Don’t Take This Personally

Annoying peopleRecently, 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.

10 comments

  1. I agree with you. I have been in the same situation. I think it is better to say nothing than to say “Don’t take this personally…” (I hope I was not the one who did this to you! :-} )

  2. Dee,
    Now don’t take this personally, but you have to be one of my favorite people and I hope you are doing great!

  3. Dee, I couldn’t agree more!!

    I abhor the phrase, “Don’t take this personally…but…”! How in the world am I supposed to take what you say to me? I am a person, and because I am passionate about life, and possess the ability to process information within this breathing, living organism we call a body, I MUST take anything anyone says to me to heart. I am not a computer or a robot. I am a PERSON!!!

    Oh, and…by the way, I have eaten chocolate covered ants. And while I have never eaten a plain ant (i.e. one without chocolate), I feel certain that the flavor was not improved by the layering of the dark, sticky, sweet substance known as chocolate. The ant was still….an ant!

  4. I agree. I would be offended the minute the words “don’t take this personally” came out of their mouth, because they are obviously assuming I am stupid enough to think they are doing me a favor of some kind by insulting me.

    Argh.

  5. Jodie: No, it wasn’t you. Also, you don’t misuse the term. I like you how are just openly blunt and honest.

    Kris: TY, yes things are good.

    Kim: Well said. Well, I’ll take your word on ants.

    ENM: That is true.

  6. Hmmm, yes I agree. Hopefully I didn’t say anything to offend. I tend to open mouth, insert foot at times, without really meaning to…. but yes, I do think people are becoming more rude.
    Beth

  7. Beth: Nope it wasn’t you besides you don’t really beat around the bush. You usually just say what you think.

    Nate: Well, maybe some need to take this personally.

    Editors Note: To all of my friends & readers the conversation happened several months ago & isn’t based on a recent event. It is something I have been thinking about it for a while.

  8. Dee:

    I’m sorry you had to receive such fowl comments thrown at you. I’ve never understood “blanket statements” either. Like you said, if you’re going to say something harsh, own it – but I myself follow ‘Thumper’s’ philosophy from Bambi:

    “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

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