Well this is difficult

November 7, 2009

I wrote a post this morning in twenty minutes.  It’s quite nice, and well worth a read.  Except it’s rooooooood as hell.    Not really sure how it’s even possible to explain to someone why they are being a total idiot, without using the actual words.

“Pardon me John, but you have shit encrusted toilet paper stuck on your head”.  Is there any tactful way to say that?  Suppose one could direct John to a mirror and let him figure it out.  But suppose John looks in the mirror, sees shit encrusted toilet paper perched on his noggin, and thinks that’s the latest fashion?   If he was capable of finding poo-poo chapeau in his closet, wouldn’t he have already taken pains to remove it himself?

Somebody has to actually tell him, “John, that shit encrusted toilet paper?  It stinks.”    He has to be told.  By somebody else.  I’m convinced that tactful people could find a way to explain which didn’t hurt his feelings, but what if the problem is that John is being a non-logical idiot who has the IQ of a gnat?   And that gnat-like nature is what caused the problem in the first place?  That’s the problem with being a feminazi, I’m always looking for original cause.  The cause of my angst is never John performing some stupid behavior, because all humans can be expected to make mistakes from time to time.  The cause is John being so stupid that he deliberately chose stupid behavior despite a thousand exhortations to the contrary.  Feminazis are a tad on the picky side.

Anyway.  This stupidity is causing other people harm, so of course John must be informed at once, post haste.  But how does a tactful person handle that situation?  Should we assume John desires to cause harm?  Or should we assume that John might eventually appreciate being told, even though in the short run his precious fucking feelings are going to be hurt, and badly?  Other people manage to discuss highly contentious issues without the fire department on standby, so what am I missing?  Guess that’s why miss manners suggests only addressing the behavior, but uh, the behavior itself is stupid, also.  So, really, what’s the difference?  I guess stupid people don’t notice that it was their own choice to choose their behavior, and it was actually necessary for them to consider other options first.  And they still chose the stupid.

7 Responses to “Well this is difficult”

  1. m Andrea Says:

    I’m thinking that one could substitute “me” and “choose to be rude” in that thing, and it would still be true. Which still doesn’t help me to be more tactful.

  2. m Andrea Says:

    No one is helping me here. That is roooooood, yanno.

    Suppose I should just accept that John chooses to do things which I think are stupid? Sounds good, and I could live with that, except John’s stupid behavior is causing other people actual harm — and that harm can be proven quite easily. Perhaps I should stick to the actual harm, and leave John’s stupidity out of it?

  3. Jokerine Says:

    Just go ahead and effin tell him, who the effin cares if his feelings are hurt, that’s nothing to actual people being harmed because he treats them like shit.

    Does this help?

  4. thebeardedlady Says:

    I’m known for being quite tactless, so not sure how much I can help. But I have noticed over the years that many times, when something awkward has to be said, some tricky subject, some feelings to be hurt – it’s me, Ms No-Manners, who is asked to deal with it. I guess because tact and diplomacy are all very well, but sometimes it’s best to come straight out with it and tell the truth.

    You can just say, you know that thing you do? Well it’s shit. You’re pissing everyone off. You’re hurting people and causing damage. You need to stop doing that. If you don’t stop doing that, I’m going to tell your mum/report you/kick your head in (delete as appropriate).

    At least this approach has the virtue of being simple and easy to understand.

    Good luck!

  5. thebewilderness Says:

    The bearded lady is correct.
    Once they are out in public with the shit encrusted toilet paper on their head it is too late for ms manners and high time for the fire hose for the hose down. IMHO.

  6. luckynkl Says:

    Well, as you know, Ms. Andrea, I’m just a fountain full of tact and diplomacy. Just ask yourself, what would Lucky say? Give up? Well the answer is: John is male, no? So I’d probably just let him walk around with shit on his head all day and laugh at him. Tho no doubt, I might be tempted to say, “I know you’re a shithead and all, but try not to take it so literally.”

  7. Feuerwerferin Says:

    Miss Andrea, it’s obvious what you are refering to. But: The other women are externalizing (their own fear of men) and when someone says the truth about men it is at least said and most women can say it’s the “feminists” thinking this way and not them. Then these women will abuse you in order to feel better due to scapegoating. They will say that the ones telling the truth are crazy. They will bond with men in the victimization of the sacrificed ones. This happens all the time and not only when women’s liberation is concerned. And women will happily bond with men again because they already have through trauma bonding.

    Of course, men aren’t exactly greatful for constructive criticism even from fun fems. And you are totally spot on in the analogy. It’s great! He does not see shit for what it is and won’t try to remove it unless FORCED to do it. And almost everyone is used to shit anyway and virtually noone sees it for what it is.

    Sorry, in case this is nonsense.

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