Socialising Theory (How to avoid offending people)

petro

Dormant account, per user request
PABaccred
PABnoaccred2
As a rule of thumb for socialising with people you shouldn't say anything negative about their friends, family, or lovers. The reasons for this should be obvious.
Even if they themselves are saying negative things about their friends, family, or lovers; don't join in.

So far, it's pretty straight forward but some people are, for unknown reasons, using the word "friend" to mean some infinitesimal acquaintance. E.g. saw him in the street and said hello once or twice 20 years ago. That's what they consider as a friend!
And they are giving the full privileges of friendship to these people. Like; "You don't dare say anything negative about my friends or I'll..."

What this means is: If you say anything negative about anyone, people will take offence because they basically consider everyone their friend even if they don't know them from Adam. That's really what's going on.
So, it's either; you do it or you don't, if you do, you are going to offend some section of the population.
I'm seriously considering becoming non-specific to stop the problem. If you just say; I know this person, without naming names you might be able to get your point across and avoid problems.


There's another problem I've identified while socialising as well: different value systems.

For example: Would you consider it terribly wrong for someone who is 18 to be dating a 16 year old?
Some people consider it practically child abuse. And a problem arises if you don't consider it as child abuse.
You say something like: "So and so is 18 and dating a 16 year old." And of course, the other person gets angry because you are accusing their infinitesimal acquaintance (friend???) of child abuse.

But I think not naming names will avoid the "different value system" problem as well.

Comments are appreciated :)
 
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weesie

Ueber Meister
Hi,

Seems to me, these days, everybody is offended by some minuscule, microscopic

comment..... it is beyond ridiculous.

Safest thing to do is just not comment a single word about any given person or topic.

Lest you be attacked from the masses for saying something that is totally obvious

and totally true.

It is in the news every day, in one form or another.

These situations are increase 100,000x on social media......

For all the great things social media can and does accomplish .......this part is sad.

Everyone has an opinion...........keep it to yourself though!
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
CAG
MM
It's even worse than that. Even if you are not offended, there are people who will make it their mission to be offended on your behalf and force the aggressor to accept that they must change their ways.

We have seen this play out in local authorities, as it seems they employ people specifically to be offended on behalf of the various minority groups, hence we had the ban on Christmas in schools and some offices, the ban on serving hot cross buns, etc. Funny thing is, on occasion the community leaders of the minority groups who were having offence taken on their behalf by council busybodies have spoken out and said they were NOT offended by other people celebrating Christmas, eating hot cross buns, etc - and that even worse, the banning of such activities on their behalf was actually making matters WORSE for their group, not better, because they were getting the blame for "ramming their beliefs down our throats" by the people being forced to celebrate "winter holidays" without cards, decorations, or gift giving in schools or at the office.
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
My thoughts: if someone has negative feelings towards someone, you have to question why they need to air them in the first place. It's easy to find some way to justify it and indeed there are occasions when it is warranted to a degree: like putting off someone you know from dealing with someone who you have had negative dealings with before.

But most of the time, people vent negative feelings for no obvious reason other than self-gratification, jealousy, ignorance, misunderstanding, the need to gossip, be liked or to feel involved, because they feel excluded or simply out of vindictiveness. What is more, a lot of negativity is simply caused by two people's differences in outlook and it doesn't always necessarily mean someone deserves bad press.

As for social media: some platforms are great for keeping in touch (ie: Facebook), some for forming relationships and some simply to try and find people who share your opinions (ie: Twitter). I personally think they can be very useful for keeping in touch and for people who find it difficult to socialise for whatever reason.

Where it often starts to go pear-shaped though is when a person is can say and do negative things without having to take any responsibility, IE: when they can do so anonymously. That's why "face-to-face", people are generally more polite and respectful. And also why we are quite quick to ban trolls on CM fwiw :D
 

petro

Dormant account, per user request
PABaccred
PABnoaccred2
It's easy to find some way to justify it and indeed there are occasions when it is warranted to a degree: like putting off someone you know from dealing with someone who you have had negative dealings with before.
That's one of the justifications I've had in the past.

Another being: it's just in the conversation. I see no good reason to hide the bad behaviour of other people if it's apart of the natural flow of a conversation or in other words; if it's appropriate.

An example being: you are having a chat with an old school friend and the conversation is about what everyone else in your year level is now doing; kind of like a school reunion. And you happen to know that one guy recently went to jail for beating his wife. I see nothing wrong with adding this into the conversation. Although, it's pretty clear to me that some people do...

I've found 2 types of people that have taken offence with this:
1. As it turns out, they too have been to jail for beating their wife.
2. They just don't believe it.

I could be at fault here, but I've never thought so.
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
TAnd you happen to know that one guy recently went to jail for beating his wife. I see nothing wrong with adding this into the conversation. Although, it's pretty clear to me that some people do...

I've found 2 types of people that have taken offence with this:
1. As it turns out, they too have been to jail for beating their wife.
2. They just don't believe it.

I could be at fault here, but I've never thought so.
There's nothing wrong with stating the facts. It's not so much "what" someone says that offends, it's often the way it's presented. Using your example: if you just say "Oh and XXX is in jail for wife-beating" that is hardly likely to cause offence whereas if you say "Oh and such and such is in jail for wife-beating 'cos he's a coward" then that is more likely to because you could be regarded as having added prejudice (whether you did or didn't mean to) which can be offensive. Like most things: the way something is said is usually more offensive than the content.
 

petro

Dormant account, per user request
PABaccred
PABnoaccred2
In those cases I presented, I didn't add any prejudice.
I'm pretty confident those people that were offended are "off centre" people. Just a small % of the population which can be safely ignored.

Thanks for your input simmo :thumbsup:
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Mature, sensible perspectives expressed here, which I enjoyed reading.

My two cents - it seems to me that society in general has become very judgmental, and that is exacerbated by everyone's access to very public platforms for their views and personal proclivities via the general and social media, thanks to modern technology.

We can widely communicate our feelings. preferences and opinions instantly and more easily than at any other time in history....and sometimes without really considering fully the possible impact on others of what we have said from the relative safety of distance and anonymity.

Add to that a growing intolerance for views that do not gel with our own, escalation to real anger, and issues quickly spiral down to negativity and even abuse.

Perhaps the stress and pace of modern life and the variety of political and economic pressures has something to do with it?
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
MMy two cents - it seems to me that society in general has become very judgmental, and that is exacerbated by everyone's access to very public platforms for their views and personal proclivities via the general and social media, thanks to modern technology.
I gave up on Twitter because I simply wasn't interested in about what 99% of other people wrote. It just struck me that most of the comments were aimed at receiving some sort of acceptance and maybe that's in our make-up: we most of us feel the need to be liked. We all love a good debate but a lot of social media comments are just venting one's largely irrelevant views on the world and can often be taken totally out of context or appear offensive or narcissistic.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
I gave up on Twitter because I simply wasn't interested in about what 99% of other people wrote. It just struck me that most of the comments were aimed at receiving some sort of acceptance and maybe that's in our make-up: we most of us feel the need to be liked. We all love a good debate but a lot of social media comments are just venting one's largely irrelevant views on the world and can often be taken totally out of context or appear offensive or narcissistic.
Amen to that - along with the shameless self-promotion of some Twitterati.
 

danidavidson

Dormant account
I honestly think that the problem today is that everyone is too sensitive. They get all worked up over the dumbest things. People need to learn to just live their lives because life is too short to worry about what someone else is doing.
 
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