Saturday, 15 February 2014

Take The Offense

It may come as a shock to learn that I occasionally offend people.

Oh yeah, you thought I was done reusing that old picture, didn’t ya?  Well I’ll NEVER be done.

All right, what may be more surprising is that I don’t offend people deliberately.  I do not see the point in insulting people.

Where I have offended or insulted anyone, it comes down to three scenarios:

1.      Unintentionally.
a)      I make what is to me a completely harmless statement.

Forgetting what is harmless to me, may from a different perspective be quite thoughtless.

b)      I make a completely harmless statement.

But the recipient has previous issues or insecurities I am unaware of that leads to paranoia.

In either case, I usually don’t find out I caused any offence until weeks later when it’s far too late to do anything about it.  In variant A I feel bad for forgetting that everyone has a different perspective and I should have been more thoughtful.  In variant B I’m less sympathetic.  People shouldn’t blame others for their own insecurity and reading between the lines is often conducted by the illiterate.

2.      As a joke.
a)      I say something sarcastically or facetiously.
Terrible example of a joke.

And another person in the room thinks I’m serious.

b)      I say something sarcastically or facetiously.

And although the recipient knows I’m joking, it hits a nerve.

A bad joke is usually immediately obvious on crash landing.  In variant A I kind of don’t care, because it’s their fault for having no sense of humour and I’d rather not bother talking to them in future anyway.  In variant B I understand that we all have nerves, so an apology quickly smoothes over and I know better for next time.

3.      In self-defence.
a)      If someone is currently (seemingly unintentionally) offending me

in an attempt to red flag their mistake, I fire back at them an equivalent they would find offensive, so they will realise what they are doing and stop.

b)      When the other person appears to be gearing up for an attack,

I’m liable to take the pre-emptive strike.

Here it’s pretty obvious if offence has been taken because it is usually part of an argument, but once locked into an argument, it’s seemingly impossible to escape.  Variant A is very clever and works 100% of the time.  Did I say works?  I meant fails.  All it ever does is prolong the argument, either making the offender think they’re the victim even though they’re the douche that started it, or it makes them think this is some kind of sparring match to be enjoyed.  Variant B also never works, all that happens is that when I am hurt, like some wounded wild animal I lash out and hurt the person who hurt me, again making them think they are now the victim so they forget or ignore the important, vulnerable stuff I was actually there to say.

So yes I offend people because I am so arrogant that I forget they might have a different perspective to me and I can’t tell what joke might be inappropriate to what audience and I’m so insecure that I’d sink to revenge.

But it wasn’t deliberate.
So I am sorry if I have ever offended you.
Truly, I Am Sorry.

But you probably just got offended because you’re paranoid, you have no sense of humour and you started it.

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