Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Art of Taking Offense Online

Having spent my entire life being teased about "certain" things (who hasn't?), one might assume that I would have pretty thick skin by now.

Um. Not really. At least not as much as I would like.

As far as those "certain" things are concerned, I HAVE developed thick skin, as well as a very slippery back, but when it comes to "other" things - not so much.

Example: Admittedly, I have a very difficult time when my intelligence is attacked, or my deepest spiritual beliefs, or my writing, or my artwork - especially online.

But, over the years, I have learned certain techniques for dealing with such affronts (real or imagined on my part). I am not perfect at these things as yet, but...

1. If someone has said something intentionally hurtful, play along - Don't take yourself too seriously.

ex: Recently I had made a comment on an online article, defending my faith from what were clearly blatant, malicious attacks by other commenters. One person responded to my comment by making fun of certain Mormon colloquialisms, which incidentally, I make fun of as well. I threw some more back at him with a big LOL added for good measure.

He was taken aback by my lack of defensiveness (though I was still a little pissed inside), and we had a few more humorous back-and-forths until we ended up 'friending' one another.

2. Do not attack back.
Honestly, does attacking back EVER work? When someone attacks you, and you swipe back, does it really ever solve anything? Sure, it feels AWESOME when you've put somebody in their place with your favorite "Your Mom" comment - that is, UNTIL they come back at you for another round.

Then eventually, things escalate to the point where biting wit goes out the window, and you're left there like two gorillas in a sh@#-flinging match. The end result is, you both have crap on your faces, and a big crowd has gathered around your cage at the zoo, only to be laughing at BOTH of you.

(Sorry - couldn't find any tasteful pics of gorillas flinging poo)

3. Ignore the Haters.

Sometimes, it is appropriate to simply ignore the Haters. If they persist, chances are pretty good one or more of your friends will take notice, and back you up. This is incredibly rewarding in the sense that you learn who your "real" friends are, as well as the bond that develops with those who've got your back.

4. Simply LOL.

I've done this many times. And it almost always works. Antagonists generally go away when you do this. There have been a few occasions where someone is insulted when I shrug them off like this, after they've gone for my jugular, and they attack again. But, if they persist, they soon realize that they are not succeeding in baiting you into a fight - They ALWAYS end up going away. If they don't, contact the authorities.

5. Concede when necessary.

If you've been called out for saying something stupid, immediately own it, and concede. Drop your hurt pride and do NOT, under any circumstance, rationalize that stupid thing you said or did - It will only get WORSE for you. Remember, unless you are in a 1-on-1 chat, others will likely be reading what you've said.

Concede immediately, and let it go. You don't do yourself any favors by continuing to excuse your own stupidity.

A final word: As I said earlier, I am not perfect at doing these things. The only reason I know they work is through my own trial and error - mostly error...


Alice Wills Gold said...

I am linking to you now.

Hope that nobody comes over to disagree with you.


Wayneman said...

LOL I'm flattered, Alice. But if they do, I am sure I won't be able to put any of this advice into actual practice :)

terbear287 said...

thanks Wayneman. Alice needed that!

Di said...

Your Mom.

Di said...

Good to see you blogging again! I've been thinking about starting up again- going public...

Wayneman said...

Do it, Diana. I really miss your blog. It was way better than FB...