Etiquette School is in session! > "Have you tried the bean dip?"

A little care with this one

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demetra:
Using this tactic can in itself be rude.  I have some examples from another forum I am on.  A friend of mine on there and I often get into debates on heated topics (there are no rules against it on that forum, it is in fact a forum specifically for debates).  More often than not, in real life this friend and I are in full agreement, one of us is just playing devil's advocate.

Inevitably, in spite of the fact that no personal insults are being thrown around and the forum is specifically for debates, someone comes in and says essentially 'why are you guys debating this, I don't want to read this argument'. 

When someone comes in and says 'would you guys like bean dip?' (or that forum's equivalent 'so, read any good books lately?') it comes across as snarky and rude.  In these sort of instances, the polite thing to do is not read the thread if you are uncomfortable with it.  Just as in real life, the polite thing to do is to not join a conversation if you are uncomfortable with the topic.  If tempers aren't getting heated, and the debate, while perhaps intense, is not dissolving into snark and is otherwise allowed by the forum rules, offering bean dip is in itself snarky.

It's along the same lines of ordering someone to 'follow the coke rule' when you disagree with what they are saying.

jimithing:
I agree with this, to a point.  I have only "offered the bean dip" when the topic has gone into snarky and rude territory.  If it's a thread you just aren't comfortable with, then I agree that you should stop reading it.  But I rarely find offering bean dip to be rude, and I usually think that it's funny and a way to lighten up the situation.  It is still a public forum, and I think that on this one, the rule is that if it becomes too personal, it's best to take it off the forum.

demetra:
Here, on ehell, if I were to have the sort of debate I normally do with this friend I would absolutely expect to be offered bean dip, if not given a time-out by the admins.  This isn't a forum for serious discussions on the religious situation of green-skinned Saturnians expatriated to Neptune and it's political ramifications on Callisto.  In fact it's specifically against the forum rules, thus offering bean dip when a thread starts headed in that direction is a subtle, amusing way to say 'hey guys, remember the rules?'  But on a forum dedicated to such topics, butting in to 'lighten the debate' comes across as snarky.

bopper:
Around here, (well before their unfortunate disaster), it is:  "How 'bout them Mets?"  which I have used if the conversation gets kind of gross during a meal or what have you.

LiveLoveLearn:
I really think this is a tactic every pregnant woman needs to master.  It worked especially well at all those gatherings I went to when I was pregnant with DS1.  The ones where the well-meaning aquantances overstep boundries, whether it be touching my belly, asking (harrassing) about some controversial (to them) decisions I was making, etc.  Because all these parties I went to were potlucks (church, groups of friends, etc), I made sure to make my 'famous' black bean dip and bring it.  Then, whenever anyone wouldn't back down, I would just "Oh man, I've got to go get more of that bean dip!  Silly cravings!  Have you tried it yet?"

The women who hosted my shower had caught on (actually, I think I learned it from one of them who was also pregnant) and actually made some bean dip!  I was so excited!  Then, when Stepmom asked me for the thousanth time about why I was planning to do something one way and not the other way (ie, her way, which she thought was just the bee's knees), I was able to kindly steer her to the bean dip.

And I wonder now why DS1 loves the stuff ;)

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