Hey, I resemble that remark!

Here’s a little somethin’ somethin’ that I’ve been thinking about since the days when I was a wee lurker.

You read an OP, usually in The Pit, but it could be anywhere, where someone is venting about a situation or another’s actions that have them steamed. The heinous deed is something you yourself engage in as a matter of course.

  1. Do you feel defensive? If so, do you pipe up and explain / defend yourself?

  2. If the majority weigh in on the OP’s side, do you feel bad? Bad enough to change that behavior?

  3. Have you ever not realized said trait about yourself until you read about it? If so, did it change your view point?

I’m not neccessarily talking about big things such as smoking. As a smoker, I know that I’m a pariah. Just for massochistic fun I read post after post about how much people hate me and my ilk. It doesn’t even register anymore because it’s a given that the majority are against it.

I’m thinking more about petty things, for instance you know you always leave an eighth of an inch of coffee in the pot at work, or you don’t usually use your turn signals. Or you have one of those boom boom stereo type thingies (that’s street lingo)
in your car and cruise through residential neighborhoods.

I’ll go first and say that (even though I said I wasn’t including smoking) I’m the first to think “I don’t discard my butts on the street. I’m a * very * considerate smoker. All my friends say so!” That’s true if we’re talking about the last five years or so. But I have to admit, I was one of the schmucks that give smokers a bad name for longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve never fessed up to this in a smoking related thread.

Another thing is when someone was irritated by people who are stopped at a light in the far right lane and don’t move over to let people making a right turn get by. I had an epiphany after someone mentioned it that if I put on my right turn signal, the car ahead of me might see that and scootch forward so I could turn.

Long story short, do you ever see yourself portrayed in a negative light, and if so, what is your reaction?

I’m very defensive, is this a fucking problem?

I always check the Pit threads with titles like"You stupid git!" and “Fuck you very much!” just to check.

If I am guilty in a general way of the behavior described in a thread, I will usually take a look at it to see why it is pissing someone off. Occasionally they are correct, and I endeavor to correct said behavior. Other times I just shrug, let a “Fucko off” escape my lips, and get on with my life. The last couple of times I’ve been pitted have been really lame, so there’s that to reassure me! :smiley:

Yes, I get internally defensive about a lot of things I read on here. I don’t say anything most of the time because I don’t want to get into a bunch of drama about every little thing.

Yup. There are threads where I have deliberately refrained from posting (or, at least, posting as much as I would have a few years ago) because I just don’t need that drama in my life.

If I thought I could add valuable insight as to why someone might behave in this allegedly objectionable way, I might consider posting. But just to say “Hey! I do that and I’m not an asshole!!!”? Nah. Why bother? Sometimes I *am * an asshole.

Excellent OP!

I have to admit I can get rather defensive about some things, and other times I simply enjoy a good, intelligent debate.

However, I try and stay out of threads where the best I can add is “Me too!”, unless it’s the sort of thread that calls for a large number of “Me too”-type responses.

The thing I feel I often have to struggle with, though, is having the dissenting view on a number of subjects- not always necessarily because my own views are so far from the norm, but because everyone else is so sick of debating the same topics over and over again that when they see another thread on tipping or gun control or whatever, they just say “Oh dear, not again” and stay out of it. I should probably learn to do the same, but dammit, intelligent and civilised debate and discussion is fun!

I’ve even developed my own “Law”- Martini’s Law- relating to this. Basically, it states that You views will invariably be the minority in any given thread.

For example, if someone posted an OP along the lines of “You know, Hitler was an OK guy!” all the seasoned posters- the sensible ones, taking the “Hitler was Evil and there’s something very wrong with anyone who can’t see that!”- would avoid the thread… leaving me to try and reason with the Adolf Hitler Fan Club more or less on my own.

Still, there are threads that I don’t get involved in (usually Pittings of other people or anything related to politics in the US), and surprisingly often I begin a post, then realise nobody cares, and just cancel out of it… which is related to my feeling that my posting in a thread will either cause a trainwreck of the likes unseen since the Tangiwai Rail Disaster, or else kill all discussion in the thread instantly. It’s rather sad, really. :frowning:

No I don’t generally try to defend myself. I usually just think “they’re onto me again” and sneak out.

Me too! :wink:

Except that, by the time I finally find my way into a thread, almost everything worth saying usually has been said.

