Author Topic: A little care with this one  (Read 16336 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7332
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2007, 06:52:47 PM »
I always think of it as being playful and lighthearted and I think that is how it's intended to be used.

The problem is that when (the generic) you say it in the forum, you're already saying it to someone who's upset and not really in a frame of mind to have you treat them "playful and lighthearted."  As such, (the generic) you come across as acting as if you're patting the person on the head and "playfully" telling them that the opinion that they're expressing is, in some way, silly or not of consequence.

I've seen this line said in the forum several times.  And, I don't think I've seen it used yet in such a way that didn't make the person saying it come across as being frankly condescending and (for lack of better word) a jerk.

Even in person, I think it's something to use extremely carefully. YOU think you're being "playful and lighthearted" but it's very hard to pull off in such a way that you don't really look like you're patronizing - even with a tone and an expression to go with it.

I am much more in favor of the alternative method expressed above.  Accomplishes the same goal without belittling the person at the same time.

The other problem that I found was that if you don't understand the meaning of what they are saying, it can be confusing.  And when I asked for clarification, I was still somewhat confused as to why someone would say this.  Frankly, I have never been at a party where someone has used this as a method to end debate.
 
So, I asked for further clarification and was told by a mod "I also think that you know perfectly well what the spirit of the "bean dip" suggestion was" and that I was just trying to be argumentative.
 
It was KeenReader who posted:
Things like the Coke Rule and the "bean dip" technique are means for bringing discussions that have turned into very heated debates that are nudging posters toward breaking the rules of etiquette themselves by being snarky and aggressive toward each other to a stop and letting people take a breath and calm down.

The bean dip technique is another way of saying, "Let's agree to disagree because this discussion is not going to lead to either of us changing our minds."
 
That made sense to me.  The key is to make sense within the context of the rules.  Because there are many times when people get lectured on "rules" that don't exactly exist.  I have seen newbies get lectured by people who bring up threads that were on the old board.
 
Little things like "Um, no" and "I am sorry that you feel that way."  Apparently these were considered to be rude to use on some thread on the old boards.  So, someone uses them here and someone else will ding them for it on that basis.  I don't think that is fair.
 
But, I don't know that there is anything one can do about it.  People are people and electronic communication takes away some very basic cues that humans for thousands of years have used--and even with those, people can come to blows, just not over silly things I guess.
 
Another reason the snarkiness spills over into exchanges is because for some posts snarkiness is an element of telling the story.  Some unknown person commits a violation and are pilloried with a celebration of snarkiness and it makes for juicy reading.
 
But, then since that spirit is there, it does spill over into other conversations.

I think it is good to have these folder that deal with some of the phrases that have evolved so that everyone understands the reasons and intent behind them.  Then, there is no confusion.
 
As far as bean dip, I would like to offer a challenge:  Maybe instead of simply an offer of bean dip someone could come up with a visual of some sort or graphic to go along with it--something that would elicit a smile or laugh, ie. something ridiculous.  It would be immediately obvious that others are uncomfortable with the tenor of the conversation and do so in a lighthearted way.
 

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2007, 06:57:02 PM »

As far as bean dip, I would like to offer a challenge:  Maybe instead of simply an offer of bean dip someone could come up with a visual of some sort or graphic to go along with it--something that would elicit a smile or laugh, ie. something ridiculous.  It would be immediately obvious that others are uncomfortable with the tenor of the conversation and do so in a lighthearted way.
 

And for me, offering someone bean dip does just that.  I think of a visual of someone at a party thrusting some bean dip in between two people to lighten up the mood, and it makes me laugh.  Again, YMMV.

Brentwood

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 26486
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2007, 08:27:00 PM »
It's along the same lines of ordering someone to 'follow the coke rule' when you disagree with what they are saying.

I'm glad you said this, because it's exactly what I've been thinking.  It's very easy for the "bean dip" comment to come across as rude and snarky as well.

I've had the comment made to me, and I have to tell you that it really burned me up.  Instead of cooling things down, it made me angrier.  Because it came across as a real put-down and an extremely snarky way of telling me to "shut up."

Personally, I'm not in favor of this one on the whole.  There are some times when it might help.  But, more often than not, you (the generic you) really come across as being high-handed and rude.  Especially in a written forum where there isn't a way to see the expression on your face that tones this comment down and makes it not so abrupt.



I agree.

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15377
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2007, 01:14:53 AM »
I've always been under the impression that the "bean dip" comment was a way of changing the subject, in a way that is abrupt enough that the other person int he discussion understands you're done with the previous topic.

