When you get involved in a new community, such as Debian, find out early where, if that happens, you can find support, understanding, and help to make it stop.
Last night I asked a group of friends what do they do if they start feeling uncomfortable when they are alone in a group of people they don't know. Here are the replies:
- Wait outside the group until I figure the group out.
- Find someone to talk for a while until you get comfortable.
- If a person is making things uncomfortable for you, let them know, and leave if nobody cares.
- Sit there in silence.
- Work around unwelcome people by bearing them for a bit while trying to integrate with others.
- Some people are easy to bribe into friendship, just bring cake.
- While you don't know what is going on, you try to replicate what others are doing.
- Spend time trying to get a feeling of what are the consequences of taking actions.
- Purposefully disagree with people in a new environment to figure out if having a different opinion is accepted.
- Once I was new and I was asked to be the person that invites everyone for lunch, that forced me to talk to everyone, and integrate.
- When you are the first one to point something out, you'll probably soon find out you're not alone.
- The reaction on the first time something is exposed, influences how often similar cases will be reported.
I think a lot of these point are good food for thought about barriers of entry, and about safety nets that a group has or might want to have.