absence of morality, unemotional callousness, and a higher level of self-interest) and Narcissism (by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy).

Adding sadism (cruel or demeaning behaviour to others, or intentionally inflicts physical, sexual, or psychological pain or suffering on others in order to assert power and dominance or for pleasure and enjoyment) makes up the ‘Dark Tetrad’.
"

May 17 22 08:08 am Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 9353

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Robert Randall wrote:
I miss the fun I used to have on this site smile

Welcome Back, Robert !

You, and your posts, have been sorely missed !

KM

May 17 22 12:03 pm Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Robert Randall wrote:
I was curious as to why someone would pick a fight over such an innocuous subject as models not responding. At first I thought it might be the age old White Knight syndrome where the protector comes swooping in to save the damsels in distress only to later tie them up in their dungeon (mother's basement) for psycho/sexual amusement. But, I dug a little deeper into the issue and found the following on the Google search...

I don't know, why did you start the fight?  You are the one fighting, so you will have to answer the question. I am trying to find out what the list of professional requirements are that you are demanding from "the models." 

Are you now saying you are an internet troll?  Isn't your last post exactly what a troll would do?  Completely abandon the subject at hand and degenerate to name calling and belligerent behavior?  You looked at your own list of personality traits and found yourself in most of the items there, so now you are self examining your qualifications as a troll too?  This continued negative behavior is reinforcing the conclusion that the communication problem you had with the models was your fault.  Don't you get that?

You seem to think the best thing to do each time someone doesn't bow to your belief of what their appropriate behavior should be, is to lash out.  In not a single reply to me have you attemped to handle this discussion as a mature gentleman.  Calling me a White Knight didn't reflect poorly enough on you the first time, you have to recycle it along with other tropes?

You believe that your post was innocuous.  I don't.  I believe it was an attack post on "the models."  Your thread isn't the only thread on this page about communication issues with models.  In every single one of these, there was a photographer complaining about a model.  See the pattern here?
https://www.modelmayhem.com/forums/post … st19949676
https://www.modelmayhem.com/forums/post … st19937137

You said in your previous post, "Now, when I address the problem as I perceive it, I find I'm being attacked for my passive aggressive behavior."  This is significant for many reasons:  First, you admit you were being passive aggressive.   Then because you complained about the behavior, but you didn't address the solution to the behavior.  You never told us what the proper behavior should be.  Your sample size is really small, 10 models approached on short notice, but you didn't hesitate to include every MM model in your conclusion that "the models: on MM are unprofessional.  Remember doing that? 

Nor have you ever addressed the fact that your perception is a result of your choice to be dwelling in the past. 

The other problem you expressed is that you felt like you are being attacked.  Okay.  That is fair.  Any challenge that some people receive is perceived as an attack.  It is part of being insecure.  (That was on you sundry list also.)  They don't have the social skills to communicate or the ability to rationally discuss the topic when they are in involved in a disagreement, so they play the victim and accuse others of attacking them.  Any deflection is better than admitting that maybe they were unduly harsh on hundreds of models that are professional?  Are you one of the people that dwell on being a victim?  When you made your screed at "the models," did you then, or have you since then, made any effort to put yourself in their shoes, regarding your attack on them?

So, what is this now?  The fourth response you have made to me and you still haven't addressed any of the comments that I made to you?   Why don't you show us the messages you sent to the models?  Why don't you explain sending messages to ten models when you knew you were wasting the time of nine of them, if you expected a reply based on past experiences? (Quote from you: "At the height of my activity on MM, getting a response was not only expected, but actually happened with a great deal of regularity.")  When are you going to tell all those poor models reading this thread, exactly what time frame qualifies a message for the mystic definition of professional.  And then, please, give us the list of all the other professional behavior and associated requirements a model must preform to be professional in her communications with you.  Or, as an option, think of some other name to call me.  I know which response to expect.

May 17 22 12:44 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

Hunter  GWPB wrote:
I don't know, why did you start the fight?  You are the one fighting, so you will have to answer the question. I am trying to find out what the list of professional requirements are that you are demanding from "the models." 

Are you now saying you are an internet troll?  Isn't your last post exactly what a troll would do?  Completely abandon the subject at hand and degenerate to name calling and belligerent behavior?  You looked at your own list of personality traits and found yourself in most of the items there, so now you are self examining your qualifications as a troll too?  This continued negative behavior is reinforcing the conclusion that the communication problem you had with the models was your fault.  Don't you get that?

