[TRIGGER WARNING: It can be so easy to get defensive when reading about traits that some of us normally think of as negative. I am not accusing YOU, the reader. I am merely trying to point out that regardless of our best intentions and the best intentions of our companions, we can and do run across those personality types that seem uncooperative for their own reasons. I am not even referring to the entirety of any particular group. My references are to the possibilities of certain individual types within our groups. To be able to get through my thoughts on the subject, please read the majority of this article as if I am talking about “THEM,” not “YOU.”]
I think it might be fair to say that it is all about agenda. As individuals, we have our perceptions about what we would each like the Vampire Community to be–how we would like for it to operate. Whether or not we each take those actions to create the Community the way we want it, we all seem to have ideas.
There are two principal factors involved in our personal ideals. There is the end result–the form that we each want The Vampire Community to eventually take or how we envision it should be–and the steps that we are convinced must be taken to form the Community into what it should be.
In life, we tend to follow our personal agendas to create the situations and conditions that we think are best. We often work with others who have the same vision or similar goals or compatible goals in a cooperative effort to get our dreams fulfilled. (A general exception to this rule is when we allow or help loved ones fulfill their ideals, even if they have nothing to do with our plans or our bigger picture.) This desire to help others fulfill their dreams might be subject to how much it interferes with our personal goals–unless helping this other person fulfill their goals IS one of our personal goals.
As humans, we tend to not help others who have goals that directly conflict, block or interfere with our own projects. Sometimes, we can even actively try to block others whose actions interfere with our personal goals.
In the Vampire Community, there are smaller networks of members whose projects work well with each other’s in our webs of contact, work and communication. When we have similar goals, ideals and projections of “how the VC should function”….we find harmony and cooperation. What gives the appearance that we might be able to work together harmoniously in all aspects of our community is the fact that some of us belong to more than one faction. Some Writers/Teachers attend Vampire Balls, are Life Stylers or LARP vampire-based role play games. There can be more than one faction of the Vampire Subculture enjoyed by the same Vampire. However, when one has a vested interest in one faction of the Community more than another faction, there might be a conflict of interest when our individual projects are brought up in community discussion or debate.
HYPOTHETICALLY–Someone from the Information/Support aspect of the Community might find it most important to share the practical feeding information that obligate energy/blood feeders need to live productive and healthy lives. To those of this faction, a secondary agenda might be disputing misinformation about real modern vampirism. We might want to spread factual information in very down-to-earth, practical terms. It is reasonable that from the perspective of the Information/Support group, some of us see Role Players, Life Stylers, and large Vampire events as perpetuating the public image of the Vampire as an overly-dramatic, fantasy-based figure rather than just someone who needs to ingest blood or perform particular metaphysical actions to live a healthy, normal life.
Someone from the Information/Support faction might have an attachment to the idea of shaping a public image of the Modern Vampire that is more “friendly”– divorced from the fiction of the movie, television or novel versions of the super-powered, undead, romantic character. If someone has an emotional investment, they might be in opposition to those that publicly portray themselves in a way that they might see resembling the Fictional Vampire.
HYPOTHETICALY–Someone from the Events/Business faction of the Community might be entirely focused on the sales factor or purely social aspect, to the point where they have a completely different agenda. If they have an investment in getting as many paying customers as they can get into an event (ball)….then, as far as they are concerned, everyone is a Vampire…as long as they pay entry price. The focus is not on passing accurate information, as much as it is in selling tickets and filling a room. Something similar can be found in selling fangs, contacts or costumes–making a sale is the bottom line. Community politics, public awareness might not have any importance, relatively speaking–beyond the community interactions necessary to build up numbers for advertising and ticket sales. The agendas of the Information/Support factions might not be important, at all–because they are not really relevant to sales.
HYPOTHETICALLY–There might be Materialist, Science-only, Physically-oriented Sangs that have a strong disbelief in the metaphysical. [These are not all Med Sangs. Some Med Sangs are very respectful. Some Med Sangs are metaphysically-oriented in other venues, outside of the study and exploration of the science-only approach towards sanguinism.] There are some science-only Sangs that want to focus on a practical exploration of the need to ingest blood, the benefits that derive from blood drinking, and the detriments that come from obligate blood feeders not ingesting enough blood over time. It is possible that the agenda of SOME of these Science-only Sangs is to want to be divorced from ALL metaphysical interpretation of vampirism, energy-feeding, role play and lifestyle–which could be considered all extraneous to their need for blood. While there are some Science-only Sangs that are very cooperative to other factions and individuals within the Subculture, there are also some that begrudgingly stay in the community because they wish to meet other Obligate Blood Feeders who might not find them otherwise and/or Donors. The less-cooperative Science-only Sangs might not willingly or pleasantly interact beyond the need to fulfill this agenda.
HYPOTHETICALLY–You might also run into those Psychic Feeders, Energy Feeders and/or Dual Feeders (energy and blood) who are militant in their stance that every Vampire in the Vampire World is really feeding off of energy. Those who have this absolute worldview insist that there is no such thing as the materialist perception that blood works like vitamins or medicine (food). To these Militant Metaphysicians, even those Vampires who feed off of blood are actually getting their nourishment from the energy behind the blood. Those people who do not agree with the metaphysical/energy interpretation are WRONG and need to be educated. For the Militant Metaphysicians, this is not a point of compromise. Their agenda is to have everyone agree with them. And if you don’t, this type might simply refuse to cooperate or be agreeable.
When we come across disagreeable types in the Community, sometimes there is very little that we can do to get their cooperation. This is simply a fact of life. In my humble opinion, it becomes more productive to stick to the smaller scale of working with those people who are willing to work on the relatively smaller (and possibly, more local) projects. A lot of little completed projects can offer more than constantly failing at making large projects work.
Besides these specific types that we find in the Community, there are also those people in the world who disagree with us just for the sake of being contrary. There are some personalities who simply enjoy conflict–whether that is because of a technique of feeding (Chaos Eaters) or because it simply natural for them to be conflictive or combative.
While we can’t control other people who find being contrary, conflictive or combative natural–if you find these qualities in yourself, there are some simple meditations to do to help alleviate them.
Prepare meditative space in any way which seems appropriate–For a more spiritual experience, cleanse the area with sage or salt water. Create sacred space by casting circle or invoking guardians. For a more casual working, make yourself some tea and simply get comfortable.
Meditate or contemplate in whichever manner seems correct for you. Free associate, journal or meditate on your ability to get along with people in a more harmonious way. If you wish to work with imagery, perhaps imagine the energy of working and being with others in the GVC as a sort of colored light…or use some other image which represents your interaction with others. Imagine, feel, sense the energy of working with others becoming more pleasant, flowing easier and more harmoniously to create mutually beneficial outcomes. As images come and go, make them more positive in any way which that makes sense to your imagination. Be creative with light, color, feeling and sound.
If you choose to work with meditative prompts in the form of questions, work with any of the following in meditation–What are the benefits to working with others? How comfortable am I working in positive ways with others? Am I okay getting along with others? Are there more positive ways to interact with others, that is to benefit all involved? Can I fulfill my goals in the easiest, smoothest way possible?
We don’t need everyone to agree with us. Share your perspective in the Community. But do not be attached to everyone seeing the world through your eyes.