#Costuming & #Cosplay 101: Deescalating Troublesome Situations

Troublesome situations can sometimes occur between #costumers & #cosplayers. Quick deescalation & compromise are always the far better options in the long term than allowing the troublesome situations to grow into something far worse. This is especially important in #CostumeClubs.

Leaving a troublesome situation in an unresolved & non-deescalated state greatly increases the likelihood that more troublesome situations may occur in the future because the parties involved are already primed for them.

A series of such unresolved & non-deescalated situations (or even a single one) can lead to long term conflict & drama, which can spread to include more individuals that weren’t part of the original troublesome situation(s) when the additional individuals are motivated to take sides & compelled to defend one side or the other.

Thus, what could have been a far simpler issue to resolve can become extremely difficult (if not impossible) to resolve once a full fledged conflict & drama erupt and additional individuals have allied themselves and by doing so, joined the conflict themselves.

How can one deescalate & potentially resolve a troublesome  issue at the onset?

1. Remain calm. Nothing fans the sparks of a potential conflict better than allowing oneself to become angry. Anger not only reduces a person’s ability to think rationally, it increases the likelihood that statements or actions will occur that antagonize the situation. By remaining calm, however, there’s a far greater chance that the parties involved will choose of their own accord to find a resolution.

2. Control your tone & body language. Building on remaining calm, body language & tone of voice can say more to another person than what’s being said with words. If you appear threatening, you’ll be perceived as being threatening. If you sound angry, you’ll be perceived as being angry. Instead, take a relaxed stance, don’t enter the other person’s personal space and maintain a calm voice. This will help to encourage the other person to do the same & remain calm.

3. Listen. Building on remaining calm, listening to another person’s concerns is often the first step in finding a resolution. Failure to listen eliminates the likelihood that a resolution will ever be found.

4. Accept & acknowledge the other person’s feelings. Accepting & acknowledging how the other person feels not only shows respect for the person, but that you’re not passing judgment on them. Ignoring & not acknowledging how the other person feels will only intensify the negative feelings that are already present.

5. Take responsibility & be willing to apologize. Taking responsibility for one’s own actions and apologizing can go a very long way at ending a troublesome situation. Failing to take responsibility for one’s own actions or, worse, blaming the other party will only make the troublesome situation far worse.

6. Be willing to compromise. If the two parties can’t fully agree to what the other wants, willingness to meet part way so that each party gets at least part of what they want will deescalate a situation. Standing firm & being unwilling to compromise will only lead to more troublesome¬† (& potentially worse) situations in the future.

7. Look to the future instead of the past. Focusing on the past can make troublesome situations worse. By focusing on the future, you & the other party can focus on problem solving rather than fault-finding. When you create hope, you’ll make yourself far less threatening.

8. Don’t just walk away. Walking away from an unresolved troublesome situation will only make it worse because it leaves the other person frustrated and upset. It also primes both of you for more troublesome situations. Instead, follow the other steps listed above to deescalate the situation.

9. Don’t get involved in other people’s troublesome situations. Involving yourself in someone else’s troublesome situation will only result in you becoming part of it yourself, which not only complicates the situation, it makes it far more likely that the original situation will grow.

Conflict & drama are never worth the damage they create.

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#Costuming, #Cosplay & #CostumeClubs 101 on #WordPress!

To better reach the ever growing costuming, cosplay & costume club communities, we’ve created this WordPress blog to supplement our preexisting Facebook page.

The mission of “Costuming, Cosplay & Costume Clubs 101” is to share experiences and knowledge of the costuming & cosplay hobby with the entire costuming, cosplay and costume club communities.

People who engage in costuming & cosplay generally fall into one or more 6 broad categories:

  1. Casual Costumers: people who only occasionally dress up in costume for parties & holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas, etc.. Casual costumers typically purchase their costumes from stores or make simple handmade costumes.
  2. Independent Hobbyists: people who regularly dress up in costumes and attend events (such as comic conventions, anime conventions, etc.) more than casual costumers. Hobbyists typically make far more elaborate costumes on their own and/or purchase items from independent prop makers who cater to specific types of independent hobbyists.
  3. Costume Club Members: these are hobbyists who have joined an organized costume club and participate in events coordinated by the costume club. Costume club members typically have more opportunities to wear costumes than independent hobbyists. They may also focus more on charitable activities, such as visiting sick children in hospitals, raising money for charities, participating in public events (such as parades), etc.
  4. Professional Cosplayers: a handful of cosplayers have transformed their hobby into a way to earn money. The most successful to date is Yaya Han, who is not only paid to appear at a number of conventions, she sells signed photos and recently began to sell her own branded fabrics.
  5. Paid Actors: anyone who is paid to appear on stage, sporting events (mascots), films, advertisements, etc., while in costume. Costumes are made for the actors to wear and are only worn as part of the role that they are paid to portray.
  6. Independent Prop Makers: these are individuals who make their own props and sell them to interested costumers & cosplayers (usually independent hobbyists & costume club members). They are also typically independent hobbyists and/or costume club members themselves.

Topics discussed by “Costuming, Cosplay & Costume Clubs 101” are primarily intended for independent hobbyists, costume club members and independent prop makers.

While a very important aspect of costuming & cosplay is learning the crafts involved in making costumes (which we discuss), it also involves delving into the complex web of social interactions that develop & evolve as you embark on your own personal journey into the costuming & cosplay hobby. The complex web of social interactions that we discuss include the whether joining a particular costume club is right for you, potential risk for unwanted drama & conflict, what goes on in costume clubs, and other potential risks in the form of cosplay bullying, pictures of yourself appearing on inappropriate websites or social media groups, and a host of other topics.

As with any hobby, the intent for anyone who becomes a costumer or cosplayer is to have fun, and the keys to keeping the hobby as fun as possible for yourself include avoiding potential conflict & drama as much as possible. Unfortunately, some things will always be outside of your control: if you aren’t aware of their existence, they can sneak up and become quite upsetting when they manifest. We hope to shed light on these often overlooked and hidden aspects of costuming & cosplay so that you can make personal decisions that help you to either avoid them or overcome them if they ever occur.