You seem to think the best thing to do each time someone doesn't bow to your belief of what their appropriate behavior should be, is to lash out.  In not a single reply to me have you attemped to handle this discussion as a mature gentleman.  Calling me a White Knight didn't reflect poorly enough on you the first time, you have to recycle it along with other tropes?

You believe that your post was innocuous.  I don't.  I believe it was an attack post on "the models."  Your thread isn't the only thread on this page about communication issues with models.  In every single one of these, there was a photographer complaining about a model.  See the pattern here?
https://www.modelmayhem.com/forums/post … st19949676
https://www.modelmayhem.com/forums/post … st19937137

You said in your previous post, "Now, when I address the problem as I perceive it, I find I'm being attacked for my passive aggressive behavior."  This is significant for many reasons:  First, you admit you were being passive aggressive.   Then because you complained about the behavior, but you didn't address the solution to the behavior.  You never told us what the proper behavior should be.  Your sample size is really small, 10 models approached on short notice, but you didn't hesitate to include every MM model in your conclusion that "the models: on MM are unprofessional.  Remember doing that? 

Nor have you ever addressed the fact that your perception is a result of your choice to be dwelling in the past. 

The other problem you expressed is that you felt like you are being attacked.  Okay.  That is fair.  Any challenge that some people receive is perceived as an attack.  It is part of being insecure.  (That was on you sundry list also.)  They don't have the social skills to communicate or the ability to rationally discuss the topic when they are in involved in a disagreement, so they play the victim and accuse others of attacking them.  Any deflection is better than admitting that maybe they were unduly harsh on hundreds of models that are professional?  Are you one of the people that dwell on being a victim?  When you made your screed at "the models," did you then, or have you since then, made any effort to put yourself in their shoes, regarding your attack on them?

So, what is this now?  The fourth response you have made to me and you still haven't addressed any of the comments that I made to you?   Why don't you show us the messages you sent to the models?  Why don't you explain sending messages to ten models when you knew you were wasting the time of nine of them, if you expected a reply based on past experiences? (Quote from you: "At the height of my activity on MM, getting a response was not only expected, but actually happened with a great deal of regularity.")  When are you going to tell all those poor models reading this thread, exactly what time frame qualifies a message for the mystic definition of professional.  And then, please, give us the list of all the other professional behavior and associated requirements a model must preform to be professional in her communications with you.  Or, as an option, think of some other name to call me.  I know which response to expect.

What Is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that often occurs in abusive relationships. It is a covert type of emotional abuse where the bully or abuser misleads the target, creating a false narrative and making them question their judgments and reality.1 Ultimately, the victim of gaslighting starts to feel unsure about their perceptions of the world and even wonder if they are losing their sanity.

Gaslighting primarily occurs in romantic relationships, but it's not uncommon for it to occur in controlling friendships or among family members as well. People who gaslight others may have mental health disorders. They use this type of emotional abuse to exert power over others in order to manipulate friends, family members, or even co-workers.2

10 Red Flags in Relationships
How Gaslighting Works
Gaslighting is a technique that undermines a person's perception of reality. When someone is gaslighting you, you may second-guess yourself, your memories, recent events, and your perceptions. After communicating with the person gaslighting you, you may be left feeling dazed and wondering if there is something wrong with you. You may be encouraged to think you are actually to blame for something or that you're just being too sensitive.1

Gaslighting can confuse you and cause you to question your judgment, memory, self-worth, and overall mental health. It may help to know more about the tactics a person who is gaslighting you might use.3

Lying to You
People who engage in gaslighting are often habitual and pathological liars and frequently exhibit narcissistic tendencies. It is typical for them to blatantly lie and never back down or change their stories, even when you call them out or provide proof of their deception. They may say something like: "You're making things up," "That never happened," or "You're crazy."2

Lying and distortion are the cornerstones of gaslighting behavior. Even when you know they are not telling the truth, they can be very convincing. In the end, you start to second-guess yourself.2
Discrediting You
People who gaslight spread rumors and gossip about you to others. They may pretend to be worried about you while subtly telling others that you seem emotionally unstable or "crazy." Unfortunately, this tactic can be extremely effective and many people side with the abuser or bully without knowing the full story.2

