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Discussion Starter #1
I seem to offend people so often, which is the last thing I want to do, I want to try to learn how to ask and respond to questions in a way which does not offend or anger people.<br><br><br><br>
I want to try to understand and be understood. Can anyone offer some insight on how to phrase questions and responses so as to communicate clearly without offending?<br><br><br><br>
It's not working out at all I guess.
 

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I have the same problem, too. I can only help you with the first part of, "I want to try to understand and be understood."<br><br><br><br>
When asking someone to clarify or better understand their position/statement, just state that. Sometimes they don't understand that that's all someone is trying to do. I usually end up saying, "I'm just trying to understand you better," or, "Can you please clarify? I don't quite get it." This way there's no room for interpretation based on my tone.<br><br><br><br>
For some reason, people assume questions like that are a form of attack unless they're worded very carefully.<br><br><br><br>
As for responding to questions so people don't get unnecessarily offended or angered - I don't know. I'm still trying to work on that myself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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try and read it through and imagine that you're someone else and consider where they might take it the wrong way. it might be your tone, that you are using generalisations, assumptions, aggressive or assertive words, or maybe you're not using enough 'i' words.. 'i feel', 'i've experienced', 'i'm interested in peoples thoughts on..' . i find that writing something as if its a thought or idea of mine, rather than 'the truth set in stone' helps me a bit, but i still offend people on occasion, cos i'm as subtle as a brick and about as smart sometimes.<br><br><br><br>
i think it's worth considering that no matter how nice and polite and curtious you are, perception is a funny thing, its not always simple, especially without the visual and aural clues from face to face conversation. communication is by know means a straight forward thing- how we react is dependant on things like how we interpret and relate to the clues we pick up on, and the sort of day we're having! someone is always going to take something the wrong way, missunderstand, or get their knickers in a twist over something- no matter how hard you try.<br><br><br><br>
you haven't offended me personally yet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know how to word questions the right way, and it seems statements don't work either.<br><br><br><br>
I think I will give up, since it is too stressful. I just won't be communicating in any sort of give and take here, just reading anymore I guess, since it has been so very bad lately, and making me ill.<br><br><br><br>
So I think I will request if I can have a "read only" ban if that's available, since I seem to have trouble with shooting my mouth off.<br><br><br><br>
It hurts, so much, to be seen that way.
 

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firstly, I think it's a internet issue. in RL you have body language and tone of voice.<br><br><br><br>
secondly, IMO... if a person is continually feeling misunderstood then they should look at the way they speak or post. doesn't matter if i am being nice and the person i am talking to is freaking out... their perception is their reality. then it's on me to choose my words more carefully.<br><br><br><br>
i see in the heap people get their asses handed to them because of the way they word things or the way they post(for example, generalizations and smilie only posts)-IMO, they should not get whiny about it but try to communicate more effectiviely.<br><br><br><br>
I'm just rambling.<br><br><br><br>
i understand you fine Ludi, so i can't really give you any tips.*shrug <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I can imagine how you feel, Ludi. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>purrpelle</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
secondly, IMO... if a person is continually feeling misunderstood then they should look at the way they speak or post. doesn't matter if i am being nice and the person i am talking to is freaking out... their perception is their reality. then it's on me to choose my words more carefully.</div>
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But you see, that's just what I'm doing here. I AM continually misunderstood and I AM trying to look at the way I post. I want to choose my words more carefully but don't know how, because I don't know the "magic words" or "secret handshake" or whatever. I really really hate to be misunderstood and to be believed to be saying something I'm not. If I'm trying very hard, and still being misunderstood 180 degrees, being seen to say the opposite of what I mean, how can I learn to remedy that?<br><br><br><br>
Am I being whiney here? I'm whining at MYSELF, not at other people...why can't I learn how to communicate in this medium? It's not like I'm illiterate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:">
 

