Thursday, October 02, 2014

I Did It Again



What did I do?  I made an insensitive comment on a dear friend's blog and I inadvertently caused hurt to another who I care about very much.  And now I'm feeling very remorseful.  Actually, I feel like crap. I know what I did and I can't get away from myself fast enough.

I'm not going to tell you what I did or whose blog because I don't want to cause them any further hurt or embarrassment.  In fact, I wasn't even going to write about this in my blog but I'm so shallow I can't hide my feelings so I have to at least acknowledge that I made a big mistake.  

Another person brought my grossly over the line comment to my attention but he brought it to me in such a rude and offensive way (he called me "obnoxious") that I dismissed his comment out of hand.  There is a polite and respectful way to inform a person of a mistake and calling them "obnoxious" isn't one of them.

A few months ago I inadvertently offended my sister-in-law, who I also care deeply for (she has done a lot for our family) by teasing her daughter on Facebook about the way she used to dress them in the Seventies ("Little House on the Prairie" dresses).  Even though my sister-in-law doesn't have a Facebook account someone else informed her of my teasing (I had posted an old photo I had taken) and she was hurt.  She felt I was mocking her (I wasn't) but that wasn't the way she took it.  Anyone who knows me knows that I inherited my father's gene for teasing (yep, I'm blaming this on my father).  

You know as old as I am one would think I would have learn enough of Life's Lessons and be more cognizant of other's feelings but apparently I'm still learning.  Sometimes I just go barreling through life, stepping on toes as I do. Hopefully someday I'll arrive at that point where I'm perfect.  But as you can see, I'm not perfect.  

26 comments:

  1. No one is perfect.

    We've all done this, and will all do this again because ... see first sentence.

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    1. Bob,
      I would like to think I would know better at my age but apparently not. The harm I caused was unintentional but just as hurtful all the same. I apologized and I'll try and be more careful in the future while at the same time still try to maintain my freedom of expression and my own personality. I just have to be a little more careful in the future and not get so carried away with my own sense of self importance.
      Ron

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  2. Ron, I am sure everyone will tell you they have done this. Me too. What has helped me is that sometimes I write something and a little voice inside me tells me that this may not be taken the way I intended. EVERY time I have ignored that voice, trouble results. I have learned to listen and heed that voice, and my experience online has been much better for all involved. "Funny" is not always translated well in words. Anyway, take heart. This too shall pass. If the person is a good friend they will forgive you and move on. If they are not, they won't, and no big loss.

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    1. Tony,
      I've heard that "little voice" before. Sometimes I paid heed and a few times I did not, much to my regret later. However, this most recent faux pas I was wishing a friend well (tongue In cheek of course) but another mis interpreted my teasing and thought I was disrespecting him, which I was not. As you so well said, "funny" doesn't always translate into words. Plus, it didn't help than another commenter already rudely admonished me publicly in the comment section of his blog, this setting the tone. My mistake is that what I don't take offense to, others may and I have to be more cognizant of that fact. Lesson learned.
      Ron

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    2. Ron, I have read the exchange this post was based on, since there were enough "clues" in these comments to let me know where it happened. I would qualify your comment as simply insensitive, nothing more. The "insult" and "hurtful" parts were not intended, but instead how the comment was "received" by you know who. The way I see it, the mistake was not in writing something hurtful, but in not thinking about how it would be received by all parties involved. I am sure you can clean this one up--I know they are good friends. Don't take the public shaming personally--you show me ONE person online who has not made a fool of themselves at least once in a comment or post! The danger of the internet it that it removes immediate response--if you had said this in their living room you would have seen how it landed and acted right away to clarify. This is why I now listen to that little voice, because it is easier to let go of something I think is interesting, cute, or funny than it is to heal hurt feelings. I save my true wit for face to face encounters! ;-)

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    3. Tony,
      Thank you very much. Your analysis of my latest gaffe is right on the mark. I've apologized and one half of the parties involved has assured me that all is all right. You are right, I was insensitive in making my cavalier remark partly in jest and party in braggadocio. I have learned another one of Life's Lessons; stop and think before you write it. This is a variation of what my Mother always admonished me to do before I said something (this was before the Digital Age and the Internet): "Don't put your mouth into gear before you engage your brain." I'm sure she's in Heaven right now with a smile and nodding her head at me.
      Ron

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  3. Sometimes we commenters go over the line and call other people names like "obnoxious" which was wrong. I love reading your blog and what you have done in promoting blogging with great effort in the past two years.

    Cheer up and let's go forth helping our fellow blogger -- the Cajun..

