Blunt Personality

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Unsun, Feb 7, 2015.

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  1. Someone please tell me why it's sooooo damn hard to not offend someone when you're trying to express your thoughts, concerns, and feelings on something you're a part of? I swear, I try so hard not to come across as intentionally rude but I always end up on the wrong side of the bat, unintentionally offending the other person.

    I try, but am I not trying hard enough? It's frustrating. I hate it. Behold my stupid, completely obvious question. Can adults be blunt and still unintentionally come across as offensive in another person's context in general, more prominently speaking, on the internet no matter how hard they try to not sound rude? I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, they definitely can be but I just want to make sure that I'm not the only one (as a teenager) who has this flaw that needs to be immensely improved upon.

    I tried my best to explain my concerns, feelings, and thoughts dealing with the introduction, but I ended up unintentionally stating thinly veiled insults to their writing style. I know I need to fix it, I know I need to be more careful with my words- I've admittedly gone through so much drama in a past website I used to be a part of and got shunned basically, because I had a blunt persona with a dash of belligerence. Those were the old days though, but as of now, I'm trying to be more... I don't know... Not so offensive sounding when chatting in general?

    P.S. When I explained my feelings regarding the introduction to the one x one roleplay, I wasn't being hostile, just unfortunately wording things wrong and accidentally offending the other person. I like to think that I really try to the best of my ability but god, it's so hard to be yourself when you're just plain blunt with everything and everyone.

    I still end up offending people and it's just... It's so frustrating for me.
  2. I feel your pain. Just remember it's not always something about you but it could be something about them.
  3. I understand what you're saying, but in this case, I'm fairly confident that there was nothing wrong with them in any way whatsoever. It was myself.
  4. Because people tend to judge themselves based on intent, and others based on actions. Because it's impossible to know the true intent of another person, only their actions and what they profess to be their intent. Plus this is a site that tends to attract a lot of teenagers so you're going to find a lot of emotionally insecure types of people. That's not a bad thing, that's just a natural part of development into adulthood. People can also very easily misread the tone of something, seeing as how this is the Internet, ergo there's no verbal cues or bodily language to go off of. Virtually anything you write can be misconstrued as being offensive.

    tl;dr: Lots of reasons.

    "What can I do?" Work on yourself (because the only person you have power over is yourself), and when miscommunications occur attempt to explain apologetically what you attempted to infer. If said person remains offended and angry at you, apologize one more time and move on. There are some people you just can't appease in life, we like to call those people "oversensitive". Let them figure themselves out, all that happened was you discovered in advance someone you would not be very compatible with.

    Anyway, as for something more concrete.

    #1: Read whatever you write and ask yourself if it's going on the personal offensive. That is: Instead of typing "your character doesn't work", try instead "I think this character would do better if you added/removed/edited X!" When people think you're attacking them rather than offering them advice, you're done for, it's over.

    #2: Use the shit sandwich. [Compliment], [criticism], [compliment]. "I like how your character is going to tank for us [compliment], but I think that his motivation to murder everyone is a little extreme and should be toned down [criticism], although I do like how much time and effort you've put into this [compliment]!"

    Remember: There are some people where if you give them any criticism at all, no matter how helpful and inoffensive, they'll take it as a personal offense. You can't always win no matter how hard you try, so just accept that you have to let some people go.
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  5. There are a butt load of adults who have the same problem you do. There is nothing inherently wrong with being blunt; in a lot of cases it can save you and other parties a lot of frustration and heart break. The problem comes when you start forgoing social graces, ignoring cues and acting purely insulting and offensive under the guise of 'being blunt.' "I'm not mean, I'm just honest" is a phrase I often see touted by bullies and other unpleasant sorts. Just try to remember to have empathy and double check your words; that should help quite a bit. Also remember that we all put our foots in our mouths sometimes. I'm polite and apologetic to a fault and I still end up offending people sometimes. It's human nature. Again - just hold on to your empathy! It's such an underrated thing to have.

