Author Topic: "No offence, but..."  (Read 6323 times)

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Zizi-K

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2014, 01:37:13 PM »
Moreover, however it was intended, the OP finds it insulting and upsetting and she is well within her right to feel that way.  Others have provided great advice so I will refrain from parroting them, but I wanted to point out, specifically and with all due respect, that the idea of 'take it as it was intended' is a recipe for disaster.  It the OP is legitimately upset, it will only lead to resentment and hurt feelings down the line.  There is another thread where a poster described snapping off at a mean relative -- I would hate for the OP to venture into the realm of actual rudeness because she suppressed her true feelings about a comment.

I think you are misunderstanding some of the advice.  The OP can be upset, and can express to whomever that what they said upset her.  My advice was to approach it in a productive way rather than aggressively accuse someone of being malicious when it is quite probable they did not intend anything other than social banter.  Laugh it off, if possible, or say, "Oh, goodness, well, I am sure you meant well but that hurt my feelings," rather than going on the attack.

TurtleDove -- I hadn't read your advice.  I was responding to ZiZi-K whose advice was "take it in the spirit in which it was offered".    I also pointed out that others had offered great advice for how to approach the situation in the moment -- I include your advice in that blanket statement because you didn't say anything that would indicate to the OP that she couldn't or shouldn't feel how she does -- but rather that it can be dealt with positively rather than aggressively.

I think we must've just gotten some wires crossed :-)

Actually my advice was to beandip. You have to read all the way to the end.

mspallaton

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2014, 01:40:32 PM »
Moreover, however it was intended, the OP finds it insulting and upsetting and she is well within her right to feel that way.  Others have provided great advice so I will refrain from parroting them, but I wanted to point out, specifically and with all due respect, that the idea of 'take it as it was intended' is a recipe for disaster.  It the OP is legitimately upset, it will only lead to resentment and hurt feelings down the line.  There is another thread where a poster described snapping off at a mean relative -- I would hate for the OP to venture into the realm of actual rudeness because she suppressed her true feelings about a comment.

I think you are misunderstanding some of the advice.  The OP can be upset, and can express to whomever that what they said upset her.  My advice was to approach it in a productive way rather than aggressively accuse someone of being malicious when it is quite probable they did not intend anything other than social banter.  Laugh it off, if possible, or say, "Oh, goodness, well, I am sure you meant well but that hurt my feelings," rather than going on the attack.

TurtleDove -- I hadn't read your advice.  I was responding to ZiZi-K whose advice was "take it in the spirit in which it was offered".    I also pointed out that others had offered great advice for how to approach the situation in the moment -- I include your advice in that blanket statement because you didn't say anything that would indicate to the OP that she couldn't or shouldn't feel how she does -- but rather that it can be dealt with positively rather than aggressively.

I think we must've just gotten some wires crossed :-)

Actually my advice was to beandip. You have to read all the way to the end.

I did read to the end and found no fault with your advice on what specific thing to say in the moment.  I did, however, have a problem with the idea of 'taking things as they are intended' if you feel hurt or offended by them.  It places the onus on the listener to hear something a certain way, rather than the speaker to be reasonably cautious of the listener's feelings.  Perhaps I should have addressed your etiquette advice as well to avoid confusion.

Edited because I somehow managed to drop my response into the middle of a quote.  Brilliant.  ::)

Mister E

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2014, 01:46:21 PM »
I guess I just don't understand why a comment like that has to be "insulting" or that they're something to be offended by. I suppose it's kind of clueless, but people are just giving their opinion or commenting on your looks. So what? If somebody tells you look like a certain "random celebrity" I think a perfect thing to say would be "I don't see the resemblance" and then just change the subject. I just don't see the point of being offended or getting mad at being told you look like some celebrity (or anyone else for that matter) I'd just let it go. I'm sure it's happened to all of us at least once. I remember when the TV show The Wonder Years was on, someone told me I looked like Fred Savage who played the main character on the show. I didn't think I did (still don't) and it turned into a bit of an argument all because the other person wouldn't drop it. But it doesn't matter, to me it's one of those things that's "small stuff".

