Whether or not I believe they were earnestly kidding depends on my past experience of them. It is possible to make really inappropriate jokes if a person is accustomed to spending time around others with a very different sense of humor. But most of the time, when I see someone doing it, I get the impression they're just being flaky and cowardly trying to backpedal.
Sometimes people can take offence at a statement that was ironic/sarcastic/always meant as a joke. It doesn't happen often, but in those instances, especially when the non-serious nature of the statement would normally seem obvious, "I was just kidding" is a pretty reasonable reply.
I wouldn't be saying this but I've recently been talking to a new friend who often seems to misunderstand me. I use up my entire monthly quota of "I was just kidding" in one conversation with them!
In other words, when the person being talked to is sufficiently touchy, and keeps reading too much into comments, its a useful phrase. I'm sure we've all experienced being indirectly insulted by someone who uses the phrase as a retreat mechanism though.
It depends on circumstance, and of course sincerity. I had a good friend who would often use this method to cut me down in public. No surprise, I'm now no longer her friend. I'm sure no one else is surprised either. Mostly I'd say people use it when something comes out a little more harsh or shocking than they thought, but if it's deragatory and constant, it's time to move on as, in my experience, these people cannot be reasoned with. It's a form of gas lighting in those cases.
Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.
...or as a way to indicate lack of trust in others' perceptiveness that existence needn't be taken to the nth degree of seriousness. Those who seek overt displays of affection might be more susceptible to symptoms associated, delusionary or otherwise.
Although, sometimes people are legitimately kidding and the other person has read offense into a statement where it "shouldn't" have been. That can happen when the speaker is too blunt in their delivery (so that the joking nature isn't apparent) or when they hit one of the listener's soft spots.
If you're genuinely kidding a lot and if you end up having to backtrack or clarify with a remark with "I was just kidding" a lot, to a variety of people, perhaps you should adjust your delivery--or think about whether you're lying to yourself about your intentions.
1- People who say whatever they wish to and then use this as a blanket to pretend they aren't a giant asshole. (Passive Aggressive)
2- People who wish to be bold and then regret their momentary boldness.
The first kind are extra annoying because if you call them out on it, they like @Rasofy said, will try and flip it around so you are an overreacting moron. The second usually happens with people are very timid and have a flash where they want to say something "daring" and then regret it. (My ESFJ employee does it ALL the time and it drives me nuts after awhile.)
The second usually happens with people are very timid and have a flash where they want to say something "daring" and then regret it. (My ESFJ employee does it ALL the time and it drives me nuts after awhile.)
Man, people who are all bark with no bite (and no balls) are the best. I love them to bits and pieces.