Flounce is a term used on Internet discussion forums or chat rooms, usually used to describe a type of post made on the forum.

Typically a flounce is where a user feels that he has had enough of a certain forum and, rather than simply leaving, decides to post a long post detailing their reasons for leaving, usually in a new thread so as to get the maximum number of replies. These posts could contain insults directed at fellow members of the forum or at its administrators, and the users’ grievances with them. They can range from the calm and reasoned to the emotional and hysterical, garnering comment and concern respectively. The main part of a flounce, however, is that the user, rather than staying away, is back within a few days to a few weeks, often expecting that the mood regarding him will be exactly the same as it was when he left.

In some cases, the flouncer spams the forum, or (if in a position to do so) closes it entirely, or disables a certain feature of it.

The word flounce is intended to evoke the image of a child having a tantrum and flapping its arms about while screaming for attention.

I’m wondering, can people flounce out of your life, in a non-Internet sort of way? You know, rather than say “you’ve upset me” or “I have some issues with how you do things” they instead create a bunch of drama to let the world know that they are upset. They let their friends know, their pastor, their pets; they send a memo out far and wide that they no longer want anything to do with a certain someone, or group of someones, when all they really need is a break from them.

Relationships, particularly close friendships, have a way of getting intense. The more time you spend with a person, the more wrapped up you get with them. But you know what? Even among the best of friends, people will eventually get on your nerves, especially when you don’t let them breathe. What you need is a break, but because of our need (love) for drama, we make dramatic exits (because everyone must know that we are leaving–after all, if I go off to the woods and nobody cares, do I make an exit? Or something like that).

So, there needs to be a standard flounce post of some sort. I’ll need your help here, so drop any suggestions down at my message board. I was thinking about something along the lines of:

Title of Post:
a) PISS OFF!
b) THATS IT!
c) GOODBYE!
d) LAST POST!
e) [SOMETHING PRETENTIOUS/NON-SENSICAL THAT ONLY THREE PEOPLE MAY GET, BUT IT ALLOWS ME TO FEEL SMARTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM!]

Regardless, you have to use capital letters and exclamation points (the more the better). We won’t know that you really mean it unless you make it obvious. At the very least, let us know that you have a grand announcement to make within your post.

Introduction (because there are no “good-byes” anymore):
a) I never fit in well here anyway
b) God has told me that I need to leave (or, there is no God present here)
c) I don’t seem to get much respect around here (you say you’re a community, but you’re a clique)
d) I have had fun here, but …

If you go the d) route, be sure that you give your credentials for how long you’ve been a part of the community/friendship (from the beginning is always a nice touch. It’s not like we really remember anyway. Plus, since we don’t care about you, it’s not like we’re going to do the math.)

Reasonsing (because, well, you love the sound of your own voice and moral position):
a) I have never seen so much (enter annoyance of choice here)
b) God has told me to “flee/retreat/shake the dust off sandals/withdraw….
c) I cannot tolerate (enter sin of choice here: foul language, homosexuals, hypocrisy)
d) I am not treated with the proper respect as (a living embodiment of God’s Word or a person with a naturally superior point of view)
e) List the litany of offenses by the one (or two) individuals that have pissed you off and have changed the tenor of the board.

A special shout out to the folks over at The Ooze for help in this area. Like any community, they have their share of flounces, but the “shake the dust off my sandals” line is absolutely priceless.

Closing (because this post has already become quite the production):
a) You people suck and know nothing about treating or accepting people.
b) I’m the only one who has any clue about what’s really going on here.
c) I’m really, really, really leaving this time.
d) (My personal favorite) I’m not doing this to get noticed or to have a bunch of people line up to beg me not to leave, so I’m not even going to come back to see who responds to this post. Though I will probably respond to each and every post so that there is no confusion on the matter.
e) I’ll pray for you.

*sigh*

Sadly, this behavior is not unique to any particular board or even face-to-face communities. I suppose there is a reason the word “flounce” has entered the vocabulary. The behavior’s pretty much the same and it’s either that or some simple honesty along the lines of : I guess you could just say that I’m a tough person to take and sometimes I wear myself out much less other people. I’m taking a break to shake myself for a minute, but as soon as I get my head on straight, I’ll pop by to say hello. And you all better greet me with renewed love and tidings of how much you missed me.

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Comment on this bit of rantus interruptus anyway you want (I don’t know where you’re reading it from) but if you want to guarantee me seeing it, do so at my message board.