Ed.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 01:48:32 PM by Mister E »

shhh its me

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2014, 02:02:27 PM »
Moreover, however it was intended, the OP finds it insulting and upsetting and she is well within her right to feel that way.  Others have provided great advice so I will refrain from parroting them, but I wanted to point out, specifically and with all due respect, that the idea of 'take it as it was intended' is a recipe for disaster.  It the OP is legitimately upset, it will only lead to resentment and hurt feelings down the line.  There is another thread where a poster described snapping off at a mean relative -- I would hate for the OP to venture into the realm of actual rudeness because she suppressed her true feelings about a comment.

I think you are misunderstanding some of the advice.  The OP can be upset, and can express to whomever that what they said upset her.  My advice was to approach it in a productive way rather than aggressively accuse someone of being malicious when it is quite probable they did not intend anything other than social banter.  Laugh it off, if possible, or say, "Oh, goodness, well, I am sure you meant well but that hurt my feelings," rather than going on the attack.

TurtleDove -- I hadn't read your advice.  I was responding to ZiZi-K whose advice was "take it in the spirit in which it was offered".    I also pointed out that others had offered great advice for how to approach the situation in the moment -- I include your advice in that blanket statement because you didn't say anything that would indicate to the OP that she couldn't or shouldn't feel how she does -- but rather that it can be dealt with positively rather than aggressively.

I think we must've just gotten some wires crossed :-)

Actually my advice was to beandip. You have to read all the way to the end.

I did read to the end and found no fault with your advice on what specific thing to say in the moment.  I did, however, have a problem with the idea of 'taking things as they are intended' if you feel hurt or offended by them.  It places the onus on the listener to hear something a certain way, rather than the speaker to be reasonably cautious of the listener's feelings.  Perhaps I should have addressed your etiquette advice as well to avoid confusion.

Edited because I somehow managed to drop my response into the middle of a quote.  Brilliant.  ::)

 No offense But sometimes it actually is the listener  ;)  The listener can be offended even if the speaking is being reasonable cautious. I think "take things as intended." is a pretty good starting point in conversations.


I also don't think every word utter must have a point....
Nice weather we're having
Thank you come again
 

Unlike "no offense but ...."  I don't think "Do you know who you look like ." is automatically offensive. It can be intended to be mean, offensive or a random observation.  I wouldn't call it great conversation but I don't think its rude as a rule.

baglady

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2014, 02:16:01 PM »
I'd go for the humorous approach. If you're willing to hear the person name the celebrity:

Faye Dunaway: "Do you mean 'Bonnie & Clyde' Faye Dunaway or 'Mommie Dearest' Faye Dunaway?"

Judy Garland: "You mean I look like I've been dead since 1969?"

Queen Elizabeth: "I look like an 88-year-old woman? Thank you ... I think!"

If you'd rather not hear the name:

"Yep, my mom/sister/Aunt Shirley. I didn't realize you knew her! Next time you see her, tell her she owes me a phone call."

My photography is on Redbubble! Come see: http://www.redbubble.com/people/baglady

turnip

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2014, 02:24:49 PM »
OK - I guess I just come at this from a different direction but frankly I think it's a _burden_ to try to create a comeback that somehow conveys to these people that they are rude or I'm offended.  Even if I was offended - I don't want to share that with random people!  Not because I'm shy or embarrassed, but because "I'm offended" also says "I care about your opinion" and I really don't.

As to trying to get them to see that they are rude - not my problem, not my burden.

So I don't see any benefit for _me_ in saying anything more than "Hmm, beandip?".   I'm not going to get any catharsis, I'm not going to make the world a better place, so what is the point?

mspallaton

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2014, 02:27:13 PM »
No offense But sometimes it actually is the listener  ;)  The listener can be offended even if the speaking is being reasonable cautious. I think "take things as intended." is a pretty good starting point in conversations.


I also don't think every word utter must have a point....
Nice weather we're having
Thank you come again
 

Unlike "no offense but ...."  I don't think "Do you know who you look like ." is automatically offensive. It can be intended to be mean, offensive or a random observation.  I wouldn't call it great conversation but I don't think its rude as a rule.

(Quotes removed because this was getting long)

I don't disagree that sometimes people can get offended too easily, but the example given was that the listener had been compared to two actors, based on looks, neither of whom are attractive.  If you're going to make a comment about someone's appearance (which I honestly never recommend doing unprompted), you should be prepared for the possibility that they won't take it well and own the fact that you caused that reaction with your words.

