What? Wait, no – I didn’t mean it that way!
It seems that no matter what you say, there will always be someone who takes offense. If you say “Merry Christmas” in a school or mall, you may be perceived to be a Holly Christian Terrorist, bent on destroying the fabric of the one-state, to want to destroy what so many have fought to make banal. Case in point: You walk into a store and the greeter says “Happy Holidays!”. You proceed to strangle the octogenarian to death, screaming and foaming at the mouth. That poor greeter, though, was just saying what the store told them to say or face being fired. The miscommunication here is when they are begging you to stop killing them, and you take offense, thinking that they were laughing at you because they think something you said was funny. You know, stop it, you’re killing me!
Dogs and other animals are born lacking a certain human defect. They can’t lie. They don’t mind if you bring another dog home with you, and they love it when you have other dog’s smells on you when you get home late at night.
But when what you say is meant as a compliment, and someone takes offense, what can you do? You can crawl under the nearest rock and hide, bury your head in the sand, much like my beloved Golden Retriever used to love to do quite frequently (and literally!). You can try to explain yourself to the person who took offense, but in doing so you may come off as begging, again, much like my beloved Golden Retriever used to do quite frequently. You need to find some common ground, and have people who know you well to tell the offended people “No, they’re not like that at all! They may be a little on the nutty side, but they mean well and would never insult someone they look up to.” – the sort of person I, myself, needed this morning. But you should never need someone to back you up when dealing with people you know, the real problem is when you say something to someone you respect, adore or just look up to who is a “friend” on a social networking site – someone you’ve never spoken to in person, and who has never had the luxury of getting to know you as you really are.
What Did I Say Wrong?
When someone takes what you said the wrong way, you can sound awfully whiny when you ask them what you said wrong. Now, this should never happen with people you know, love and have grown up with, but even the ones you love will take something you’ve said and turn it around on you. Whose fault is it? It is usually nobody’s fault, unless one of the two involved have a persisting problem with the other, in which case anything said could be turned around and made into something it wasn’t, and was never meant to be.
What Should I Do?
Get your head out of the sand, come up for air and fight for your right to be right, You can either claim that you had no intention on hurting the other`s feelings and then turn the tables on them and make it seem like they are at fault, or you can man up and take responsibility, offering apologies and saying how you never meant it to be taken that way.
When you have found out that someone has taken something you’ve said the wrong way, you should never air it out in public, as that gives others a reason to join one bandwagon or the other. Talk, email or chat online, but do it privately, with nobody else involved. Make sure to tell the person what you said, how it was meant and who it was meant for. Don’t lie, don’t pull any punches. You remember the truths that you have said, you don’t remember the lies.
Just make sure that the person who you may have unknowingly and unwittingly insulted knows that you were really upset by the misunderstanding, and that you would never put them down like that, especially if it was done in public, or God forbid, on a public social networking site.
The Meaning of Life?
No, not really… just the meaning of this post. You have to be careful when typing responses on social networking sites, because once it is there for all to see, all might actually see it. A simple typo or a bad case of auto-correct gone bad and you have a new enema (there’s that danged auto-correct again! It should have been “enemy”…).