Shipping Saturday: Dealing with Toxicity in the Shipping World (and Beyond)

shipping saturday fangirl problem 1 (Image)

The world is a pretty angry place right now. Every time we turn on the television or browse social media and and our favorite websites, there are groups arguing over everything from Trump versus Hilary to what exactly is the right direction for our country to take. No matter how hard you try to escape it, it seems like the whole world is on edge with no relief in sight.

So, naturally, we as fangirls and shippers seek comfort from a world gone mad in our beloved fandoms and shipping communities. These magical places are a refuge from the big scary world where fantasy rules, true love prevails, and where like minds come together to revel in all the feels and things that make us squee.

That is until the day we realize that our happy place has been overtaken by vicious shipping wars that have you running for cover. All of a sudden, It can feel like your navigating a mine field. One wrong move and things go from bad to worse with one post or comment.

What’s a fangirl to do?

If you have found yourself in a ship war and looking for a little advice, here are a few tips to help create a little more peace and harmony to your fandom. (They also work quite well for navigating tense political climates this election season and the inevitable holiday disagreements that we never seem to be able to avoid.)

Respect that everyone has their own opinions.

No matter how much we wish it wasn’t true, everyone is not always going to agree with you on every aspect of your favorite fandom. You may not understand why a fellow Pretty Little Liars fan would ship Caleb with Spencer while they don’t get how you could be on Team Haleb. Yet, if we agreed on every little thing about a book, movie, or television show, things would be pretty boring. These differing opinions have the power to lead to some pretty killer fan discussions, fanfiction, and revelations we might no have otherwise. You don’t have to agree with a differing opinion or even like it. Just respect that the other person has every right to ship whoever they want. Sometimes, you just have to agree to disagree in order to keep the peace.

Don’t try to convert others.

You may sing the praises of a particular ship, but know the difference between expressing why you love that couple and totally shoving them down someone else’s throat. Converting others never works. No one likes being preached at. In fact, most of the time, it only serves to further drive a bigger wedge between you and them. Don’t try to convince a fellow Supernatural fan to stop shipping Dean with Lisa, because Dean and Castiel is the only way to go. Give your ship as many props as you want. Let you flag for the fly freely. Just don’t steamroll over others. State your point, let them state theirs, and move on. There’s room for all of us on the vast shipping sea.

Try to find some common ground.

Okay, so you think a person is totally crazy for shipping Once Upon a Time’s Emma with Neal instead of with Hook. However, just because you don’t share the same shipping opinions, it doesn’t mean you can’t find common ground about other aspects of the fandom. Maybe you both admire just how strong a main character is or the incredible bond between an amazing BroTP. Maybe you both really love a show’s music choices or wardrobe selections. Shipping is only one part of being in a fandom. There are so many other great reasons why we love our favorite shows and series. Focus on the things that you unite you with a fellow fan and not the things that divide.

Know when to walk away.

Sometimes, despite all attempts to find harmony with others, you just can’t.The best thing you can do when a ship war takes an intense turn for the worst is just step back and disengage. Don’t respond to tweets or leave snide comments on a post. Feeling the urge to get a little nasty back? Unfollow the person or add them to your ignore list. Some people just don’t mix and that’s okay. The important thing is that you don’t let the negativity drag you down. Take the high road even when it isn’t easy. You sail through those rocky waters so much easier.

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