One of the things that has amazed me over the years is how folk tend to interpret everything as being somehow about them. Throughout the internet you’ll find folk who’ve had some experience with some part of the Amway or Quixtar world and they’ll say "Amway does this" or "Quixtar does that".
Here’s some news. Amway is bigger than you think. It’s WAAAYYYY bigger than you think. I thought I had a handle on that from the last few years of debating critics online, but I’ve truly only come to appreciate it the last 6 months developing AmwayWiki.
It doesn’t matter if you were sponsored by Founder’s Crown Ambassador 6 Max Schwarz or Founder’s Crown Ambassador 6 Dexter Yager, and went along to a seminar of their’s involving tens of thousands of people – you’ve still only seen one relatively small snapshot of the Amway world.
And believe it or not, that Amway world is as diverse as the world we live in. Different cultures, different attitudes, different methods. Yes there are many similiarities, as you’d expect, given they’re all in the same business, but they’re not homogenous, they are not all the same.
Any individuals experience in Amway, while likely not entirely unique, is also not necessarily a sound basis for evaluating anyone else’s experience. They may have been completely different, especially if they were not working with the same organization.
Yet many folk seem to believe their experience must somehow be the universal one.
A strange corollary to this is that if you tell of your experience, and it differs from theirs, I’ve noticed that many Amway critics later recall this as having been told their experiences were not true. Many times I’ve read the experiences of Amway critics, and when it’s been completely different to my experience, I’ve said so and given my experience. To them, I’ve apparently called them liars and tried to discredit them! This is far from the truth. All I’ve tried to do is point out to them that perhaps their experience is not universal. That perhaps they shouldn’t brand the entire Amway world with whatever it was that upset them in their experience.
I just read today for example a post by an Amway critic claiming that I’d been "vehemently arguing against our (his) experience". I’m sure he believes that, but it’s simply not true. He and I have different experiences in different organisations. I cannot and would not make claims about something I have no experience with. But for some reason, comments about my experience have been considered a direct challenge to the veracity of his experience.
I suspect this is perhaps related to the way people interpret and handle potential criticism. In another example, in a post I made yesterday (for registered users only) I referred to the fact that Amway critics had posted various information about me online. To be precise, I said –
some well known Amway/Quixtar critics have taken it upon themselves to not only identify me by name, but to also publish various photographs (including one with my son)
I thought the posting of the one including my son was a little tacky to say the least. This was done by the person who originally posted all of the information. Now, to their credit a number of the other critics, when they posted the same photo, cropped my son out of it. However, a number of them read the above quote and attacked me for being dishonest and offensive and accusing them of posting the photo of my son! Again, I did no such thing. I referred to the fact a photo including my son had been posted – which is completely true – but they all had to make it about them! An interesting mix of GroupThink and MeThink.
It seems to me the same dynamic is at play in both situations, people just tend to take things personally. Perhaps now we just get to be far more aware of this, as folks are for more open about posting their thoughts online? Is this a universal human trait, or is it something that perhaps is a distinguishing and contributing factor towards why some folk becoming former Amway distributors who just get on with their lives, whereas others feel the need to share their perspective with the world and go on the attack?
Something to ponder.
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