Monday, 19 August 2013
No offence meant
But other insults are more subjective, aren't they? What one person sees as a hideous insult another will find entirely trivial and not worth remarking on. So much depends on how the words are interpreted.
People sometimes say I've insulted them when for the life of me I can't see where the insult lies. As far as I'm concerned, I respect them, I value them, I may even admire them. Yet they're convinced I've abused them in some way.
They'll take what I've said as a criticism of their religion, their work, their political views, their parenting skills, or whatever, and any attempt I make to put the record straight is simply ignored.
Personally, I'm fairly insult-proof. If someone says something that might possibly be an insult, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume a quite innocent meaning. They'd have to be blatantly rude for me to take offence.
Even if they're saying something clearly derogatory, often I can see it's because they've obviously misunderstood me or imagined something about me that's complete nonsense. So usually I just laugh or shrug my shoulders or take no notice. Why fly off the handle at some gormless misunderstanding?
But some people just seem to look for insults, they love the sheer drama of feeling insulted and fuming at someone. They'll see an insult in every other sentence - a sly dig here, a snide reference there, a sarcastic aside somewhere else. Everyone is getting at them, everyone is busy sharpening a knife to stab them in the back.
The fact is, I don't insult anyone out of the blue, for no good reason. They'd have to insult me first, and quite flagrantly, for me to respond in kind. Even then, I find it hard to be insulting. I always feel uncomfortable and mean, however justified my reaction, however hurt or crushed I may be.
All I can say is, like beauty, insults are often in the eye of the beholder.