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On taking offence at jokes!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, May 21, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Meenu
    You are right about those unreasonable people who develop lifetime animosity on a simple joke which goes awry! Jokes misfire on several situations and that is a big study by itself. The only way is to develop the ability to take a joke upon ourselves and laugh with others as you have suggested. What a graceful thing it is!
    Sri
     
  2. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Sri,

    People are very sensitive at times.They take things personally.

    I was at a party, and explaining to him that in India,(he was a foreigner) girls are not preffered,people die for a son.A friend of mine, who has 3 daughters,standing close by heard me, and fired me,saying have i ever told u that i desire a son ?

    I was talking in gerneral terms abiout what most indians desire,not that all indians desire.and i made no mention of him, i did not even know he was close by.

    People are overtly sensitive, i felt bad, but i lost respect for him.Regards.kamal
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamalji
    How can someone who is a father of two lovely daughters make such a statement? I am a father of two daughters too! But your friend need not have reacted in such a way but that's what we talking about here nah?
    sri
     
  4. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri Sir
    Oh been there and done that! So many times my statement has been misconstrued and I have lost many a friend. And every time it was the case where the other person misunderstood my sentence formation.
    Another problem with me is my sense of humor. I thought it was my strength till I found out painfully that not only is it wasted on persons with no sense of humor but that I will also lose their friendship!
     
  5. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Cheeniya Sir, when I first read the reson my instant instinctive reaction was "Wow" "wow" "seriously can anyone think like this?" and the second thought was "what a fertile imagination" - one needs a different mind set to react that way and some people seem to have just that!! This snippet of yours reiterates my thinking that it is not us, but what the other person is going through might make them react the way they do - thinking this way has helped me deal with many a situation especially when the relationship is important. What you speak of in the last sentence makes perfect sense!!
     
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamala
    This sense of humour is a queer thing. Like the lines on our palms, it differs from person to person. There is no guarantee that what makes you laugh will surely make me laugh too. Some people overcome this problem by laughing uncontrollably while narrating their own jokes while others would remain seated around with a passive face. But our narrator never gets affected by it and s/he will keep on and on laughing herself to death! Sometimes the way they laugh makes us laugh too but not their jokes.

    You may have seen that episode of Mr.Bean travelling in a train with a solitary co-passenger who is reading perhaps a book of Wodehouse. Suddenly he bursts out laughing and, as he goes on reading it, his laughter reaches a crescendo. Poor Bean tries all the tricks to shut himself off from the sound of laughter which only ends up in losing his train ticket!
    Sri
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Srama
    More often than not, we draw flak in our interactions with others not because of our fault but because of the other's mood at that point of time. While I was working in State Bank, whenever we had a serious problem to discuss with the boss, we always kept it off till he had finished his lunch. Even the most difficult bosses are likely to be in a benevolent frame of mind for a brief while after a good lunch like the rising sun after a peaceful night of slumber. Even otherwise, we would inquire with his Private Secretary whether the boss was in a good mood before entering his room.

    This strategy of measuring up the other's mood before we enter even into a light banter helps a lot. It is very very important between a husband and wife.
    Sri
     
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    This reminds me of another incident that happened in early part of my career when I worked in India. I was the second in command and the Service Manager reported that his building had some structural issues and needed inspection. His concern was very valid as it housed his entire staff. The CEO ordered me as his second in command to arrange a structural engineer to inspect the building. I did and the Engineer gave a clean report that the building is not under stress even though there were cracks in the building.

    The Service Manager was not satisfied. He called for a meeting with CEO and me. We all assembled in CEOs room. The discussion started with an accusation that I did not do a good job to organize a good structural engineer to inspect the building in the first place. I told that he had experience of at least 35 years. The exchanges became harsh and suddenly the service manager accused me, "You do not understand the values of the lives of my staff. There are cracks in the building." I politely responded, "I am aware that there are cracks in the building." My CEO laughed so loud hearing me and the Service Manager became very furious. He shouted something in Malayalam and I could not understand a word of what he was saying. However, I realized he was angry and he stormed out of the meeting.

    I was very upset that for some strange reason he behaved very aggressively and asked the CEO why he was behaving like that and what did I say to offend him. Then CEO laughed again and explained that when I said I was aware of cracks in the building, he took it as I was referring to him as an insane person. I realized why he was angry and later clarified to him that I was referring to the report of the structural engineer when I was talking about cracks. He cooled down later when he understood that I did not mean the way he thought I meant. Normally was restored.

    Viswa
     
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa
    The first lesson that I learned from my dad when I stepped into my professional career was to avoid all ambiguous phrases and words. I could see the wisdom of this advice within a few days of my career. Every time I sat down for negotiation with the representatives of Staff Union, they were finding fault with everything I said and getting offended. Thereafter I became very guarded in my utterances. Your incident reminded me of those days of my learning process.

    What complicates the matter more is that English is a pretty tricky language. What might appear to be a laudatory word in one instance may become a highly insulting word in another. Thank you for narrating an interesting incident that could become a case study in a class on communication skills!
    Sri
     
  10. PriyaKat

    PriyaKat Silver IL'ite

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    Language, any language, can be a tricky thing. While havoc can be wrought by misplacing a single comma or a semi-colon in the written language, the slightest variation in tone, accent or pitch in the spoken form can derail the original intent of the speaker. Why, the entire Art of Sarcasm depends on the diametrical disconnect between The Expressed and The Implied.

    There have been a few "oops" instances where I have bit my tongue, when , after uttering something ( which in my head seemed quite proper ) I realised what a different meaning it gave ( by the sound of it). There are pitfalls to be guarded against at every step .

    " Naa kaakka " is a handy advise !

    Taking offense at jokes reflects poorly on one's personality, but there are ample cases where people can't even tell that something is a joke ! What do we call them ? Dense ?
     
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