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    1. Thank you David. I was wrong and have made my apologies to Spo and Someone. I have to admit that I didn't read much past "obnoxious". My error was unintentional. Spo and I have a running joke where I tell him I'm dying soon and I kid him about having this wonderful life and maybe he'll get "lucky" too and not lead a "dull existence". Of course he already has a wonderful life with Someone (whom I like very much and would never intentionally or unintentionally hurt). As another blogger commented, sometimes the "funny" doesn't come through in the written word. As far as your charge am I self involved? Absolutely! For that I make no excuses or apologies. I am my first priority, most times anyway (insert " funny" here). Should I use Spo's blog as a forum? Probably not and I have been properly chastised. I got carried away and I hurt someone I like very much plus I made a fool out of myself with some others. Not the first time I've done that in my life and probably not the last time, but I hope it would be at my age.
      Thank you for your concern David, it was properly placed if somewhat inelouquently. Life's Lessons, they never end, until you die. And that may be sooner than you think for me (insert "funny" here again) .
      Ron

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  4. I know I have to be very careful in "virtual" communications. Without tone, inflection, facial expressions, all the other cues that we use in face to face social situations, I sometimes am interpreted as being condescending, sarcastic (sometimes this is intentional ;-)), or worse. I NEVER mean to be condescending, I try to make sarcasm obvious (and never hurtful), but I, too, fail once in a while. I hope your apology is accepted.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      You are exactly right. We have to be very careful about virtual communication. I have apologized and stated my intent to be more careful in future communications. That's all that I can do. By the way all who read this, when I go on a rant like I did recently with one of my favorite whipping boys (Bill Gates of Microsoft), it is done with faux outrage. Someone (I won't mention names) suggested I take an anger management class - faux outrage folks . . . .faux outrage. Of course I was pissed that some third party got money by tricking me into downloading the crappy Bing search engine, and I have a simmering residual anger at Microsoft for causing me to waste so much money and time over the years, I don't need anger management. Faux outrage folks. My fun at having a rant.
      Thanks for your comment Jay.
      Ron

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  5. Ron, I have unintentionally offended fellow bloggers more times than I care to remember. A simple apology is all that is necessary. No need to beat yourself up over it. I personally feel that we live in a hyper-sensitive society, and everybody is oversensitive about everything. Everyone should lighten up.

    I won't be reading blogs or leaving comments (or offending anyone) for awhile because I'll be moving in a few days. As soon as I get settled I'll return to blogland with new adventures to tell. Thanks for being such a good friend and don't forget me.....(hell, how could anyone possibly forget me??)

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    1. Jon,
      As usual, your take and advice on my latest gaffe is right on the mark. A simple apology is best and that's what I did. I responded to his comment to me telling me what I said was very "hurtful" to him by saying:
      "I'm sorry. I apologize." I didn't know what else to say and felt what I said was the right thing to say. However, you are right that we do lie in an oversensitive society and something said that I wouldn't take offense of be hurt by doesn't necessarily mean that another would feel the same way. I think you react the same way I do when someone says something hurtful (because of our similar backgrounds) about us or to us, I let it roll of my back and consider the source. I've had so many invectives thrown at me in my lifetime that I've developed a pretty thick skin. Except for the fact when I unintentionally hurt someone that I like and respect. If I said something that hurt you Jon I would also feel very bad. I hope I'm making sense. But you're right, everyone should lighten up. The incident I had a few months ago with my sister-in-law in which she got all bent out of shape about the Facebook posting where I was teasing her now grown-up daughter about her "Little House in the Prairie dress, for God's sake lighten up. I didn't even mention her name nor was I teasing her (my sister-in-law), I was teasing my niece. I can't count the number of times I've been teased about the way I dressed in the Seventies. Was I hurt? Hey, I laugh about it.

      I am so glad Jon that you finally sold your house and will be leaving Texas, the Hellhole (now I hope I didn't offend any of my blog readers by calling Texas a "Hellhole") I like you a lot Jon (platonic - now I hope I didn't offend anyone) and am looking forward to your new adventures. With your keen observation and writing skills, I know all of us out here in blog land are going to get a real treat. And, just maybe, JUST MAYBE, there is a little romantic adventure in your future (have I offended anybody yet?)

      My best to you always Jon and I hope you don't lose your middle aged farm lady following (now I've finally offended somebody, the middle aged farm ladies). Oh well.

      Ron

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    2. Ron, you and I are doomed to be offending people forever. It's a gift. I actually think your "little house on the prairie" comment was cute and completely unoffensive.

      The movers will arrive at my house on Wednesday morning - - and then I'll be on my way to TN with my three cats. That should be one helluva adventure. You'll heard from me again soon.

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    3. Jon,
      You are so right, we are "doomed to offending people forever." I just finished posting an obit for my longtime good friend Bob. I also posted it to Facebook. While on Facebook I left comment on some of my Facebook friends but I noticed I was ever so careful not to offend. "Hey!" I'm thinking. "What's going on here." I'll have to find a balance between my former free-wheeling ways and being ever so sensitive. And I agree with you, the thought the "little house on the prairie" kidding was cute but you know some people, ever so sensitive.
      When you get settled down you have to let me know where you settle in Tennessee. You do know that Tennessee/North Carolina are my hillbilly roots don't you? The last several years we have traveled there until last year when I was threatened by on of my distant cousins when he found out I "practiced the gay lifestyle" (whatever THAT is).
      Looking forward to your next blog about The Move with you and your three cats!
      Ron

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  6. Anonymous7:26 AM

    Internet is a loaded gun. We know it but we forget it too often.
    Juan.