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This'll probably be ignored too, but anyway: one example is where you said that veganism "doesn't make sense to you". To me that sounds a pretty dismissive comment, implying roughly that a lifestyle dear to many members here is nonsensical. If you had said "I'm trying to find more about how you view veganism" or something like that, the effect would have been neutral.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ludi</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But you see, that's just what I'm doing here. I AM continually misunderstood and I AM trying to look at the way I post. I want to choose my words more carefully but don't know how, because I don't know the "magic words" or "secret handshake" or whatever. I really really hate to be misunderstood and to be believed to be saying something I'm not. If I'm trying very hard, and still being misunderstood 180 degrees, being seen to say the opposite of what I mean, how can I learn to remedy that?<br><br><br><br>
Am I being whiney here? I'm whining at MYSELF, not at other people...why can't I learn how to communicate in this medium? It's not like I'm illiterate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"></div>
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my post wasn't really about you personally, just FYI. I was just being rambly.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This'll probably be ignored too, but anyway: one example is where you said that veganism "doesn't make sense to you". To me that sounds a pretty dismissive comment, implying roughly that a lifestyle dear to many members here is nonsensical. If you had said "I'm trying to find more about how you view veganism" or something like that, the effect would have been neutral.</div>
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That's the thing - some people just don't know how to read.<br><br><br><br>
If I see "veganism doesn't make sense to me," that just seems like the person doesn't understand veganism. I wouldn't think it's dismissive or implying that veganism is nonsensical. It just simply means veganism doesn't make sense to her.<br><br><br><br>
People read too much into things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:">
 

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There are multiple interpretations of "doesn't make sense", the "I simply don't understand veganism and I want to learn about it yes I do" interpretation isn't the only correct one. What interpretation one "selects" is based on the context of the particular situation and the history of the person who has said it.<br><br><br><br>
If you want to ensure the desired interpretation, it is better to prefer expressions that allow only that interpretation and not others (like in this case "I don't understand everything about veganism" or something like that).
 

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again, it's the person reading its' perception. not that "they don't know how to read"<br><br><br><br>
it's on the the poster to make themselves understood. it's not on the reader to have to mind read the posters intentions.
 

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I'll give you an example.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ludi</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But aren't movies sort of an animal product? - they are printed on gelatin film mostly, I believe. I don't mean to be a pain, I'm just trying to understand veganism (so far, I can't make sense of it). Is driving for entertainment to an animal product entertainment "doing the best one can?" Or is it, "doing the best I want to do"? I'm just trying to make sense of the position, is all.</div>
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This post seemed insincere to me. I didn't get the impression that you were honestly trying to make sense of veganism. I got the impression that you were trying to discredit veganism by saying anyone who goes to see a movie is not doing the best they can so it's stupid. Your follow up post confirmed my suspicions that you weren't trying to understand veganism, but simply wanted to point out that vegans have no right to "get on the moral high horse." Rant if you want to, but don't do it under false pretenses of trying to understand people better.
 

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I don't get it. I don't take a person's "history" in account when reading their posts. Isn't their "history" based on your "perceptions" of what they said in the past, anyway?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiejanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't take a person's "history" in account when reading their posts.</div>
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Well I do. To me, it is very rational that what the person is like or what he/she has said in the past affects the interpretations one makes of expressions with multiple alternative meanings.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Isn't their "history" based on your "perceptions" of what they said in the past, anyway?</div>
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Yes, so?
 

