Us and Them

I am becoming increasingly troubled (and alarmed) by the latest trend of popular, provocatively titled posts in which hosts/sitters criticize each other for failing the expectations of the other party. I am even more troubled and alarmed when such posts not only foster division among sitters/hosts by each group supporting its own interests but also add fuel to the original poster’s accusations and thereby (just like that) validate and justify them.

Even though the accusations are one-sided and lack physical evidence to back them up, even though the accused party is excluded from the discussion and without a fair chance to offer an explanation or present their side of the story, all the support tends to go to the accuser while the accused party gets trashed in the process.

Absolutely, some homes can be untidy, and it’s true that not all sitters clean up after themselves. Perhaps it would be more productive to manage expectations and promote mutual education, rather than engaging in group criticism, assigning blame, and portraying oneself as a victim.

Hmmm…speaking of provocatively titled posts…

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Yes. A lot of negativity around the forum lately. It bothers me too.

It shouldn’t really get to the stage of “us and them”. We are all here for the same reason. We all have the same passion- animals and travel. The problem seems to be getting the perfect match.
I’m back on my soap box again folks - the answer is communication. Both talking AND listening. Expectations must be voiced and accepted. If someone has to compromise it isn’t really a good fit and the match should be abandoned and started all over again with different players. There is enough sitters and pet owners registered that everyone should be able to find an ideal match.
In all good relationships there is no us and them, there is only we.
Keep looking, talking and listening and you’ll eventually find the people and pets you are looking for.


I wonder if it’s one of those things with a forum where negative catches attention more than positive. Linked to 70% of the human brain :brain: is geared to think negatively unless we change it. People are also 11 times more likely to complain than compliment someone or something. Maybe humans feed off drama and that’s why these threads spiral. What do you think the solution is @RadarInc? Even though it doesn’t seem like it, the forum can only be less than 1% of the THS membership so it’s skewed in its reflection too.

Certainly, this is how it should ideally work. Regrettably, it doesn’t always align with reality, as seen in the numerous blaming posts lately. There seems to be an imbalance between expectations and contributions.

Personally, I haven’t encountered any difficulties in finding what I am looking for. Should any issues arise, the responsibility lies entirely with me, either because I overlooked warning signs or consciously chose to ignore them.

There was one I just saw a minute ago. I was in the process of writing a suggestion and realized it was deleted.

Indeed, people are often quite generous when it comes to complaining, yet they can be quite reserved when it comes to giving praise.

As Dr. Phil says, “No matter how thin a pancake is, it always has two sides.” It appears to me that posters are quick to support the person complaining while not only completely disregarding “the other side” but also resorting to name-calling.

Your key point for me @RadarInc is that we have to take responsibilities for ourselves. Our life, our choice of sit, our judge of sitter or HO, how it pans out and so on. Seeking advice is a good & natural thing for a human to do but dealing & solving it is down to us.


Yes, right on, my sentiment exactly

With forums in general, people write about what they need help with, not so much the things that are going well. And it’s not necessary to adjudicate — that’s not the point. Many people simply try to be helpful and offer solutions or other support. That’s why forums exist.

If reading about issues is overwhelming to anyone, it’s easiest to skip such posts — that’s focusing on what you control individually, rather putting the onus on others to accommodate your preferences or sensitivities.

It helps to keep in mind that THS sitting and hosting generally work well for people. Otherwise, no one would be doing either — THS is entirely a voluntary activity for all of us. Forums are entirely voluntary as well.

FWIW, I’m in various groups and see the same patterns in all of them. Like RV’ing is an overwhelmingly rewarding activity, but you’ll see that most of the posts are about problems that people are encountering. Few people need to join a forum to discuss how well things are going — they need help with the stuff that pains them.

Discussions like these remind me of a trip to South Korea I took decades ago. A bridge had collapsed, killing people and drawing a lot of news coverage. One of our guides and translators was upset. He complained that all the other bridges were still standing and no one was covering that, LOL.


While asking questions, being helpful, and offering support are the intended purposes of forums, engaging in bashing, trashing, name-calling, prosecuting, and convicting someone without any submitted evidence and without affording them the opportunity to participate, explain, correct, or redeem themselves is unacceptable. If we permit this behavior to persist, the forum will become flooded with a stream of accusations of wrongdoing. This doesn’t sit well with me, nor should it with anyone else.

p.s. my experience with forums stretches all the way back to MUT and Bulleting boards, thus I believe I have a solid understanding of what forums are all about.

I’m also an old hand online, dating to BBSs, pre-internet. I’d say from that that THS’s forum is well moderated and tame. And that no one is convicted since identities aren’t shared when people have problems and it’s not possible to expect folks posting about their issues to not discuss at least some specifics. And no one is ever “convicted,” since people offer suggestions, but that doesn’t require them to adjudicate an actual case, which typically no one has time or interest in.

I strongly doubt and have no worries about the forum being ruined, simply because moderators are ably doing their jobs.


No such worry, We are on the same page

I also saw that one, an HO coming back early. Sounded horrible.

Hi @RadarInc thank you for expressing your concerns, we would like to assure you that the forum is committed to providing a space where members can express themselves openly, as a community. Our moderation practices prioritize member’s privacy, respect and confidentiality, ensuring that sensitive information is not disclosed and that discussions remain focused on constructive help and advice.

The primary goal is to create an environment that is safe, open, and supportive for everyone involved and at the same time encourage differing opinions as they contribute to the overall growth and learning of the community.

Your thoughts help to highlight the importance of mutual education, setting realistic expectations, promoting a sense of unity among our community and remembering to also share our collective successes, of which there are many.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns and thank you also to everyone who has contributed to this conversation so far.

We have benefited from reading about others negative experiences as it allowed us to learn from them and in most cases avoid something similar happening to is ( or a least come up with a back up plan if it does )

We enjoy reading the positive experiences , which inspire us to visit places, and try new experiences that we would not have previously considered.

I note that some members come here for advice because they don’t feel that they got the help or support they wanted/ expected when the went to member services in the first instance. Before joining THS we house sat with our own private arrangements . You have to deal with issues yourselves as there is no third party to call on to find a solution.

Some members expect that member services will be able to intervene more when problems arise between hosts and sitters . Not finding the solution / advice that they were expecting ; some members then come to the forum for advice. Not everyone has had the same life experiences on how to handle expectations, disappointments or disputes .

Our comments on the forum have recorded both the ups and the downs of house sitting.
We share the positives to encourage those who are maybe uncertain about starting out on this journey and we mention the unexpected problems we’ve encountered so that others can anticipate what they might do if a similar situation arose and make their own Plan B.
Forewarned is for forearmed.


@MaggieUU, Out of curiosity, what specifically in the title did you find provocative? It wasn´t intentional. My aim was simply to emphasize a division and conflict of interest between the two groups, hosts and sitters.

(By the way, the title I “borrowed” from Pink Floyd’s song “Us and Them” which talks about war and division that people don’t want to participate in, yet they find themselves involved in it. The complete lyrics and their meaning you can find here:
Pink Floyd - Us and Them Lyrics | SongMeanings)

@RadarInc There could also be a division/conflict between Sitter styles and HO styles. As we continue to read, there are many varying philosophies among Sitters and HOs.

As someone else mentioned somewhere recently, we can only control ourselves.

Why do you think it was deleted?