Recently, I had a conversation with someone that began with “don’t take this personally” and was followed by a very judgmental blanket statement. Of course, I was offended my character was being attacked. When I became upset the person said now I told you it was not personal. This person did not even understand why I would be upset. Apparently prefacing a personal attack with “don’t take personally” somehow absolves he/she from any responsibility. It is a free ticket for rudeness. The other contention I had with this individual was the use of blanket statements.
So, why does this bother me so much? Well, first it is just plain rude. Second, the offender is attempting to shift responsibility for their actions to the target or victim. If you are going to say something rude or offensive at least have the decency and guts to own up to it. Also, do not be surprised if the recipient of the attack responds in a negative way. I am reminded of one of the many sayings/proverbs one of my high school teachers used say “Make your words short and sweet. You never know which ones you might have to eat.”
Blanket statements also bother me. In most cases there are exceptions to the them and many times the statement only applies to limited circumstances. Even the most well intended blanket statements are not globally true. For example “Everything tastes better with chocolate on it.” Well, somethings were never intended for consumption and nothing would really make them taste better. In my opinion ants should never be eaten but if I had to eat ants I’m sure that chocolate covered ones would be more tolerable. Technically, the statement would apply to ants. Well, you can see my point.
Responsibility includes being accountable for ones words. When making rude or offensive statements do not be surprised when others respond in a negative manner.
Editor’s Note: To my friends. No, you are not the person I’m talking about and no you don’t know the person either. If I had a problem with you I would tell you. Recently is a relative term meaning sometime in the last 6 months or so.