Using the line "Have I done something to offend you?"

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Jayo
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11 May 2022, 4:51 pm

How do you all feel about the use of the line, "Have I done something to offend you?" - like in situations or times when someone seems to be giving you the silent treatment, or monosyllabic or "clipped" responses, or where they say something that sounds indignant/sarcastic (if you can discern the tone or nonverbals enough to tell, which I usually can).

I think that if applied early on, before you really alienate someone, it might have the desired effect...because later on when it's too late, that you've "weirded them out" beyond the point of redemption, then you might get a hostile response like "yes, EVERYTHING about you offends me". Or "YES, by just being you." :( 8O

Probably not what would happen so much with a dating partner or girlfriend or boyfriend, but rather with say, a colleague or house-mate or neighbour or study group partner or...I don't know what other category. But you get the idea.

I think at least offering this "clearing" question, you might get some much-sought-after feedback, on things that may be off-putting to others. For some toxic personality types, like the Cluster-B narcissistic or histrionic personalities, they would just regard such a question as weakness and use your conciliatory desire to manipulate you 8O but thankfully, these folks are only like 2% of the population so this should be a rare occurrence.

It can also help to convey to them the subtext that whatever you did or said was unintentional. Because NTs are all about the subtext :) However, in some cases like I sort of alluded to, it may make them more upset because in their mind, you were supposed to know which behaviours were off-putting like a "normal" person would and so in their world of unspoken conduct, "ignorance of the law is not an excuse" or "you don't get to plead not guilty on the basis of insanity (or incapacity)". :(



Joe90
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11 May 2022, 6:02 pm

I don't often offend people but I know when I do, either by instinct or by their reaction.

I think the last time I accidentally offended someone was about 12 years ago when I was ranting about kids and I used the word "brat", to a woman who I knew had a small child. Although she laughed at the time, she never spoke to me again after that and I could tell that calling kids brats upset her, even though it didn't need to be taken personally but some people do take remarks like that literally (yes, NTs as well).

The last time I intentionally offended someone was a few years ago when I disliked a woman because I thought she was eyeing my boyfriend. I also got a bit jealous of her because she was prettier than me. So I called her a b***h to another colleague of mine, stupidly trusting her to not go and tell her. But, lo and behold, she went and told her, so that started up a bit of drama. It's very unlike me to be nasty like that but, well, I'm only human.


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ChrisInAustralia
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11 May 2022, 7:30 pm

Jayo wrote:
How do you all feel about the use of the line, "Have I done something to offend you?" - like in situations or times when someone seems to be giving you the silent treatment, or monosyllabic or "clipped" responses, or where they say something that sounds indignant/sarcastic (if you can discern the tone or nonverbals enough to tell, which I usually can).

I think that if applied early on, before you really alienate someone, it might have the desired effect...because later on when it's too late, that you've "weirded them out" beyond the point of redemption, then you might get a hostile response like "yes, EVERYTHING about you offends me". Or "YES, by just being you." :( 8O

Probably not what would happen so much with a dating partner or girlfriend or boyfriend, but rather with say, a colleague or house-mate or neighbour or study group partner or...I don't know what other category. But you get the idea.

I think at least offering this "clearing" question, you might get some much-sought-after feedback, on things that may be off-putting to others. For some toxic personality types, like the Cluster-B narcissistic or histrionic personalities, they would just regard such a question as weakness and use your conciliatory desire to manipulate you 8O but thankfully, these folks are only like 2% of the population so this should be a rare occurrence.

It can also help to convey to them the subtext that whatever you did or said was unintentional. Because NTs are all about the subtext :) However, in some cases like I sort of alluded to, it may make them more upset because in their mind, you were supposed to know which behaviours were off-putting like a "normal" person would and so in their world of unspoken conduct, "ignorance of the law is not an excuse" or "you don't get to plead not guilty on the basis of insanity (or incapacity)". :(


I was in the dating world last year and all my dating profiles made clear I am autistic. I lead with it and am open about having to ask questions like this . It's the only way I know to function



Radish
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12 May 2022, 12:34 pm

I've offended and upset people all my life, though I've learned to avoid certain topics, especially ones involving emotion. If I innocently say something and the other person bursts into tears or explodes in rage then I've deduced that I've said something inappropriate. :lol: On the downside, it means I'm often too careful talking with others and tend to be very formal rather than chatty. I've been called aloof because of this behaviour. I hate chatting anyway, oddly most people don't want an exciting conversation about 6502 microprocessors.


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temp1234
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12 May 2022, 5:01 pm

I don't think I even get that early opportunity. When I notice someone's being passive aggressive, it seems already in an advanced stage even though that person was nice in the previous interaction. I think that that sudden advancement of hostility happens behind my back through gossip etc among people. There's nothing I can do about that. So it's not really about me doing something wrong but about people's malice and politics. As I always say, being nice and doing nothing wrong is not good enough in some environments. If the environment is bad, bad things happen for no good reasons. I try to stay away from such environments.



Jayo
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13 May 2022, 7:01 am

temp1234 wrote:
I don't think I even get that early opportunity. When I notice someone's being passive aggressive, it seems already in an advanced stage even though that person was nice in the previous interaction. I think that that sudden advancement of hostility happens behind my back through gossip etc among people. There's nothing I can do about that. So it's not really about me doing something wrong but about people's malice and politics. As I always say, being nice and doing nothing wrong is not good enough in some environments. If the environment is bad, bad things happen for no good reasons. I try to stay away from such environments.


Yes, good point. Even some NTs try to stay away from such toxic environments, and I've heard some stories from them on bad environments they've had to leave or felt strongly compelled to leave. So although we may feel guilt about how people got gradually hostile towards us, we didn't cause the toxicity in such environments - it was there before we arrived.