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I Caught Myself About to Post An Annoying Comment

I recently caught myself in an act of hypocrisy.   A commenter had responded to a post I made by saying “Have fun!”  He meant it ironically — his point was I was being an idiot.  As I was driving to my office I figured out how I would respond.  “Bless your heart!  You have fun too!”

As I drove I thought what I was doing.  I was deliberately pretending to misunderstand the aggressive intent of his message in order to annoy him.  In my fantasies he would waste time and get mad trying to tell me that he meant to hurt and his message “Have fun!” should not be taken at face value.  He would feel ashamed to have to cop to his aggression or perhaps just baffled — not sure why my concept “Bless your heart!” annoyed him, but annoyed all the same.  My fantasied riposte — “Bless your heart!” was therefore designed to cause pain, and also designed to hide the fact.

I don’t want to cause pain to random people, and I want to be honest.   I also knew why even though I don’t want to cause pain or be dishonest I had been about to be cruel and mendacious.  If I posted the comment  I would have the feeling of having power over another person without without risk and vulnerability.  I believe this is impossible, so once I realized what I was up to my desire to post the annoying comment melted away.

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5 thoughts on “I Caught Myself About to Post An Annoying Comment

  1. N.S. Palmer says:

    “It is the best people who feel most acutely the difference between what they are and what they ought to be.” — Brand Blanshard

    You’re doing all right. We’re allowed to be human.

  2. Mikey says:

    What if you weren’t quite sure what the guy had meant. Like you’re 97% sure he’s being an annoying jerk and 3% of you thinks that he might have been well meaning and you’re misunderstanding him. In that situation, might it be best to go for the response which engages with the probably-wrong interpretation and irritates the probably-right interpretation? Because after all, if the guy was being nice then there’s no need to not be nice back. And if he’s being a jerk, maybe he deserves being irritated.

    Or is that line of reasoning just the kind of advanced hypocrisy that we’re all awesome at?

    • I have occasionally indexed my responce to someone to whatever attitude they had – I tell them if they meant well, then my message is one of meaning well back. If they were sarcastic, then so is my message back – even though it’s the same words in either case.

  3. Eh, I’m okay with causing some pain!

    The thing that would put me off is how it poisons ‘Bless your heart!’. It would spoil it for me, for the time I really mean it – but I used it in a sarcastic way. And that person, who is probably quite poisoned themselves, doesn’t deserve to get me poisoned as well.

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