Posted by: arnegrim | December 22, 2008

Non-offensively offensive

How far should we go to be non-offensive? I understand that there are some obvious things you can do to protect the thin skins of others, but at what point do we say “Grow a thicker skin and get over it.” Now for those who know me, I’m not one to try and offend anyone, but I also don’t go out of my way to be totally non-offensive. Is that the wrong attitude? Should I try to protect people’s sensitivities?

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Responses

  1. I’m working on refining my ability to scope out what is an actual sensitive issue and what is a “politically correct reason to be rude, lame or lazy”.
    For example – have two friends who are often ill. One is legitimately plagued with fibromyalgia the other is a complete hypochondriac.
    When the first friend is asked how they are doing, they rarely complain – but will sometimes bare their soul and I respond with tenderness and concern.
    The second friend doesn’t even need to be asked before they’ll tell you that they are afflicted with low blood sugar, vertigo, allergies to an assortment of things in the room, depression… and before I get too far in the discussion – I interrupt and change the subject. Sensitive? Probably not. But, playing the “pretend I’m concerned” game isn’t going to help them get better either.
    I can’t take that kind of “thick skin” mentality everywhere… but I do need to become more sensitive to the way people actually are – not what they profess to be.
    Ya dig?

  2. It seems to me that my job is making me more insensitive. I listen to people call and complain about what I do, about how they’re bill is too high, about how we’re ripping them off… and of course all the reasons they can’t pay it.
    Now, I realize that some of those who call truly have legitimate problems and paying a penalty is daunting… but I also know that some of those who call have no problems paying the bills and just want to bend the rules…
    That’s a long way of saying… I generally tend to listen to all complaints with a sense of ‘yeah right’… and it kind of worries me.


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