Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Words That Make More Sense In My Head

Occasionally I notice myself being rude to others without intending it. I had one such encounter the other day, for example, while pouring myself a coffee at work.

A coworker in the kitchen with me, a guy who sits on the opposite side of the office, said, "Hey, long time, no see!"

"That's as it should be," I replied.

And I didn't realize how rude my remark seemed until a moment later, when he said, "How dare you!"

I smiled at him and chuckled. I hoped he hadn't interpreted my remark to mean that I wish for him to stay away, or that I dislike him. At the time, all I meant was that I enjoy not being seen, that it's good not to be noticed for long periods of time. I meant what I said, but I was trying to say it in a joking way. My methods failed. They often do.

It's my own fault, I guess, if I'm misunderstood. Even though I try to say what I mean, I do so very poorly. I sometimes have no tact.

Maybe it's for the best that my coworker doesn't see me often.

Sheesh.

 

6 comments:

Laoch of Chicago said...

I think maybe some thought and effort at amelioration in regard to some of these misunderstandings. For example in this instance it might be worth stopping by his cubicle and saying something inane and pleasant next week.

Zeri said...

Laoch, I'm sure I'll be very keen to make up for it next time I see him.

Hazel Eyed Girl said...

I know you didn't mean it as a dig, but I chuckled when I just read this (I had to go back and find this post in order for your most recent post to make sense). You must of felt really bad when you realized how your statement came out.

There are so many people in my office I wish I could say that to, oh if only I had the guts! Instead I just stay in my cubical and keep to myself. As it should be.

Zeri said...

K, ya, I didn't mean for it, and so I didn't beat myself up too much about it. But I'm glad I was able to make up for it slightly.

I'm sure you could use a tweaked version of my line without too much harm. Go for it! :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's your fault you were misunderstood. It's just one of those things, everybody has a different perspective. Sometimes more communication is needed so nobody gets hurt, takes effort though.

Zeri said...

Anon, you and I know that my intent wasn't to cause hurt; but I also know that what I mean is understood in a different way by most people. Knowing this probably means that it's up to me to be more sensitive to how my words might impact others; after all, I know very keenly how often misguided words can impact me.