Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bad Relationships

I think we have all seen people in bad relationships where one person is giving their all to it in order to make it work, and the other party acts like a dirtbag, neglecting them, taking advantage of them and not giving them the proper respect they deserve. Often the second party is a player who makes tantalizing promises to these people and every other person they have a relationship with, rarely being able to live up to those promises because they are only interested in themselves and what they can get out of it by putting as little effort into the relationship as they can.

As a very strong woman I have often wondered why these people stay in these relationships. I have watched the hurt, frustration, and sheer denial and always thought if it was me I would get out fast and never look back.

I have heard the excuses people use to justify being in these relationships. They keep hoping that if they put enough love and support into it things will change and get better. They feel that they have invested so much time into it that they can't simply turn and walk away from it.

I think there might be another reason they stay so long...I think many times they don't realize they are in that type of relationship until it's too late because things progress slowly and it seems so promising at first.

This morning, much to my surprise I realized I was in one of those types of relationships. I sat there wondering how on earth this happened without me seeing it?

I am not talking about R, so don't try to get me any help or suggest I leave him. No, R is a peach and would never treat me badly. I am quite lucky in that relationship. I am talking about a different relationship.

I went back to look at some of the posts I made on my blog this morning concerning a specific topic. I had read a post on another blog that really opened my eyes. The person posting it had provided links and statistics and facts that were hard to dismiss. I wanted to see if I had been too harsh or simply assessed the situation incorrectly despite this new information, so I tried to read my posts objectively and as if they had been written by someone else.

The irony is it read exactly like every woman I have ever met in a bad relationship. They know something is wrong, but they aren't quite sure what it is. They know they should get out of it but they stick with it using all those same excuses and go into denial. Even after reading it and knowing what I now know I am not quite willing to get out of it just yet.

The relationship I am talking about is with Etsy. If you have been following my blog, then you know I have been studying it for a while now. Despite learning all that I had learned about how they skew towards a young, hip audience, use mall mentality, only feature certain types of items, feel they have the right to create trends, and largely ignore the rest of their population of sellers needs and concerns...I still thought it had to be mostly my fault in some way.

I, like many others had put a great deal of effort and money into promoting my shop, which was to their benefit because any type of promotion brings customers to them as a whole. Etsy doesn't do much to promote the vast majority of their sellers, they leave that to us. The certainly could, they have the resources to do it. They make promises of creating a venue for sellers of handmade to make a living, but then they ignore many of our needs to make that happen.

Recently they even took away the guarantee of those 30 seconds of front page and time machine exposure after you list a new item. Instead of stepping up to fix the problem by adding more squares they made an announcement after the fact saying that we shouldn't expect that for our listing fee. They made it clear they don't owe us anything for our listing fees other than the listing. They only made the announcement because so many people were complaining that renewing was pointless without being certain we would make it to the front page for our few seconds of fame. Conversely they do feel that our listing fees gives them the right to pressure us into doing things their way in some instances.

This morning I read this and was shocked. It's another long post, but worth the read and you might find it very enlightening: Sun>Moon Blog

They have a large team of people working for them, but yet so many of the things they do seem counter intuitive. Ultimately they are not only hurting us, they are hurting themselves as well. But like the player, they refuse to see it.

I was looking at the gift guides yesterday and I noticed a seller that was featured in four different ones. It's a seller that has been featured many times in the past as well. It's nothing personal against the seller, but what they sell is certainly not to my taste, and I am sure not to the taste of many customers and I found myself wondering again why one person needs to be featured so many times when less than 98% of the population isn't getting any at all. This type of thing happens a lot. Their sellers pleas fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Why does Etsy deign to give so much love to a handful of people when they neglect the rest of their relationships? Why do they think they can tell us how to run our businesses as long as we are sticking to their TOS. Sometimes they try to pressure us into doing things we aren't comfortable doing.

I am not going to completely leave my shop because I figure it still hits the consciousness of a few people who weren't aware that I was out there, but I have stopped renewing, stopped promoting and stopped put my love into this unhealthy relationship. I list an item and that's it. I have lost respect for them because of the many things I have seen and heard about their treatment of sellers. Case in point in the blog post listed above. Most of us wouldn't allow ourselves to be walked all over in a relationship with a significant other, so why do we do it in business? Sadly I still harbor a tiny flicker of hope that it will change for the better, so I don't completely close the door yet.

I have concluded my study of these selling venues as of today. I think I have learned most of what needs to be learned at this point. I am sure part of it is still my fault as is the truth with any relationship. Afterall it takes two to tango. But I think most of the blame lies with them. They ignore whole genres of art, don't listen to sound advice when people give it and pretty much do whatever they want. Like the players mentioned at the beginning of this post, I doubt they will change despite my hopes to the contrary.

I think it's important to step back once in a while and assess all the relationships we are in and ask ourselves if we are getting what we need from them. Especially if we have wandered into them blindly, filled with hope. If the answer is yes, that's great...stick with it. If the answer is no, maybe it's time to rethink things. Some of these types of relationships we find ourselves in can be just as abusive, demoralizing and hurtfully impact other aspects of our lives as one with a partner who treats us badly. Each of us is worth more than that.


Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

Sigh...a good relationship is right here - timely and sage musings, articulate and smart truths, and just plain sensible and entertaining reading. Thank you.

P.S. That starfish is in my budget for next month!

Kelly said...

Thank you Kathy, I didn't want to make light of people in bad relationships, but I do think it's important to remember that not all bad relationships we find ourselves in are with other people. They can have the same impact on us and be very unhealthy.

On a lighter note, there will be more starfish coming! I am sick of this long cold Colorado winter this year!

Hugs, Kelly

Lori said...

Kelly, what a thought provoking post...i totally agree with everything you said...i for one, was totally lost in the shuffle over at etsy...i am leaving my shop there in vacation mode for now...who knows if i will ever open it...and who would notice if i did...{?}

Rana said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. It offers a lot of insight into the "Etsy relationship" and why so many people hang on to it, offering excuses and getting upset when someone points out the problems. That behavior makes a lot more sense now.

Mia Sophia said...

Thanks for the link. That was very enlightening and a little unnerving. Gives all of us lots to think about.

Kelly said...

Tonight a final piece of the puzzle fell into place. I came across something while I was looking at something else that showed real pics of the admins. I was surprised by how very young they all look.

There is certainly nothing wrong with being in business at a young age, I started at 17. But it explained a lot about their point of view and what they choose to feature and the audience they are trying to reach.

I have probably been in business longer than most of them have been alive.

pastfirst said...

Your blogspot made my day.
It's visually very pleasing to the eye, and I enjoyed reading this post.
Really lovely. Keep it up.

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

Very well said. My thoughts exactly.

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