Additionally, someone who engages in gaslighting may lie to you and tell you that other people also think this about you. These people may have never said a bad thing about you, but the person who is gaslighting you will make every attempt to get you to believe they do.2

Distracting You
When you ask a someone who gaslights a question or call them out for something they did or said, they may change the subject by asking a question instead of responding to the issue at hand. This not only throws off your train of thought but causes you to question the need to press a matter when they don't feel the need to respond.4

Minimizing Your Thoughts and Feelings
Trivializing your emotions allows the person who is gaslighting you to gain power over you. They might make statements like: "Calm down," "You're overreacting," or "Why are you so sensitive?" All of these statements minimize how you're feeling or what you're thinking and communicate that you're wrong.4

When you deal with someone who never acknowledges your thoughts, feelings, or beliefs, you may begin to question them yourself. What's more, you may never feel validated or understood, which can be extremely isolating, shaming, and difficult to cope with.4
Why It's Important to Have High Self-Esteem
Shifting Blame
Blame-shifting is another common gaslighting tactic. Every discussion you have is somehow twisted to where you are to blame for something that occurred. Even when you try to discuss how the abuser's behavior makes you feel, they're able to twist the conversation so that you end up questioning if you are the cause of their bad behavior. For example, they may claim that if only you behaved differently, they would not treat you the way that they do.4

Denying Wrongdoing
People who engage in bullying and emotional abuse are notorious for denying that they did anything wrong. They do this to avoid taking responsibility for their poor choices. This denial can leave the victim of gaslighting feeling unseen, unheard, and as though the impact on them is of no importance. This tactic also makes it very hard for the victim to move on or to heal from the bullying or abusiveness.5

Using Compassionate Words as Weapons
Sometimes, when called out or questioned, a person who gaslights will use kind and loving words to try to smooth over the situation.3 They might say something like, "You know how much I love you. I would never hurt you on purpose."

These words may be what you want to hear, but they are inauthentic, especially if the same behavior is repeated. That said, they may be just enough to convince you to let them off the hook, which allows the person to escape responsibility or consequences for their hurtful behavior.1

Rewriting History
A person who gaslights tends to retell stories in ways that are in their favor. For instance, if your partner shoved you against the wall and you are discussing it later, they may twist the story and say you stumbled and they tried to steady you, which is what caused you to fall into the wall.

You may begin to doubt your memory of what happened. Encouraging confusion or second-guessing on your part is exactly the intention.3

Recap
Gaslighting can include a range of tactics including lying, distracting, minimizing, denying, and blaming. When you are dealing with someone who uses gaslighting as a manipulation tool, pay close attention to what they do, not the words they choose.3
Signs of Gaslighting
Being subjected to gaslighting can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns including addiction and thoughts of suicide.6 For this reason, it's important to recognize when you're experiencing gaslighting. Ask yourself if any of the following statements ring true:3

You doubt your feelings and reality: You try to convince yourself that the treatment you receive is not that bad or that you are too sensitive.
You question your judgment and perceptions: You are afraid of speaking up or expressing your emotions. You have learned that sharing your opinion usually makes you feel worse in the end, so you stay silent instead.
You feel vulnerable and insecure: You often feel like you "walk on eggshells" around your partner, friend, or family member. You also feel on edge and lack self-esteem.
You feel alone and powerless: You are convinced that everyone around you thinks you are "strange," "crazy," or "unstable," just like the person who is gaslighting you says you are. This makes you feel trapped and isolated.
You wonder if you are what they say you are: The person who gaslights you says words make you feel like you are wrong, unintelligent, inadequate, or insane. Sometimes, you even find yourself repeating these statements to yourself.
You are disappointed in yourself and who you have become: For instance, you feel like you are weak and passive, and that you used to be stronger and more assertive.
You feel confused: The behavior of the person gaslighting you confuses you, almost as if they are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
You worry that you are too sensitive: The person minimizes hurtful behaviors or words by saying “I was just joking" or "you need thicker skin."
You have a sense of impending doom: You feel like something terrible is about to happen when you are around this person. This may include feeling threatened and on edge without knowing why.
You spend a lot of time apologizing: You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.
You feel inadequate: You feel like you are never "good enough." You try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable.
You second-guess yourself: You frequently wonder if you accurately remember the details of past events. You may have even stopped trying to share what you remember for fear that it is wrong.
You assume others are disappointed in you: You apologize all the time for what you do or who you are, assuming people are let down by you or that you have somehow made a mistake.
You wonder what's wrong with you: You wonder if there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. In other words, you worry that you are not well mentally.
You struggle to make decisions because you distrust yourself: You would rather allow your partner, friend, or family member to make decisions for you and avoid decision-making altogether.
If you identify with any of these signs of gaslighting, it's important that you seek professional help right away. Left unaddressed, gaslighting can take a significant toll on your self-esteem and overall mental health.

