"I don't mean to offend anyone, but..."

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"I don't mean to offend anyone, but..."

surreptitious surreptitious
Have you ever found yourself posting something controversial (or potentially controversial) and then apologizing for what you're saying? It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and I'm curious as to what other people think about it. In my opinion, it is really condescending to the crowd that you're speaking to when a blanket apology is tacked on at the end of something that you think in order to smooth everything over. Assuming that people will get upset just because you have differing beliefs means that you have a pretty low opinion of those people, whether you do so consciously or not. When discussing a topic, especially somewhere like EF, where in so many aspects of their lives, the members are open-minded, supportive and accepting, it shouldn't matter what the topic is. Differing opinions should be welcome across any topic, and for the most part, I actually think that EF is pretty great about tolerating contrary or unpopular ideas.

That being said, I'm well aware that it's difficult to determine tone over the internet, and I know that there are some people who will tend to jump on the defensive as soon as a whiff of anything other than perfect, sunshiney agreement is scented on the air. I'm also aware that there are some very sensitive topics discussed - on here especially - so sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry (ha - being sorry to avoid being sorry). Do you guys catch yourself apologizing without thinking about it? Do you consciously make an effort to apologize when you feel that you might ruffle some feathers? Do you add on an apology when you're making a post that you /do/ intend to be provocative as a sort of "well, I said sorry, so you can't get mad at me" measure? Personally, I just try to be as tactful and open as possible, refrain from making aggressive comments (usually) and hope that if I upset someone, they will tell me so and give me a chance to clear things up.
03/26/2013
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Gone (LD29) Gone (LD29)
Quote:
Originally posted by surreptitious
Have you ever found yourself posting something controversial (or potentially controversial) and then apologizing for what you're saying? It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and I'm curious as to what other people think about it. In my ...
I put a disclaimer/apology/wha tever you want to call it on a few posts here and there. It's not something I do often, because if I truly think a comment is going to cause a total shitstorm amongst other contributors, it's probably better left unsaid.

I'm not sure how this applies to other people's comments, but when I find myself starting to type an apology, it's because I'm already critical of myself for writing whatever I'm about to post. It's not meant to necessarily predict how other contributors are going to react or to come off as condescending. It's because I re-read my comments and they even made me uncomfortable, but it was a situation where I just felt like I needed to be honest anyway.
03/26/2013
bog bog
Quote:
Originally posted by surreptitious
Have you ever found yourself posting something controversial (or potentially controversial) and then apologizing for what you're saying? It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and I'm curious as to what other people think about it. In my ...
It also depends on the culture! In Manhattan, nobody says, "I don't mean to be mean, but...," whereas that might be expected in a small town, and leaving out the disclaimer may be seen as rude!
03/26/2013
surreptitious surreptitious
Quote:
Originally posted by bog
It also depends on the culture! In Manhattan, nobody says, "I don't mean to be mean, but...," whereas that might be expected in a small town, and leaving out the disclaimer may be seen as rude!
I come from a super small town (in Canada, land of the polite, no less), but since being different can get you ostracized pretty easily, if you're going to go against the grain, you really need to be firm in your opinions. Growing up wasn't exactly easy, because I /am/ very different and I made it a point to become well-educated (about 60% of my graduating class in high school went back for another year), so my opinions contrary to the norm quite frequently. Anyways, I know that you were just choosing examples, but in my opinion, it's far easier to be unapologetic when you /are/ going to take flak over it from everyone (and usually in a confrontational and brutal way) than in a big city, where you're bound to find someone, somewhere, who agrees with you.
03/26/2013
KinkyKatieJames KinkyKatieJames
I state my opinion, as you said, without being condescending and/or disrespectful. I don't think anyone should ever apologize for their opinion.

Personally, I try to reread things I write that are controversial and look at them from an outside perspective. For instance, I am Agnostic. If I write something I try to read it over and say, "If I was religious, would this seem offensive or rude?" If no, then all is well. If it seems odd, I will reword it.

There is a good chance that at least one person will take it the wrong way, but that is to be expected.
03/26/2013
Peggi Peggi
I don't really apologize for offending, but I will put things to include others if I can. Like when I post something saying that I need people to pray for me for something that has happened, I'll also include that if you don't pray, warm wishes and crossing of fingers is just as much appreciated. If it is a controversial issue like if I am posting something for gay rights, I will not put some sort of disclaimer because I figure if I offend you, that's fine. If you don't like it, delete me. People also take things that I say with a grain of salt as well, and know that I have a weird sense of humor too. So they don't always take what I say seriously.
03/26/2013
spiced spiced
I'm quite offended by this question.









Just kidding!

I rarely apologize in advance; in fact, I can't recall ever doing it. I could possibly see doing it when giving a minority opinion on a touchy subject, but even then I'd probably only do it if I were speaking to a close friend who I know holds a strong opinion opposite of mine for deep emotional reasons.
03/26/2013
jr2012 jr2012
I find myself saying this, but as I do it I go "ughhh!" in my head! I truly come from a place of not wanting to offend anyone though, but I do feel like that sentence has other meanings! It's like a catch-22, which is one reason why I tend not to debate touchier subjects.
03/26/2013
surreptitious surreptitious
Quote:
Originally posted by spiced
I'm quite offended by this question.









Just kidding!

I rarely apologize in advance; in fact, I can't recall ever doing it. I could possibly see doing it when giving a minority opinion on a touchy ...
I was actually considering posting a "ps, I would never ever ever ever ever want to offend anyone because I love you guys sooooooooo much xoxoxox" addendum to see how it would go over, so I'm glad that you put in a joke when I didn't. =)
03/26/2013
Sammi Sammi
I never use these, because to me they mean what you're saying you're not, you are (might be the culture and usage out here).

Kinda like Dennis Miller:"I don't mean to get off on a rant here, BUT..." - and then he'd go off on a rant. To me, "I don't mean to be offensive, BUT..." or "I don't want to offend anyone, BUT..." means you're going to, and you know it
03/26/2013
surreptitious surreptitious
Quote:
Originally posted by Sammi
I never use these, because to me they mean what you're saying you're not, you are (might be the culture and usage out here).

Kinda like Dennis Miller:"I don't mean to get off on a rant here, BUT..." - and then he'd ...
I saw a post today on Imgur from a "British people problems" subreddit or something that was like "when you're overseas and people have no idea that starting a sentence with "with all due respect" means the exact opposite." It definitely struck a chord with me, because sarcastically is pretty much the only time that I hear it used.
03/26/2013
bratcat bratcat
Quote:
Originally posted by Sammi
I never use these, because to me they mean what you're saying you're not, you are (might be the culture and usage out here).

Kinda like Dennis Miller:"I don't mean to get off on a rant here, BUT..." - and then he'd ...
I agree with this. To me when you say something like "I dont want to offend but..." means it's one of few things for me - something racist, sexist, homophobic, ect and i find it not only condescending but dismissive. It's the same reason why if someone "apologizes" to me starting the apology as "i'm sorry you feel that way but..." opposed to "i'm sorry i did something offensive can you please enlighten me to what i did.." i will simply not reply or accept it, since "im sorry but..." is something you tell someone when you sincerely dont care about if you offend or not, it shows me you have a total disregard of ones feelings.
Now if you really want to discuss a controversial issue, such as rape or rape culture, it's fine to put a sort of disclaimer about how you feel a certain way about the issue and do not set out to offend anyone, thats fine, but dont word it in a way that dose not hold you accountable for something if you do offend someone, and listen to their criticisms openly and discuss it instead of being like "i'm sorry you're offended, but.."
03/27/2013
Total posts: 12
Unique posters: 9