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A Question of Etiquette: Courts/Houses/Etc.

By: Rei

The Vampire Community is vast. Some members in a given local area sometimes group together to form Houses, Courts, Clans, etc. Newly awakened ones may find themselves drawn to join one of them and it can be a concern for new ones how to conduct themselves when meeting other vampires for the first time.

Understandably, a conscientious newcomer’s focus might be how not to cause offense and avoid unnecessary hostility, in order to be accepted, and to establish a good relationship. Consequently, the tendency would be to focus on how to treat the group’s superiors. Hierarchy is one thing and it has its merits but whether one is building a group or joining one, putting primary focus on hierarchy would lead one to unconsciously disregard things that are important in the long run.

As I mentioned, people are people. Courts are no different than other associations of people, social groups, whether they be clubs, corporations, etc. They have their own culture.

As a newb, learn the values held by that group. It’s just like going to a different country. Know the core values of this culture.

What it comes down to then is VALUES.

Take Japan for example; their core value is the concept of WA ( 倭 ) meaning group harmony. They value group harmony. They see the collective as more important than themselves. They see others as important if not far more important than themselves. How they communicate right up to how they conduct themselves from their day to day lives, whether dealing with family members, workmates, everyone else, is built from this perspective. It’s why they do not talk directly, because they want to avoid hurting another person’s feelings. It’s why they have a crazy work culture because they see the company’s goals as more important than individual desires.

Same with other business groups, corporations or clubs. Some value innovation, some value creativity, some value openness, etc. Most likely than not, their group policies follow and build around those values. It wouldn’t be that different with courts.

So what should the new ones do?

My tip would be to sit back, observe and ask questions. Some of what you should ask are as follows:

  • What are the values important to the court you are planning to join?
  • What are their goals? Is it in alignment with what you are seeking?
  • Are you comfortable with its policies? How about the atmosphere?

These would give you the insight into understanding how and why the group conducts themselves as they do, as opposed to focusing on the group’s formalities at the get go.

If you answered no to the above questions, then chances are, that group isn’t for you. Best to move on and find another.

If yes, then go on observing, asking questions, and be courteous to everyone. It doesn’t hurt to be nice. Any group worth its salt would be open to being asked questions and open to guiding their new members, whether it be on that group’s specific code of conduct or procedure, teaching and learning methods, how they implement their projects, etc. If the group is in alignment with what you are seeking, then absorbing their principles would be easier and would be organic.

If you’re looking to build a group/court/house in your local community, the same applies, except you would be on the position to build and implement.

  • What would your group stand for?
  • What would its core values be?

Writing a mission-vision statement is a good way to keep you in track. If you plan to implement a hierarchy, what purpose would it serve and does it follow the goals you set out for? Most likely, the codes of etiquette and internal policies would flow from there, as well as how you would enforce it.

And just like how some business don’t like competition, some existing courts may not like it when new courts emerge in their area without going through certain procedures *chuckles* but that’s a whole different topic.

So it’s really not that different. Courts, houses, etc, even if it/s “nightside” aren’t really that different from any other “dayside” group, as vampires are as much social animals as next non-vampire, so codes of conduct, etiquette can be approached from the same context.

Bottomline to make it work: don’t be an asshole. 😛

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About nocturnerie

Nerd. Avid learner. Blood-feeder. SS' whip wielder. :P

One comment on “A Question of Etiquette: Courts/Houses/Etc.

  1. […] we’ve previously discussed in A Question of Etiquette: Courts/Houses/etc., it is also important to check the group’s values to see it would help you see if you would […]

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