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There are some questions appearing on Buddhism SE, that seem better suited to Interpersonal Skills SE (IPS SE).

How should these questions be handled?

  • Leave them as they are, being the compassionate Buddhist Q&A site that we are
  • Leave them as they are, since they are a kind of Buddhism-in-practice questions
  • The moderators can request these questions to be rephrased in such a way that it appears more on-topic
  • Consider them off-topic and propose to move to IPS SE
  • Create some guidelines on our help page to draw the boundary between Buddhism SE and IPS SE

The IPS SE help page states:

using or understanding interpersonal interactions to resolve specific problems or prevent problems from occurring with a specific goal in mind. This includes interactions with family, friends, work/school associates, acquaintances or strangers (or anyone else).

Here are some examples on Buddhism SE:

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Well yes you're right: there is an IPS SE now.

Still I think that these questions have a (different) place on this site:

  • "Am I feeling pity or compassion" is a reference to the fact that dhamma defines "pity" as being a "near enemy" of "compassion" -- so this is a question about "how to apply or understand (an aspect of) dhamma in my life?" and thus on-topic to this site.

  • "I want to leave my mother", and other questions, received different answers on Buddhism than they would on IPS (answers which could have been off-topic or inappropriate on IPS)


For these reasons I agree with ...

  • Leave them as they are, being the compassionate Buddhist Q&A site that we are
  • Leave them as they are, since they are a kind of Buddhism-in-practice questions

... and don't automatically agree with:

  • Consider them off-topic and propose to move to IPS SE

As for this ...

  • Create some guidelines on our help page to draw the boundary between Buddhism SE and IPS SE

... do you have any guidelines or boundary to suggest? Do you think we ought to at least make the OP prove they know there is such a thing as Buddhism or dhamma, or something ... some kind of barrier to entry or shibboleth?

As for this ...

  • The moderators can request these questions to be rephrased in such a way that it appears more on-topic

... I'm reluctant for two reasons:

  • If someone's troubled and asks a question they care deeply about, it might be painful for a moderator to pick on their wording and imply their questions is unwanted or not good enough
  • I think it's established that (and users on this site ought to know that) the topic of this site is always Buddhism no matter what the question is; so if someone asks a inter-personal question here they are implicitly asking for a Buddhist perspective, whether or not they say so explicitly in the question (e.g. I was once required to edit an answer of mine which didn't sufficiently reference Buddhist principles).

Another topic might be, how can we ensure that answers are Buddhist? What if you think that someone's answer is just selfish and non-Buddhist and might as well have been on IPS instead of here?

And I think the answer to that is that it's difficult and problematic to enforce orthodoxy on answers, and that if you disagree with an answer all you can do is:

  • Downvote
  • Post a single, polite, specific comment under the answer to identify what your disagreement is

Similarly I suppose you could do that to a question, e.g. post a comment like "I think this question would also be on-topic at [IPS.SE](https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com), if you're also open to non-Buddhist answers to this question."

  • Sidenote: you can use the magic link like [interpersonal.se] instead and it will be expanded automatically to Interpersonal Skills with the site name and URL. – Andrew T. Feb 16 '18 at 5:54
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You might want to create a tag, like interpersonal oslt, for this category of topics; but there might be too many of them, e.g. every question tagged metta and so on.

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    There seems to be a relationship tag.. – ruben2020 Feb 14 '18 at 10:16

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