Thirded. The recent “prejudice” thread left me with a really sour taste in my mouth for people I had otherwise respected. I wouldn’t get along with most of those people in RL if they are actually serious. However, the fact is, I will never meet most of those people in RL, and online, we seem to get along well enough/neutrally, so why raise a fuss? I’ll enjoy that as long as I can. I’m surrounded by friends and loved ones who obviously love me and don’t hold those silly “prejudices”, so I’m not lacking, or need these people to approve of who I am. :slight_smile:

But there is a brief flare up of defensiveness, but it goes away with a couple moments of clear thinking. I try not to post unless I have something I think might help in some way, but sometimes I post without thinking things out first, or sometimes I just leave a thread in disgust. Once in a while my husband catches me snarling at my screen. :wink:

Yeah, the prejudices thread left me with an odd feeling as well. There were a few things that pertained to me that were understandable, such as smoking, and others to which I could only react with puzzlement. It made me wonder what people who saw themselves in it felt (duh, I guess I already stated that in my OP).

In all fairness, Anastasaeon, most of those prejudices are pretty minor and I doubt they affect their holders’ day-to-day life or ability to get along with (or even like) others. And if you would dismiss those Dopers IRL simply because they hold those prejudices, then that constitues a prejudice on your part. :stuck_out_tongue: ( :wink: )

It’s entirely possible your friends and loved ones have little opinions like that but have never said anything because why should they? They know they’re irrational and/or do not define you as a whole person. I find tattoos personally distasteful, but I don’t go around spitting in the faces of people who have them. It didn’t even stop me from choosing my SO of eight years (and counting). Surely the people in your life occasionally do things you don’t approve of, but it’s not worth dumping them over.

I couldn’t put it any better than this.

Somebody in that thread admitted that they were prejudiced against guys who shave their heads. I was saddened by this, just a bit, since I do that. It lasted about 2 seconds. Then I thought, “Meh, they’ve never met me.”


Actually, I normally try to avoid threads where people gripe about minor things. Especially in the Pit, since I rarely get riled up about important things, much less minor things that people rant about.

Now, if something’s really dumb I’ll chime in. I never saw, for example, someone bitch about people who are in the far right lane and don’t turn, but I’ll use that as an example. IRL, sometimes that irks me, but in reality it may well be that they need to turn right just after the signal. It might be dangerous for them NOT to be in the far right lane (at least around here). So if I did see such a thread I might point that out. But in reality I try to avoid doing that.

Anyway, I truly hope that there is a bit of hyperbole in play and people aren’t really as worked up about some of this stuff as they seem. People smoking? Yeah, it’s annoying if people are blowing smoke in your face. Don’t want my friends to smoke because I care about them. But think less about someone because they have a bad (for them) habit? That seems kind of ridiculous.

Yeah, one thing that *almost * got me to reply was someone’s remark that all women who get pregnant before they’re 25 are irresponsible, and terrible mothers. :rolleyes:

I came thisclose… but then I just realized that he’s already identified this opinion as an irrational prejudice, and that even if he actually believed that to be universally true, that says nothing at all about me.

I always remember two things.

  1. The Internets are all about hyperbole.
  2. Everyone behaves badly sometimes. We *all * do things that other people find intolerable. There’s no need to get worked up every time someone implies that you (and not even YOU, ya know?) are an imperfect human being.

Naturally. :slight_smile: However, I apologise if that’s how I came across. I wouldn’t dismiss those Dopers IRL if I met them, even knowing who they are and what their prejudices are, nor would I change who I was upon meeting them. As I said, if they are actually serious about those prejudices, they probably wouldn’t like me, and it’s only when someone begins to show that they don’t like me that I decide it might be time to scamper along and find other friends. Everyone I meet, regardless of their beliefs, is a potential friend until they deliberately insult me or are annoyed by me in some way that just can’t be helped.

And I’m also certain my friends and loved ones have their own sets of prejudices I either know about or don’t. (I’ve heard enough times, “Ugh, I hate when people do ______! …Oh, except for you, Stasia, but you’re the *only one * who can get away with that!” Hee! I doubt that I’m the “only one”, but it always makes me giggle. That some prejudice you got there!) I’m just not terribly fond of when anyone comes right out and says they have prejudices about anything, irrational or not, because it’s so damn fluid. I don’t hate anyone for it, it just leaves me feeling a little sour. I guess that’s my prejudice. :wink:

It could also simply have been my own misunderstanding, thinking people were truly serious about these prejudices and stuck by them on a daily basis: “Oh, I can’t be friends with that girl, her shoes come from* Payless*!” You know what I mean? :smack:

I’m rambling. Man, I hate when people do that!

I think that thread showed a really ugly side of some Dopers whom I would normally think highly of. It’s not that I don’t have little judgmental triggers in my head, but I try to fight them rather than proudly announce them.

And it made me think that most of the people here probably wouldn’t like me at all. I’ve posted here for a long time and that thread made me wonder if I even belong here.

Obviously I took it way too personally, but it really did bother me. I still don’t understand how people can be such dicks about the personal choices others make that have absolutely no bearing on them. It’s very self-righteous and offensive.