While it isn't automatically rude, I do think that any comparison could reasonably cause the listener to be offended and that is well within the realm of reasonable reactions for them to have.  Basically - I just don't think it is a good idea unless you know the person very well.

mime

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2014, 02:34:24 PM »
I'd go for the humorous approach. If you're willing to hear the person name the celebrity:

Faye Dunaway: "Do you mean 'Bonnie & Clyde' Faye Dunaway or 'Mommie Dearest' Faye Dunaway?"

Judy Garland: "You mean I look like I've been dead since 1969?"

Queen Elizabeth: "I look like an 88-year-old woman? Thank you ... I think!"

If you'd rather not hear the name:

"Yep, my mom/sister/Aunt Shirley. I didn't realize you knew her! Next time you see her, tell her she owes me a phone call."

Oh, I like these. I've been told I look like Anna Nicole Smith. If someone sees a resemblance in me, I don't see how it could possibly be from her pretty Guess-Jeans years. That must means I look like her during those *other* years, and I sure don't want to hear that! Maybe I'll have to say something like "gee, I know I've been stresssed out lately, but I thought I looked better than a walking train-wreck."


TurtleDove

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2014, 02:47:54 PM »
OK - I guess I just come at this from a different direction but frankly I think it's a _burden_ to try to create a comeback that somehow conveys to these people that they are rude or I'm offended.  Even if I was offended - I don't want to share that with random people!  Not because I'm shy or embarrassed, but because "I'm offended" also says "I care about your opinion" and I really don't.

As to trying to get them to see that they are rude - not my problem, not my burden.

So I don't see any benefit for _me_ in saying anything more than "Hmm, beandip?".   I'm not going to get any catharsis, I'm not going to make the world a better place, so what is the point?

This was well stated!  Especially the bolded.  I think that is where I have difficulty grasping some poster's positions on this. Why would you (general) care what someone you either do not know or do not respect thinks about you?  And if you do care what they think, there is a better way to go about addressing hurt feelings than to focus on the other person being rude.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2014, 02:57:06 PM »
I guess I just don't understand why a comment like that has to be "insulting" or that they're something to be offended by. I suppose it's kind of clueless, but people are just giving their opinion or commenting on your looks. So what? If somebody tells you look like a certain "random celebrity" I think a perfect thing to say would be "I don't see the resemblance" and then just change the subject. I just don't see the point of being offended or getting mad at being told you look like some celebrity (or anyone else for that matter) I'd just let it go. I'm sure it's happened to all of us at least once. I remember when the TV show The Wonder Years was on, someone told me I looked like Fred Savage who played the main character on the show. I didn't think I did (still don't) and it turned into a bit of an argument all because the other person wouldn't drop it. But it doesn't matter, to me it's one of those things that's "small stuff".

Ed.

Well, in general, I don't think it's particularly polite to "give an opinion" on someone else's looks, unless you've been specifically asked. It certainly isn't a defense for voicing any and all opinions on others' appearances. If one is going to do so, the onus is on the commenter to make sure the comment is unambiguously complimentary. (Even then, not everyone would consider an unsolicited compliment polite. It's just much less likely to offend someone than other comments on their appearance.) For example, you probably aren't going to offend many people with "You look great!" or "Your scarf is beautiful." Something like "You've lost weight!" will likely be understood as an attempt at a complement in USA culture, but many people would be offended by unsolicited commentary on their weight (and the implication that loosing weight was desirable for them). And on the far extreme, voicing an opinion of "You're ugly" is incredibly rude.

When comparing someone's looks to a celebrity, it's going to be very difficult to hit "unambiguously complimentary" unless it's a person you know, and you are sure they like that particular celebrity's looks. Also, I don't really see how saying someone looks like [insert unattractive celebrity] is complimentary, even if said celebrity has many wonderful (non-aesthetic) qualities. If the point is that they have, e.g., the charisma of [charismatic celebrity], then that has nothing to do with them looking like the celebrity. The obvious, face-value interpretation of "You look like X" is that you literally look like X, not that you share X's non-visual qualities.

