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Humor Vs. Meaning.

1364 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Moby
I was curious as to how other enfp types would react to this subject. The subject itself was spawned from a conversation I had the other day in which a friend of mine asked me something personal that I didn't really want to discuss with her, so I denied her request. Upon hearing that I had no intention of spilling the beans she said this:

"OH." (This was on fbook chat. Clearly, this is not an oh in which something new has been discovered. This is an oh that implies a sense of dismissal. She might as well have said "whatever..."(whatever, having been voted as the most annoying word in the English language)).

This really felt demeaning, so I immediately became hostile after this statement, replying: "If you're going to be sarcastic about something completely personal and frankly, none of your business, then I guess that's fine too."

She then instantly felt bad about it and started telling me he she "wasn't being sarcastic, etc." If she wasn't being sarcastic or trying to make a point, I really just don't understand why she said it in the first place.

My question is, when a friend (or anyone, really) says something "sarcastic," or "jokingly," where does the distinction between humor and meaning lie? Sometimes I feel as though a lot of people disguise how they really feel by putting it into the form of a joke, so when someone says something like "OH" to me, I don't respond to the (bullshit) excuse that someone was "just joking," and that that takes away the clout of any negative implications or insinuations.

In this friend of mine's social circle, this habit is particularly bad. I've heard them say absolutely horrible things to each other, but because they were "joking," it's "alright." Frankly, I find it cowardly and childish.

Imagine jokingly calling someone fat. To sit and pretend that because you were "joking," that means that the person you insulted has no concrete reason to have their feelings hurt is simply a cowardly and unjustified means of airing out how you truly feel. If you're going to be a three year old and tell me "OH," after I've chosen not to give out personal information, then I'm going to have a problem. Be an adult and tell me how you feel in plain English, because I refuse to respond to negative sarcasm.

Again, the question, where does the distinction between humor and meaning (meaning being the joke's "true intent"). Ideally, if someone has a problem, one should share it, not express it through snide, hurtful remarks. Is this not true, or am I living in a different world?
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I find it really difficult or next to impossible to infer meaning through chat/text/email as hidden meaning could be inferred far easier through tone and body language. "OH", could also have also implied, "oh, ok no problem". This situation comes up at work quite a bit where it's easy to think that someone's email is so terse when there was no intention. As an ENFP I go out of my way to use language in a way my messages could be interpreted however not everyone is like this.

In general sarcasm never comes off well in email unless you fully know the person you are dealing with. Based on your description, this could have been an over reaction on your part.
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