Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Here, dear f-list, I am going to teach you to suck eggs. I have said all this before, and I have no doubt I will have to say it all again at some point. Also: I am not perfect, nor attempting to assert that I am. We all cock up sometimes, myself included, and sometimes I even cock up my response to being told I have cocked up. None the less, here goes.

If someone tells you that you have upset them, the proper response is to apologise, THEN investigate what exactly caused the upset, THEN try to justify yourself if you think it's appropriate

If you jump to step three without observing steps one and two, you make it appear that you feel that your right to express yourself trumps the other person's right to not be upset in all circumstances. Now, I'm not saying that there are not specific circumstances where a person's right to express themselves on a particular topic will trump another person's right to not be upset about that topic, but in general causing upset generates more heat than light and if you can avoid upsetting a person, that's usually the better way to proceed.

This applies especially if you have done something which you do not think warrants becoming upset as a response.

If your immediate response to someone becoming upset with you is to assert that they have no right to be upset by your behaviour, ask yourself if there is something you are missing BEFORE escalating matters by telling them that. It may be that you still conclude that they have no right to be upset by what you did after some examination, but at least you will have achieved that conclusion based on evidence, and not leapt to it from a standing start.

So, if someone tells you that you are being creepy, it is better to say "Sorry, I didn't realise what I was doing was creepy. Tell me what was creepy about my behaviour so that I can avoid being creepy in future" than "but I didn't mean to be creepy! I'm a nice person! How dare you ascribe nefarious motives to me!"

Me, personally, I would have thought that all this was obvious, but apparently it is not.


This post inspired by Richard Dawkins' ridiculously disappointing display of white male privilege and lack of understanding this weekend, which escalated a small discussion into a net-wide war for no good reason, just because he didn't understand some women's fears in public spaces.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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