Why ‘I was only joking,’ isn’t good enough

by eirenehogan

‘I was only joking.’  Is that an acceptable explanation for an offensive prejudicial jibe at someone?i was only joking

 

Presumably you say it because you feel upset that the other person thinks you are a bigot and you feel you aren’t.  But instead of examining your own language and ideas, trying to understand their perspective, and learning something from the incident, you reject their comments and views and emotions.

 

You think your feelings are more important than theirs.  You then tell them how they should feel, that they should not be upset and that you should be allowed to say offensive things to them.

 

You are acting like you are the one in control and you are controlling the other’s actions, feelings and thoughts.  You are acting like a bigot.

 

Instead you should listen to the other person, realise you made a mistake in saying the comment. Yu should try and see it from their point of view. Even if you felt it was a joke, they did not.  If any joke upsets someone, then they are fully entitled to feeling that emotion.  If any comment upsets someone, then there must be something in that comment that is upsetting, whether you had intended it to be or not.

 

You are the one who has made the mistake.  You should acknowledge your mistake and apologise.  If you feel you are not a bigot, then do not say things that others may interpret as prejudicial.

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7 Comments to “Why ‘I was only joking,’ isn’t good enough”

  1. Is that a social comment comment, or is it for a particular person?

  2. Great post! I like the way you call the out right away. So many times people use this as a backboard, something to keep them in the safe zone. It’s like the phrase, “There is always some truth in every ‘I’m just kidding’.”

  3. Wow this came at a good moment. I had sworn in some blog entries I was sharing with another group and someone was complaining for the second time. I basically explained to her what I was doing and to remove me from the group as a member and moderator because this was the second time she called me on it.

  4. The whole thing about Listening to the other person…

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