    Yeah, this is also another good thing to remember. Good advice.
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  6. @Brovo Would your advice count towards conversing with people who are adults as well?
  7. Generally, yes. There are plenty of adults you'll meet in life that haven't grown past high school. That whole "cliques are a high school thing" is bullshit, you'll find them everywhere. Only the labels change: "Nerds" stick around, you got your "feminists" and "gamers" and "white collars" and "college kids", and so on.

    Plus, social skills and tone control just arm you in a battle of wits. They're always useful. :ferret:
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  8. When confronting a person with a criticism, try not to word it accusingly and instead frame it in the way that you felt when something happened. It also helps to include yourself in the criticsm so that you're not singling them out. People tend to respond better when they don't feel like they're being attacked, and adding constructive criticism on how to fix it can also keep things from hurting people too much. It's not a guarantee, but it's definitely a step in a softer direction. For instance, instead of saying something like, "This scene you wrote just doesn't work." you could say something like, "I feel like this-specific-part wasn't working, but here are a few ideas on how we can fix it."

    I struggled with being blunt a lot in the past, too, but there are some factors that cause things like that. Namely, younger people tend to have less accurate interpretations of the emotions others exhibit. There have been studies where adults and younger people are shown photos of humans with varying facial expressions, and they had to express what emotion they thought the person had. Adults were more accurate more often than teens. I'm guessing it's because the average human's prefrontal cortex tends to not finish developing until we're in our mid-twenties. It's the part that basically controls our emotional maturity, decision making, and self-image. Emotional maturity has a lot to do with also being able to empathize with people, and it gets easier as time goes on, but it's not something that can just be switched on just because you wish it would. In my opinion, you need the combination of completed physical development with exercising it yourself to gain the social skills you're wanting to obtain.

    Still, even being an adult doesn't magically give you the ability to empathize. Adults can be jerks and cliquey and horrible, too. There's a lot of insecurity in the world, and those who hold onto it are typically the ones who are all about being offended by the truth no matter how gently it's delivered because they don't want the truth. You can't fix that. Like it's been said before me, you can't really change anyone else, so just do your best to word things kindly. That's all you really can do.
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  9. Besides this;
    When you are addressing someone, try to avoid starting with 'you' and attaching a judgement, but rather say X had Y effect on you. Rather than saying "Dude you totally fucked up with X scene." You can say "Hey man, I gotta admit I'm a bit confused as to what happened X scene."

    People are pretty much programmed to feel offended. So try to avoid giving them that ammo (without them sounding like a douche for it) by putting forward your experience rather than judgement. People are a lot more willing to grant a request than to be told they need to fix something. The desired result should be the same for you, either way.

    Be wary though, that when you get nicer, some people are more likely to try and step on you. In which case it's often best to reassert your values. Make sure to attach enough importance to your experience and feelings when you express them, so that they can't simply be stepped on or tossed aside. Taking our previous example, "Because I'm confused, I don't know how to reply to the RP. I really think we should figure out what happened there, and for that I need your help."

    Though admittedly, the nice approach is a bit of a time-sink and I personally always feel a little dishonest for using it. Ironically, the more direct I can be with someone the closer I feel to them.

    While I think this is true (stop caring so goddamn much about the presentation of the message and rather focus on it's content, people!) if you're ambitious in one way or another, dealing with people is far easier than changing them. The sad truth is that as a species, we are petty little bitches. You and me included, though maybe in different areas. However, we often need other people and maintaining good relationships amounts to quite some benefits. If I'm nice and respectful to my neighbours, they are more likely to offer a hand when I'm building that shed in my backyard or watch the plants when I'm out on vacation. That is super-useful, but it might mean you have to sacrifice a little of your own values and bend to communicate with them. I mean honestly, where do you think the American president kissing babies-cliché comes from? No adult man goes out to kiss infants on camera for their own enjoyment or pleasure (it's actually kinda creepy when you think about it.) I'd throw in a 'forgiveness' part as well for the irony, but I think I've offended enough people with this paragraph.
    #10 Kestrel, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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  10. Thank you @Thought Manifest, @Kestrel, and @Brovo for you input on my situation. I've moved on but I will definitely look back at your guys' advice when a situation like this pops up again. Huggles! <3
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