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If I may be so bold, since you are asking for feedback, I see a definite positive turn in your posts of late as compared to some of the ones when I first joined last October. (that's not to say I thought you were offensive. I was a big wus then, not so much now so I'm sure a lot of it was just me) So if you say you are trying to communicate better, I think you have been doing just that! I'm kind of on the other side of the fence, because when I first started here I was one of those overly sensitive people who probably was reading too much into what people were saying and as a result, I was hurt many times by what I was reading. I'd say I've improved 50%, and I'm still working on the thicker skin. I can't tell you how many times I've written a response to a post and then just deleted it for fear it would invoke an unkind remark from someone else! But that's my problem. I haven't seen any of your posts in the recent weeks that sounded offensive to me, but of course, I may have missed some. Why not just continue to make the effort and then explain if someone misinterprets what you said? The other person should be mature enough to accept that they misunderstood your intent. I would hate to see you not post if it is something you truly enjoy. Maybe it's not just you, but the other person who is just misreading what you are saying. I hope you work it out so that you can feel comfortable and continue to post. I think you have a lot of ideas/knowledge that are truly worth reading about.<br><br><br><br>
As far as taking someone's history into account, I would like to think we all start with a clean slate everytime we respond to a different thread. After all, people have good days, bad days and we change and grow all the time. Just because I said something stupid in one thread, doesn't mean I can't have a valid post in another! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter #17
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiejanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That's the thing - some people just don't know how to read.<br><br><br><br>
If I see "veganism doesn't make sense to me," that just seems like the person doesn't understand veganism. I wouldn't think it's dismissive or implying that veganism is nonsensical. It just simply means veganism doesn't make sense to her.<br><br><br><br>
People read too much into things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:"></div>
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That's exactly right. I mean that literally, it doesn't make any sense to the way my brain works, not "that's stupid", but rather "I'm too stupid to understand it - I can't make sense of it."<br><br><br><br>
I'm ignoring you, Sevenseas (have you on "ignore") because we can't communicate, that is, having tried in the past, I can't make sense of how you think or what you say - as in, I'm too stupid, I guess. See above how you totally misinterpret my use of the phrase "makes no sense to me." So, because I can't communicate with you, it is less distressing for me to simply not read most of your posts, and to generally not respond to you, because I won't understand you and you will almost inevitably misinterpret what I'm saying.<br><br><br><br>
When I say "I can't understand you" I'm not saying what you say is stupid or that I disagree with it, or anything like that, simply that I can not comprehend the way your mind works and how you write. I'm really sorry, because I think you must often make good points and you generally seem to be very thoughtful about issues, but, we don't get along at all, you and I. There is no meeting of minds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:">
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, kpickell goes on the ignore because he isn't interested in what i'm actually trying to say, but rather wants to tell me what he thinks I'm saying. And calling my posts "rant."<br><br><br><br>
I hope this doesn't seem overly harsh, it's just it seems to me, and I admit I may be wrong about Kpickell, as he is wrong about me.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not interested in "discrediting" vegans/veganism. I can't very well discredit something I have such a feeble grasp on. If it looks like I'm trying to do that, it's because I'm trying to understand something which seems to contradict or conflict with something else I thought I understood about veganism. Pretty much all the ethical part of veganism I don't understand, though kpickell says it's simple. I'm not saying kpickell is wrong, I'm saying I don't understand ethics/morality, and/or I don't have them. There's also no need or reason for me to discredit vegans, as I have no personal stake in doing so. I don't need to discredit someone else in order to justify my own choices, I try not to appear to justify my choices (just sort of factually explain their mechanism) because I can't see that, to a vegan, my choices would have any justification. If a person sees some action as just plain wrong (or just plain evil) there is no way to justify such an action to them except to say "That's just my choice." No one is expected to support or approve of my choices and I hope I've never given the impression I expect that. To not be personally reviled is about the best I hope for, to be honest.
 

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Alrighty. /shrug. So then I can assume correctly that you actually weren't interested in learning to communicate better either. It would seem to me that the key to better communication on a messabe board is first trying to understand how others view your posts.
 

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hi, ludi. i don't know if this would/will help or not.<br><br><br><br>
on the forums that i frequent, i like to re-read most of my posts before submitting them. sometimes i even read it out loud to see how it would come across if the person were right in front of me. depending on how it sounds, i change it as needed. seems pretty simple, i guess, but it has worked for me before.
 
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