TootsNYC

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2014, 02:57:27 PM »
I guess I just don't understand why a comment like that has to be "insulting" or that they're something to be offended by. I suppose it's kind of clueless, but people are just giving their opinion or commenting on your looks. So what? If somebody tells you look like a certain "random celebrity" I think a perfect thing to say would be "I don't see the resemblance" and then just change the subject. I just don't see the point of being offended or getting mad at being told you look like some celebrity (or anyone else for that matter) I'd just let it go. I'm sure it's happened to all of us at least once. I remember when the TV show The Wonder Years was on, someone told me I looked like Fred Savage who played the main character on the show. I didn't think I did (still don't) and it turned into a bit of an argument all because the other person wouldn't drop it. But it doesn't matter, to me it's one of those things that's "small stuff".

Ed.

FYI--Commenting on someone's looks is at etiquette violation.

And it's funny that you don't think such a comment is a big deal, and yet you ended up in an argument because you disagreed with the way someone was seeing you.

turnip

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2014, 03:04:21 PM »
OK - I guess I just come at this from a different direction but frankly I think it's a _burden_ to try to create a comeback that somehow conveys to these people that they are rude or I'm offended.  Even if I was offended - I don't want to share that with random people!  Not because I'm shy or embarrassed, but because "I'm offended" also says "I care about your opinion" and I really don't.

As to trying to get them to see that they are rude - not my problem, not my burden.

So I don't see any benefit for _me_ in saying anything more than "Hmm, beandip?".   I'm not going to get any catharsis, I'm not going to make the world a better place, so what is the point?

This was well stated!  Especially the bolded.  I think that is where I have difficulty grasping some poster's positions on this. Why would you (general) care what someone you either do not know or do not respect thinks about you?  And if you do care what they think, there is a better way to go about addressing hurt feelings than to focus on the other person being rude.

Right - and to expand on that:  I do understand, and I do often care what random strangers think.  I'm not completely immune and if someone came up and said "Boy, you sure do remind me of my old dog Knuckles!" I'd probably be hurt.....

But I guess I feel like it's 'private' that they hurt me.  I wouldn't want them to know because frankly I don't think they _deserve_ that kind of insight on my feelings.   

Eden

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2014, 03:10:52 PM »
I suspect we're going to continue to split on the opinion of whether or not telling someone they look like someone else is rude. Certainly I can't agree that commenting on someone's looks is ALWAYS an etiquette violation as some have stated it is.

Ginger G

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2014, 03:14:44 PM »
Quote
I feel your pain, OP.

When I was 13 someone told me I looked like a young Barbara Streisand. I responded by bursting into tears.

Now they tell me I look like someone else. 

We must be twins.    I was younger than 13 at the time. I didn't burst into tears; but my indignant denials were apparently so funny they kept telling me I looked "exactly" like Barbra Streisand.

That reminds me...when I was in my 20s I went through a period where my hair was short and curly.  I was working at my retail job and a young man and his mom were walking by, and I overheard him tell his mother I looked just like Barbra Streisand.  I look absolutely nothing like her.  It's just funny that people will decide you look like someone because of one detail.  I actually wasn't offended at all, just surprised.

My DH often gets told he looks like George Clooney to the point where he's tired of hearing it (I know it sounds like I'm making that up but I swear it's true!).   He doesn't say anything in response other than "Who's George Clooney?"  just to mess with them a little.  I think DH is actually a dead ringer for an actor from the 40s and 50s named Paul Douglas.  The resemblance is so strong that I looked up info on Paul Douglas and found out his real last name is German in origin, as is my DH's.  I am convinced they are related somehow.

TurtleDove

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Re: "No offence, but..."
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2014, 03:22:59 PM »
I suspect we're going to continue to split on the opinion of whether or not telling someone they look like someone else is rude. Certainly I can't agree that commenting on someone's looks is ALWAYS an etiquette violation as some have stated it is.

I think that regardless of whether it is rude, it does little good to react aggressively or passive aggressively or angrily.  A stranger is not going to suddenly see the error of her ways if someone reacts with an icy stare or schools them on how it is rude to comment on someone's appearance.  Personally, if someone were to do that to me I would file that in my internal rolodex of "stories of encounters with crazy people."

And if these are more than acquaintances, the relationship would dictate another approach as well like calm discussion. 

I think the OP got and suggested herself some great responses to politely change the topic.