Your doctor can recommend a counselor who is equipped to help you process and deal with what is happening to you.

You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential assistance from trained advocates.
Where Did 'Gaslighting' Get Its Name?
The term gaslighting comes from a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton, known in America as "Angel Street" and later developed into the film "Gas Light" by Alfred Hitchcock.7

In the suspense film, a manipulative husband tries to make his wife think she is losing her mind by making subtle changes in her environment, including slowly and steadily dimming the flame on a gas lamp. Not only does he disrupt her environment and make her believe she is insane, but he also abuses and controls her, cutting her off from family and friends.7

Consequently, the wife begins second-guessing herself, her feelings, her perceptions, and her memories. Additionally, she feels neurotic, hypersensitive, and out-of-control, which is the goal of gaslighting—to leave the target feeling off-kilter and unsure of what is true and what isn’t.4

Because this film was an accurate portrayal of the controlling and toxic actions that manipulative people use, psychologists and counselors began to label this type of emotionally abusive behavior "gaslighting."

What to Do If Someone Is Gaslighting You

If you are experiencing gaslighting in a relationship, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Things you might do include:

Gain some distance: It can be helpful to take a step back from the intense emotions that gaslighting can evoke. Physically leaving the situation can help, but you might also try using some relaxation techniques such ad deep breathing or grounding exercises.
Save the evidence: Because gaslighting can make you question yourself, work on preserving evidence of your experiences. Keep a journal, save text conversations, or keep emails so that you can look back on them later and remind yourself that you shouldn't doubt or question yourself.
Set boundaries: Boundaries tell others what you are willing to accept in a relationship. Make it clear that you won't allow the other person to engage in actions such as trivializing or denying what you have to say.
Get an outside perspective: Talk to a friend or family member about what you are going through. Having another person's perspective can help make the situation clearer to you.
End the relationship: While it can be difficult, ending the relationship with someone who repeatedly gaslights you is often the most effective way to end the abuse.
If you suspect that you are experiencing gaslighting, you may also find it helpful to talk to a mental health professional. They can help you learn more about the situation, gain perspective, and develop new coping strategies that can help you deal with the behavior.

A Word From Verywell
Remember that you are not to blame for what you are experiencing. The person gaslighting you is making a choice to behave this way. They are responsible for their actions. Nothing you did caused them to make this choice, and you won't be able to change what they're doing.

But with counseling, you can learn how to make healthy choices and set boundaries with the person who engages in gaslighting. Ultimately, you may reach a place where you feel ready to move on from the relationship.

May 17 22 07:29 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13889

Chicago, Illinois, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
Welcome Back, Robert !

You, and your posts, have been sorely missed !

KM

Hi Ken,

I forgot how much fun it was to pull the wings off of a fly and watch it hop around like a ferret on crack. I'm not sure how long they suits will allow me to have fun with guys like the one dogging me over nonexistent issues, but I'm going to run it into the ground for now. smile

May 17 22 07:33 pm Link

Artist/Painter

Hunter GWPB

Posts: 6979

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US

Post hidden on May 18, 2022 05:16 am
Reason: not helpful

May 18 22 04:55 am Link

Photographer

Studio NSFW

Posts: 482

Pacifica, California, US

Do not feed the energy creature.

May 20 22 04:30 pm Link

Photographer

G Reese

Posts: 822

Marion, Indiana, US

Robert Randall wrote:

Hi Ken,

I forgot how much fun it was to pull the wings off of a fly and watch it hop around like a ferret on crack. I'm not sure how long they suits will allow me to have fun with guys like the one dogging me over nonexistent issues, but I'm going to run it into the ground for now. smile

I got bored with his second "chapter". :-)  Must be 3 feet deep by now. lol

May 21 22 10:38 am Link