As an example, I'd think that this phrase would be useful and appropriate if a particular person was always harping on you about the same thing, and you had politely told them several times that you were going to consult your own opinions on the matter, rather than theirs.  At the fifth meeting and the hundredth time that person said "well, I can't understand why you don't just..." you could then politely and with a smile, ask about something completely unrelated ("would you like some bean dip?  It's particularly good today").  But you can't do that online.

A much more clear way of ending a heated discussion online is to simply say "I don't think we'll be able to see eye-to-eye on this topic, so let's just agree to disagree.  I'm going to bow out of the discussion now."  I can't see how anyone could really take offense at something like that, but I can see how someone could take offense to "have you tried the bean dip?" if there was no clue that it was supposed to be lighthearted.

It's just so important to make sure that what you say online is clear, because it's so easy to read in a tone that isn't what the poster intended at all.


demetra

  • Guest
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2007, 07:36:42 AM »
I also think 'Have you tried the bean dip' should be reserved only for a conversation you are involved in.

Example -

You are at a party with two members of political party X.  You are a member of political party Y.  They are discussing who to vote for in the primary, and the conversation is serious with a touch of heat.

Walking up between them and stating 'have you tried the bean dip'? is rude.  You are better off being frank, 'hey guys, no politics at the party'.  If the conversation is polite, you've just been very rude butting in.  If it's not, all you've done is make the other people annoyed at you.

If one turns to you and says 'And what do you think?', responding 'This is excellent bean dip', is acceptable. 

If you are already involved in the conversation, stating 'I'm going to go try the bean dip' as a way of breaking the conversation is acceptable as well. 

ShadesOfGrey

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12682
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2007, 08:24:30 AM »
Wow - I had no idea that this line would start this kind of controversy when I suggested it for the title of this thread...

Like everything else, this line is about how you deliver it. 

While I dont think that this line is snarky in general, I can see where on the forum, where tone is difficult to convey, it can come across as such (especially if someone not involved in the conversation tries to use it - but it would be snarky in real life if someone not involved tried to use it, so that's not necessarily a unique situation).


I think mindibrand had the best example of how this is to be used in real life - as a conversation diverter and a clear way to break the tension. 

Quote
We were at a friends house and the husband and wife started arguing about something minor...but we all had enough beer in us that it seemed (to them) to be a BIG MAJOR PROBLEM.

At one point the husband (who I disagreed with, BTW) turned to me and asked my opinion.

I just looked at him and said "Have you tried the dip?".  He said "yes", then asked my opinion again, to which I replied "no seriously - this is really good dip!". 

Everyone laughed and the argument [was] over.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 08:28:58 AM by rdge »
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2007, 11:22:21 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.
Wherever you go.... there you are.

demetra

  • Guest
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2007, 11:24:04 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

Exactly what I was trying to say.

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2007, 11:34:39 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2007, 11:35:15 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?
Wherever you go.... there you are.

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2007, 11:39:04 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?
For instance, a few weeks ago, there was a Kayne West thread that got pretty heated and insulting. At one point, you finally just stepped in and said "ya know, this is getting bad. Why don't you take this to PM?" I thought that was perfect and fine. And to be honest, being on the receiving end of that thread's nonsense and feeling like I needed to defend myself, I would felt very... slapped down and looked down upon if instead you had randomly said "So, have ya'll tried the bean dip?" In some cases, its just not appropriate and there are more direct, less hostile ways to say things.
Wherever you go.... there you are.

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2007, 11:41:31 AM »
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?

I've stated my opinion on this already, so I hope I'm not belaboring the point, but I truly see it as a funny, lighthearted thing to say. Other's have made different suggestions to use as humorous ways to interject, and for me, the bean dip line is the same thing.  I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2007, 11:44:23 AM »
For instance, a few weeks ago, there was a Kayne West thread that got pretty heated and insulting. At one point, you finally just stepped in and said "ya know, this is getting bad. Why don't you take this to PM?" I thought that was perfect and fine. And to be honest, being on the receiving end of that thread's nonsense and feeling like I needed to defend myself, I would felt very... slapped down and looked down upon if instead you had randomly said "So, have ya'll tried the bean dip?" In some cases, its just not appropriate and there are more direct, less hostile ways to say things.

Good point.  In that specific instance, my comment wasn't even directed at you.  You were being perfectly civil and polite.  It was directed at the instigator, who made a comment that she really wanted to get your opinion on something, that was clearly said in order to get a rise out of you.

I guess that I will have to think about how it can come across to people who are in the middle of the heated discussion, because I honestly had no idea that this many people felt this way about it, and I wouldn't personally be offended by someone else using it.

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1994
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2007, 11:52:40 AM »
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2007, 11:53:37 AM »
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D

Gonna agree with you on that one.  Both come across as snarky and (as another poster said above) "superior to you" sounding.