Why generosity turns to rage, and what to do about it | Lunch Talk

Today over lunch I watched A. Jesse Jiryu Davis’ talk, “Why generosity turns to rage, and what to do about it”. It’s part of Trey Hunner’s communication series which has been fantastic so far.

I definitely recommend this talk. It’s a good overview of why folks can get upset answering questions online and some techniques to avoid it.

It resonated with me because it aligns with my own experience and personal goals. I have found I get upset when things happen that don’t meet my expectations. I’m also dedicated to trying to create a more positive and welcoming environment for the Django community. So when I get upset, it’s harder for me to fulfill that goal. In fact, I’d argue that I’m sabotaging it.

I 100% agree with the step of reassessing what I’m doing when answering a question while feeling angry. I’ve found that when my expectations aren’t being met (taking too long, the actual question has changed) I can step away pretty easily if I give a reason. Every time, the asker has met my explanation with gratitude, understanding, and appreciation. However, every time I’m worried that I’m going to encounter resistance, hurt and betrayal. I haven’t fully processed this finding, but I felt like sharing.

The last thing I want to highlight from Jesse’s talk is the line:

Treating newcomers well is what we’re here for.

100% agreed, Jesse. 100% agreed.