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  1. #71
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Actually that brings up an interesting question.

    Must you be respectful to be respectable?
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  2. #72
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    I suppose around here people prefer that in a deserving situation people be as disrespectful as possible in as respectable a way as possible.

    I must say I find myself to be this way. To desire to maintain the appearance of civility while tearing into people that deserve it.

    I suppose that's why I've always had a thing for the poem Lines to a Don by Hilaire Belloc.

    Remote and ineffectual Don
    That dared attack my Chesterton,
    With that poor weapon, half-impelled,
    Unlearnt, unsteady, hardly held,
    Unworthy for a tilt with men—
    Your quavering and corroded pen;
    Don poor at Bed and worse at Table,
    Don pinched, Don starved, Don miserable;
    Don stuttering, Don with roving eyes,
    Don nervous, Don of crudities;
    Don clerical, Don ordinary,
    Don self-absorbed and solitary;
    Don here-and-there, Don epileptic;
    Don puffed and empty, Don dyspeptic;
    Don middle-class, Don sycophantic,
    Don dull, Don brutish, Don pedantic;
    Don hypocritical, Don bad,
    Don furtive, Don three-quarters mad;
    Don (since a man must make an end),
    Don that shall never be my friend.

    * * *

    Don different from those regal Dons!
    With hearts of gold and lungs of bronze,
    Who shout and bang and roar and bawl
    The Absolute across the hall,
    Or sail in amply billowing gown
    Enormous through the Sacred Town,
    Bearing from College to their homes
    Deep cargoes of gigantic tomes;
    Dons admirable! Dons of Might!
    Uprising on my inward sight
    Compact of ancient tales, and port
    And sleep—and learning of a sort.
    Dons English, worthy of the land;
    Dons rooted; Dons that understand.
    Good Dons perpetual that remain
    A landmark, walling in the plain—
    The horizon of my memories—
    Like large and comfortable trees.

    * * *

    Don very much apart from these,
    Thou scapegoat Don, thou Don devoted,
    Don to thine own damnation quoted,
    Perplexed to find thy trivial name
    Reared in my verse to lasting shame.
    Don dreadful, rasping Don and wearing,
    Repulsive Don—Don past all bearing.
    Don of the cold and doubtful breath,
    Don despicable, Don of death;
    Don nasty, skimpy, silent, level;
    Don evil; Don that serves the devil.
    Don ugly—that makes fifty lines.
    There is a Canon which confines
    A Rhymed Octosyllabic Curse
    If written in Iambic Verse
    To fifty lines. I never cut;
    I far prefer to end it—but
    Believe me I shall soon return.
    My fires are banked, but still they burn
    To write some more about the Don
    That dared attack my Chesterton.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it
    Likes Xander liked this post

  3. #73

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    @ceecee,

    I want to share a few more thoughts for clarification. My sister is ENFJ in the truest sense. She's not disrespectful and the evidence is in how people respond to her. From the time we were little she would go up to strangers and make friends with ease.

    Her people skills are truly extraordinary and she has the power to make people do what she wants them to do. She lights up a room, exudes confidence and energy, and people are drawn to her. That's a fact. As I've said before in other threads, she's fascinating to watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Actually that brings up an interesting question.

    Must you be respectful to be respectable?
    @Beorn,

    That's a great question. I think our behavior towards others should bring out the best in them. Are we going to make all of the people happy all of the time? No.

    I don't have any constructive reasons to ever be rude, condescending, or abusive. Have I ever? Of course. For the most part, I try to be respectful regardless of who I'm dealing with or if they deserve it.

    I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to respect you if you disrespect them.

  4. #74
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    You can always choose to be the bigger person too. It isn't always easy, especially if you are provoked, but you can supress the natural urge to retaliate combatively. I have found it true as well that the harder someone is trying to offend you, the harder they are trying to get a reaction. They are waiting for you to get angry, to insult them, and to get mean so that they can justify whatever they are feeling. Alot of the time it is just better to let people have their tantrums, get whatever they want to say out, and let them calm down. Alot of the time after people have cooled off, if left to stir, they think about and come to realize how grossly out of proportion their reaction was. If you jump in and try to argue with them, you are interupting them from the possibility of reflection. Doesn't work all of the time, but I have seen it work on people.

    Of course there are times where you are going to get angry and say something that you later regret, I know that I do. I generally apologize. This may sound a bit 'ehh' (by 'eh' I mean the sentiment makes me a bit uncomfortable), but I believe that apologizing is one of the greatest strengths a human can have. If you can sincerely apologize to someone, without adding in any 'buts' 'althoughs' lr any of that stuff, you can really go a long way with a person. I do not think that there is any shame in apologizing, it is more shameful if you have too much pride to do it when you know that you should.

    I definately believe that the golden rule applies, and you can get farther with someone by building them up than tearing them down.