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    1. Juan,
      Oh how true this is. I do know better but sometimes I just get so caught up with myself, I let my guard slip. I have to remind myself that the WORLD is reading my blog postings. Plus, I've been blogging so long that any full name I put in my blog instantly goes into search engines. That's why I rarely use full names unless I'm trying to contact somebody or let others know about someone I know. However I must be ever viligant.
      Ron

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  7. Maybe it is something in the water, or the alignment of the stars, I have a post with basically the same title, I tore someone apart in an email this week (she didn't deserve it) Too much stress and not enough bear hugs.

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    1. David,
      I just saw that! I haven't read it yet but I will. How about that? We both fell "into it." The irony here is that the person who I hurt i(unintentionally) s one of the nicest and kindest people I know and has been nothing but always kind and respectful to me. Some people I couldn't care less if I stepped on their toes but this guy? I felt so bad. You're right, "too much stress and not enough bear hugs."
      Ron

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  8. No comfort to you but it's a very familiar feeling here too. I seem to have inherited my Dad's foot-in-mouth impetuosity for saying things before the brain has filtered or appropriately modified it. But you're referring to a comment you made on someone's blog which is something else - a trap which I've managed to avoid falling into big-time .....so far.
    I think that some people take a perverse pleasure in looking for something to be offended about. Not that it's necessarily happened in the cases to which you refer, but there are those around who look for anything to beat you with - and even store up the resentment for a long, long time afterwards - even years, for goodness sake!
    But it's clearly hurt you, as we can see. Even the term 'obnoxious' being way out of order, it's little consolation to you.
    Trouble is that in comments, especially pithy ones, it's not possible to telegraph ones frame of mind in saying what one does, or the angle it's coming from. If there was a way to do it we'd all be following the method. I think the person addressed might at least have indicated to you his/her unfavourable reaction and asked you to expand. That, at least, would have allowed you the benefit of the doubt and given you a chance to clarify and rescue a potentially 'perilous' situation. Seems that the person in question ought to feel at least as guilty as you now unfortunately feel, if not moreso, for not allowing you a chance to respond - and it is HE/SHE who ought now to be contrite.

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  9. Ray,
    The person I inadvertently offended didn't call me "obnoxious." That's not his style, he is far to kind and classy to use that denigrating word. That was said by another blogger jn the comment section for all to see. He has since apologized for using that offensive word. He had a point to make but as you said, at least be a little respectful and ask me to expand or explain my statement, which ironically was a good wish, not in the least anyway negative.
    Also, part of the problem is the nuance and tongue in cheek aspect didn't come through in the printed word that appeared on my comment. I think what also contributed to the mind set of the person who was offended was recently I left a comment on his blog ranting about my dislike for Microsoft and Bill Gates. I do tend to go overboard with my dislike of certain people, institutions and other aspects of our society. That's just me ranting but he took that personal, which was not my intention. So at that time I realized that I should be careful with what I say. I'm not putting the onus on him either. I have a distant cousin who frequently posts on Facebook. A couple of years ago I left a few teasing responses to his Facebook postings. He's a Tipton and all the Tiptons I know tease a LOT and I mean a LOT. My father was a great one for teasing. I got the gene, I tease. Thankfully, the man I've lived with for the past fifty years "gets it" because he teases even more than I do. So here I am teasing my cousin Tim and I receive an e-mail from his partner that asks me "Why don't you like Tim? Do you know you're upsetting him?" WHAT? Immediately I felt bad and I said "No, I'm just teasing him." Then he responded, "Maybe you better not because he likes you and by the things you're posting, he doesn't think you like him." Well, I stopped teasing and all is well now. No one's fault, I just have to be aware of other's parameters.
    Pat and I have an expression we use when we enter this "territory" which has happened early on in our relationship. It's called "walking on eggshells." When one of the other of us starts pouting we ask "Am I walking on eggshells now?" We both laugh about it and move on. And really isn't that the point Ray, life is so short. If there is a misunderstanding, ask and try to clear it up. I'll be the first to admit I AM NOT PERFECT.
    Ron

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  10. Ron - nobody can cast stones. We all goof up from time to time. What is really refreshing is your handling of it. To say "i'm sorry" and to show that even publicly shows a lot of character. A very conciliatory posting. Sorry I didn't write sooner.

    Pat

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  11. Best to a) admit the blunder
    b) give a straightforward apology to the person
    c) and carry on.
    We can't go kissing off everyone who has every hurt us and we've hurt; heavens! we'd have no one left.

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    1. Excellent advice. Advice that I took.

      Ron

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    2. Thank you! Any bets on how long until I make my next blunder? (smile)

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