Collaboration not competition
The paranormal field is more popular than ever before. A mixture of social media and reality television has had so many people dip their toes into the paranormal waters, and it isn't before long they are swimming laps. New paranormal groups are popping up every day. New tours are introduced, new locations are investigated, new podcasts are recorded and new blogs are written. Not only is it interesting and rewarding to investigate and research the paranormal, it also allows us to channel our creative energy as well. I have made no secret how much I love writing about the paranormal. As someone that always wanted to be a writer, the paranormal field has allowed me to have an audience to share my thoughts and experiences. I know this rings true with many content creators. Even just having something to do on a weekend with your friends gives you something to look forward to. There are so many good things we can say about the paranormal field.
Sadly, there is a long list of problems within the field. One of the number one problems is competition. There is a lot of ego, and people are all vying to be noticed. Likes become quite addictive. This is something that isn't exclusive to the paranormal field, it is the way society has been trained in the last few years. It can be so damaging to a person's mental health that social media platforms like instagram and Facebook have now stopped displaying the number of likes a post gains. Social media paints a very unrealistic image. We all know this, but it doesn't stop the little green eyed monster from appearing. Jealousy is a natural, human emotion. Even the nicest well intentioned people feel jealousy. It of course is how you react that defines you.
I myself have been a target of jealous individuals in the past. They become quite vocal about the fact that they feel they are more deserving of an opportunity because they work hard and want recognition for their work. On one occasion, it was such a blatant act that it almost cost investigations being canceled at a major location because they didn't want to deal with the drama this individual was causing. We have all been targets at some point whether it is in the paranormal field or in our work or personal life. As you get older, you become more and more less trusting of people. There are only so many times you can be screwed over before you say enough is enough. I have been in this position myself many times as well. It makes you feel like you need to just do things on your own and that no one can be trusted. While you have every right to feel this way based on past experiences, it could be a mistake.
As much as it would be nice to say that you don't need anyone else in the paranormal field and that you could do it alone, this is not true. While you may do a large amount of of work yourself etc, you still need other people for it to work and be seen. If you want to run an investigation, you need people to attend. If you want to do a podcast, you need people to interview and people to listen. If you want to write a blog, you need people to read it. If you want to attend an investigation, you need a location and you will likely have to go through another group to get in the door. There are so many different scenarios in which you need another person to be able to do what you want to do. If we are in competition with everyone, it actually makes life so much harder. Often we talk about the paranormal field and ask 'how do we move forward?'. My answer is often the word collaboration.
Of course there are always going to be people that you don't get along with. Again this is a natural human occurrence. You are not expected to like everyone and be friends with everyone because again, it is just not possible. I have encountered many people in my travels and we just have not got along. Neither of us did anything to the other, our personalities just were not a match. It doesn't mean I hold anything against them, but for that reason I wouldn't work with them. I leave them be to do what they want to do and they do the same for me. You see if you don't like someone, you don't need to follow them, you can just keep scrolling. Then of course there are people that you do get along with. While you don't have to run out and start a team, it doesn't hurt for you to have a nice network of people that you can turn to for not just friendship, but also support. The paranormal field has its own unique set of situations and challenges and they are not always things you can discuss with your non paranormal friends. Having people that are there to support you and raise you up can do wonders not just for you, but for them as well.
When we work together, we can achieve a lot more. I am seeing more and more joint events happening and teams working together. It means that people will be encouraged to try new things and maybe do things differently. Not everyone investigates in the same way so you can learn from one another just by investigating with another group. You may then be inspired to come up with new ideas or approach things differently. All it takes is for someone to plant a seed and to watch it grow.
Paraunity is something that many of us have campaigned for over the years and admittedly I used to be all about paraunity in the very beginning until I quickly realised it would never happen. Unfortunately, you are never going to unify everyone. You can't get 100 people in a room and expect people with different views and attitudes to get along unconditionally. It is a great idea but we found out pretty quickly when the movement started that it wasn't going to work. Human nature is what stops this from working. You can't make people get along just because we both like the paranormal. There are also a lot of things that go on in the field that are unethical and a person should not be expected to support it in the name of paraunity.
People also sadly have different intentions. For some it is about going out on the weekends having fun or others about really hitting the books and trying to get some answers. Then you have people that just want notoriety or even control. They will do anything to get what they want and often it is at the expense of another person. You don't need to put people down to get to where you want to be. Sometimes it is someone in your close circle. Human relationships are complicated and friendships and partnerships end. Sometimes they get nasty. Again this happens throughout our entire life not just in the paranormal field. If there are people that do not get along, making them run an investigation together could cause its own set of problems. Even having two strong personalities interviewing each other could end up in a verbal slinging match. The field is not immune to daily human nature, something we tend to sometimes forget. As much as we try, you can't force someone to like someone that they just don't like.
Its pretty simple. Choose the people you want to have around you. Be the person you want to be and surround yourself with those who will support and encourage you, and it is also important you do the same for them too. You can't expect everyone to support you if you aren't willing to show any back. We all work hard. If someone gets some recognition for their work, don't automatically think 'what about me?'. While yes you have worked hard, but so have they. Whenever someone achieves something, there is often a small element of backlash of people that feel they deserve it instead. Your time will come. Things don't happen overnight and people will recognise what you do. It is important to remember why you are doing it. You aren't doing it for the likes, you are doing it for the love. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
With this in mind, if you can achieve all of that on your own, imagine what you can achieve if you worked with others as well? There is a lot of possibility there, we just have to get past a lot of the drama to get there.
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