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Rebecca Mix @rebeccarmix
, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve seen a lot of threads about recognizing toxic people lately, and I want to talk about a special kind of toxic person that you’re going to inevitably run into as a creative type. For the sake of this post, I’m going to call them “climbers.” (1/?)
Disclaimer: this is not aimed at a specific person. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as I get more involved with writing twitter. But if you see yourself in these tweets…maybe take a chance to sit back, and really think on it. (2)
Basically, climbers are people that will short-term invest in you to get something, whether it’s free advice, free art, your own emotional labor, etc. And they give very little (or nothing) in return. To them, you’re not a person. You’re a rung on a ladder. (3)
They usually start out super charming and super enthusiastic! They can be almost pushy in their eagerness to “get to know you”…but it’s almost always related to things that can circle back to them. There’s little to no personal investment. That’s your first warning. (4)
They’ll demand your attention and disappear as soon as you try to talk about your own stuff. They’ll want your support, but when you need it, they vanish. They’ll brush your good news—even if it’s like, SUPER FANTASTIC AMAZING NEWS—away, and make the convo about themselves. (5)
We’ve all met this person. If you’re like me, you probably tried justifying their behavior.
“They mean well!”
“They’re just excited!”
“They don’t even realize they’re doing it.”
The last one might be true—but that doesn’t make it any less hurtful. (6)
As someone who is a huge empath and is always genuinely eager to make new friends, I can’t tell you how crushing it is to realize that the person I was ready to invest time and energy and friendship in has 0 interest in doing the same for me. (7)
One of the worst types of climbers, imo, are the ones that want you to do actual work for free, even though you barely know them.
“Will you look at my query letter?”
“Will you read my pitch?”
“Will you read my book?”
“Will you give me give me give me?" (8)
Friends, don’t be like this. If someone wants to swap, THEY WILL ASK. But begging a creative to look at your stuff unprompted isn’t just awkward—it’s really, really rude. Plus, a lot of the Super Great artists on here do giveaways for that stuff all the time!! (9)
That doesn’t mean friendship is always about exchange! Heck, I have days where my friends need to SCREAM THEIR GREAT NEWS or mope about bad things, and I’m there to listen. And I love listening! But I also know they’ll do the same for me. (10)
I LOVE supporting people! It’s one of my fave things! I joke that I care about my friends successes more than my own but it’s…not really a joke. Being there for the people I love is the best feeling in the world. But that that kind of support system grows organically. (11)
Having CPs is important. Having people that will read your query and synopsis is important! But there are swap groups and entire websites and match events for that. Contacting someone under the guise of friendship when you only really “want” something from them is terrible. (12)
I’ve been burned so many times by climbers. It’s made me a lot more cautious about who I let into my circle and who I’ll share my time with. And that really, really hurts—because at heart I’m basically Leslie Knope and I want to be Friends With Everyone. (13)
I know we all want to find our groups. Honestly, I still struggle with how to deal with climbers, because I genuinely want to believe someday, they’ll invest in me the way I’d be willing to invest in them. But they won’t. And you can’t force that out of anyone. (14)
How you deal with them is up to you. But friends, don’t be ashamed of setting boundaries. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and make it clear that your time, feedback, and emotional labor is not for free. The right people will respect that. (15)
And if you’re like me and you’re lucky to have super amazing fabulous friends that fully invest in you, here’s your reminder to tell you how much they love them. Because man, they really are the best. (16)
WHEW THAT WAS A LOT. Squishy hugs to everyone dealing with this rn.
I normally don't thread but this has been bothering me for forever.
now, your regular program of shitposting and cat jokes will return as scheduled.
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