I adore when talking to people and they use the terms, “No offense or I don’t mean to be rude, but….” as if that excuses the next series of words that fall out of their mouths. How would someone not be offended?
I think in this world where social media paints our landscape, we forget the courtesy of being polite and respectful of others. Interpersonal conversations are a lost art, so there is a lapse in manners. A conversation with an individual reminded me that I can take what I like and leave the rest especially when the interaction takes an unbalanced turn. I was sharing how I had been impacted by a certain mediation app that I had recently found and how that has expanded my outlook on a daily basis. This individual responded with something along the lines of “not wanting to be snarky, but” and proceeded to tell me that this is what they teach in their current job. I merely, responded, “Okay”, but felt like I have been verbally slapped. It wasn’t just the words, but the tone that sent the message home.
Being a writer, I have acquired a pretty accurate observation of people. Their body language, their words, the tone of their voice all have the unique power to give me answers that are under the surface. Most people are easy to read. It provides me with a level of understanding that alleviates any offense that I might have taken. That doesn’t mean unacceptable behavior it is acceptable. It simply means that I have the awareness. There is that balance. But, what I do know is that most people that react with statements pleading “no offense” are often in the midst of their own private struggles. It all goes back to being okay with me, even if the rest of society is unhinged. It is about not being affected by other people’s stuff and focusing on my actions and reactions.