View Full Version : Welcome to Werelist - a basic guide

April 10th, 2008, 04:54 PM
If you\'re new to therianthropy, it\'s worth a read. If you\'re not, read it anyhow to find out how we respectfully welcome new folks to the community.

Welcome to Werelist. This is a safe and welcoming place for anyone who is prepared to be honest and thoughtful about who they are and why they are here. If you’re new to therianthropy, it’s okay to share honestly about your feelings and experiences and not worry that people will make fun of you for not knowing some stuff. This is a place for mature adults, and even though we do let younger folks on board, mature adult behavior is absolutely expected. We’ll do our best to help you learn how to live up to that. We know it can be a tall order, sometimes especially for us “animal people”, but we’re here to help.

One of the most important things about growing up and learning to be an adult is to control your impulses and your behavior. It’s no different for therians than for other people. Regular people who don’t have an animal side sometimes get mad and want to punch people in the face, or want to take an item off the store shelf they can’t afford to pay for. But part of growing up and not acting like a little child any more is learning to exercise basic self control over your impulses. There are consequences to acting out in ways that are harmful, annoying or disturbing to other people, and it is the behavior of a mature adult therianthrope to think about those consequences before acting out.

Always remember that therianthropy is a reason but it’s not an excuse. That means we really do understand if you have a wolf inside you that makes you feel angry or violent, or a deer that wants to run and jump on the freeway, or a big cat that wants to snarl at people. But it is completely up to you to decide how your real human self physically acts. Some things that you may feel that you want to do are really not a good idea for an animal that happens to be living in a human body. In fact they’re pretty stupid ideas, and it’s not cool or admirable or True-Were behavior to do them anyway because you’d be more like your animal that way. Reality check: you live in a human body now. Deal with it. We\'re here to help. We\'re dealing with it too.

Whether you like it much or not, you are human in this lifetime. You can either learn to cope with that successfully, or you will fail at life. Whatever you believe your purpose is in this lifetime, I hope it is not to fail and to be permanently unhappy because you can’t adjust or cope. You really can, even if you feel very deeply that you’re trapped in the wrong body. There are lessons to be learned here and gifts to be appreciated. How you end up coping and adjusting is up to you. Some people find comfort in religious or spiritual beliefs or practices. Others prefer science. There is no one right answer, other than what helps you personally to grow and mature and become the best person you can be regardless of your current set of limitations.

If you do destructive, violent, harmful or socially unacceptable things because “your wereside made you do it”, you will have a hard time being a self-supporting adult who can cope successfully in the real world. It really is possible to be a fully integrated adult therian and be sane, stable, successful, responsible, self-supporting and genuinely happy. There’s a lot of us older folk on board who’ve been there done that, and some of us started pretty much right where you are now. While nobody online can (or should) tell you exactly how to live your life, you might be able to get a few good ideas for yourself from the roads we’ve traveled if they’re similar to your own.

It was pretty neat finding out you weren’t alone in the world, and that there were other people who felt just like you about really being an animal on the inside. Reaching out to those other people may feel very important to you right now. But please remember that not all those other people you will find online are necessarily good people, or smart people, or mature people. I guarantee you will run into people who are telling stories to make themselves feel more important and to get power over other people. You will also run into people who really mean well and believe they can help people, but who are too young to give good advice or set themselves up as “pack leaders”. You will meet roleplayers who don’t believe a word they are saying, but are only playing games online to have fun with people. Learn to recognize the warning signs of an unhealthy group or individual here: http://archive.werelist.com/modules7734.html?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=47

If you are a minor you need to be especially careful. Not only can you be in danger yourself from people who want to take advantage of you because they think they are bigger and smarter than you (and they aren’t always, even if they are older), but you can be a danger to others. If you engage in adult activities on a site belonging to someone who isn’t a minor, or with someone who isn’t a minor, that person and possibly the site owner could get in real legal trouble. Don’t, please, repay our hospitality here on Werelist by getting people in trouble and ruining things for everybody. I know it isn’t fair, but wait until you’re legal (by your local definition of legal) to talk about adult subjects here. Werelist really isn’t for explicit stuff anyway, so it’s not like you would find any porn even in a forum or thread here that was set aside for adults and adult issues. We would deeply regret losing you as a member if you did something that put us at risk, but we would have to do it to protect everyone else on the site.

We already think you’re special and nifty just as you are. It’s not necessary to make up fantasy stories, or to exaggerate experiences you’ve had, or to play a role, or really to be anybody but who you are. Once again we’d hate to lose you as a member if you felt like you had to tell stories or play a role to be liked, but we might have to do it to protect other people from being told stuff that wasn’t true or healthy to believe. Just be honest about what you think and how you feel, and how you came to those conclusions.

We really value good critical thinking and logic. That doesn’t mean we think it is cool to bash other people’s beliefs or refuse to believe in anything spiritual or “magical”. We do think it is important to think long and hard about the stuff you believe and why you believe it, and look for the best supporting evidence you can find before jumping to conclusions. Before deciding there is definitely a supernatural reason for something, think hard about all the possible natural reasons, even if it’s more fun to believe (and to tell other people) that you’re having a special supernatural experience. Gently encouraging healthy skepticism in yourself and others is good; being mean about other people’s beliefs isn’t. Keeping an open mind is good, keeping it so far open that anybody can use it as a trash receptacle isn’t.

There are no wise old gurus, Grand High Pooh-Bahs or alpha pack leaders on Werelist. Run away from anyone who makes claims like that; they probably don’t have your best interests in mind. We have helpstaff whose job it is to be helpful. Think of us as janitors and librarians who keep the place tidy and in order so everyone can get the best use of it. Sometimes we need to say “shhh” if people are being disruptive in the library, or even ask someone to leave if they are making it unpleasant or unsafe for other people to use the library. But mostly we’re here to help people, even if we need to remind you of the rules and of your agreement to do your best to be a responsible adult member of Werelist.

So welcome, we’re glad to have you on board. We hope you enjoy your stay.