  5. #75
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    Maybe this thread should be titled Freedom of speech vs. the possibility of offending (or something like that), because I think that what you are saying is that someome could get offended at anything you do, even if that wasn't your intention. I pretty much am saying that you can challenge someone without it resorting to underhanded tactics. Right now I am not intentionally trying to offend you, just respectfully discussing and debating. If you choose to be offended it is not my intention, just as if I were to go down to the capital and fight for some cause and people got upset. You cannot control other peoples feelings, but you can choose to not take advantage of them in a disagreement. Personal offense is not a good thing, impersonal offense can be. Of course you are going to offend people in life, I just do not think any good can come of making it your goal. It seems like you would be losing more ground with people then you ever hoped to gain.
    I'm definitely not talking about anything underhanded when I mention protest. Protest in this context is anything but underhanded. It is out in the open, obvious, blatant, in-your-face, even (which is part of what makes people offended). The distinction you make between personal and impersonal offense is well-taken, and important. Protest usually is impersonal because it is directed "out there". Even if a specific group is targeted - e.g. legislators, or management of company X - it is usually directed at their positions and public actions rather than their specific persons and private actions. This is part of why I object to protesters at abortion clinics, but not anti-abortion protesters at the Capitol: the first group are targeting individuals personally, while the second target public figures in their conduct of public business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    An example of this to me is calling someone elses stance on an argument 'stupid' or the like. Unless someone can point out specific reasons as to why an argument is 'stupid', and generally they can't because again it comes from a place of desperation, it just derails an argument. You have the right to offend someone, but I would just make sure your reasons are pretty good for doing so. Again, (its becoming my own personal motto), pick your battles.
    This isn't protesting, it's just being obnoxious, and to no purpose.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #76
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I'm definitely not talking about anything underhanded when I mention protest. Protest in this context is anything but underhanded. It is out in the open, obvious, blatant, in-your-face, even (which is part of what makes people offended). The distinction you make between personal and impersonal offense is well-taken, and important. Protest usually is impersonal because it is directed "out there". Even if a specific group is targeted - e.g. legislators, or management of company X - it is usually directed at their positions and public actions rather than their specific persons and private actions. This is part of why I object to protesters at abortion clinics, but not anti-abortion protesters at the Capitol: the first group are targeting individuals personally, while the second target public figures in their conduct of public business.


    This isn't protesting, it's just being obnoxious, and to no purpose.
    I have no problem with criticism as long as it is constructive. If protesters were to send out a list of their critisisms to congress, I do not consider that to be on the same plane as being offensive. If you were to say, "Hey, I really did not like that you lied to me. Why did you do it?", to a friend that opens up more discussion to me than saying, "Hey, you lying sack of garbage! What is wrong with you?", or something of the sort. The first example opens up a dialogue, while the second opens up a fight. The first one creates an even playing field, while the second one attempts to knock the other person down. In both the starting point is the same, but they both are likely to end in very different places.

    The second point was more me just replying to the original question, saying that sometimes offending someone has no purpose but to get that person to shut up and let the person offending feel like they won the argument.

    You do make a good point. Sometimes the line between what is offensive and what is considered clean constructive criticism is blurry, so sometimes you might unintentionally offend someone. Different people put their lines at different places so I guess it can be hard to know the exact right thing to say that gets your point accross without infringing on someones emotions. There is no one answer to this, I do not think it is possible to never offend someone, but I do think it is possible to try to limit trying to.

  7. #77
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    You do make a good point. Sometimes the line between what is offensive and what is considered clean constructive criticism is blurry, so sometimes you might unintentionally offend someone. Different people put their lines at different places so I guess it can be hard to know the exact right thing to say that gets your point accross without infringing on someones emotions. There is no one answer to this, I do not think it is possible to never offend someone, but I do think it is possible to try to limit trying to.
    On a personal level, we often have to risk giving offense to give our best advice to friends or coworkers. If we hold back to spare their emotions, we can end up just enabling a bad or unhealthy behavior, or withholding information that could help them get what they want out of life. This is the difference between offending someone with good cause, and just being a jerk.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #78
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    The discussion about abortion clinic protest/intervention is specific and worthwhile enough to merit its own thread if interest continues.

    Edit: That discussion has been moved here: Abortion protests and intervention
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #79
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    On a personal level, we often have to risk giving offense to give our best advice to friends or coworkers. If we hold back to spare their emotions, we can end up just enabling a bad or unhealthy behavior, or withholding information that could help them get what they want out of life. This is the difference between offending someone with good cause, and just being a jerk.
    There's an art to giving bad news to people though. It's like sales, you have to do a bullshit sandwich.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?
    Likes N/A liked this post

  10. #80
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    There's an art to giving bad news to people though. It's like sales, you have to do a bullshit sandwich.
    Yeah like I said sort of in my last post, there is more than one way to say the same thing. You can say something in the most offensive manner to be sure that you get your point across, or you can choose your words carefully as to not deliberately offend but still say what you need to say.

    For example, when I have an issue with something a friend is doing (example: borrowing money and not paying it back), I sit them down and first ask for the reasons. If there are no good reasons, or the person starts to get defensive, I try to calmly address what I need to say, tell the person what I think of the situation and tell them how it could cause them problems in the future. Constructive criticism is extremely important, it helps to get people talking and brainstorming over ways to change a behavior. It is better to focus on what can be done andwhat needs to be done to change something rather than focusing on something that already happened and cannot be changed. Remember the past, but use it as a way to focus on the future.

    I believe constructive criticism can be used in most cases as a productive measure to not cause offense.

    At the end of the day I believe constructive criticism is just that, constructive, while offense is inherently destructive.

    But this brings me to another topic, is the measure someone is defensive always proportional to the measure of offense or offense precieved?

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