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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 think your "oh" was more of a general "oh" of surprise than anything else, but i totally get that.

i disagree with irulin. i know INTJs are particularly prone to this where they make a joke which sounds demeaning and get all confused when others get offended, but that's because they are being insulting, even if they are being "sarcastic". i've literally known an INTJ friend who would spout of racist jokes, and because they were being sarcastic and playing on the ignorance OF racism, and using the irony of NOT seeing it that way, it's ok to them. the fact of the matter is they made a racist joke, and whilst it's ok if it's funny PURELY on the merit of it's irony, it's not ok if they're repeated and done without very good context for irony. i'm sorry it's not. that's just an example, and INTJs do this about everything- if someone's fat they make fat jokes. obviously the idea is to come back at them so it's "good natured" but i think it's "unnecessary" and "irritating".

and then yeah i also agree that you get the passive aggresive comments which are just pathetic and insecure.
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INTJs and ENFPS in this combination are bad. "funny PURELY on the merit of it's irony" is essentially the whole point with us. Plus we assume it IS very good context: friends = people who don't hurt each other is the base assumption so anything interpretation we think is reasonable has to incorporate it. Or we think that in our actions it is so obvious that we are not racist/sexist/whatever that to take the joke the wrong way means you doubt that, which can be unexpected/insulting/etc. INTJs take trust & understanding - knowing who a person is - really seriously and the ability to push it verbally & be understood is almost interpreted as proof of friendship. Whereas to ENFPs the basic, obvious part is the idea that it could cause hurt, the blatantly obvious part to the INTJs is the perspective, the context that should neutralise that hurt, eliminate the insult. It is there, we see it - not everyone else will see it or or treat it as relevant though.

The problem is people usually tell us off by claiming what we "really" meant, or ascribing intentionality on our part re their emotional reaction - the reaction we did not intend or suspect. The reaction that is really - to our mind - the fault of your misperceptions/mistrust. Whereas, if someone just says "it's a sensitive topic - don't joke about xyz with me" it's much easier to back off. There are still the "but you should learn to deal with it!" ones, but they're usually being immature -- that kind of pushy is uncalled for. Obviously many of you will not share this mindset and there is no problem with that - but it helps to know where people are coming from in this. If you look like you are only hurt by this because you do not understand, there is much less incentive for the other to change their actions - they will instead expect you to change, to learn to understand. And so you're both expecting each other to change and it doesn't get anywhere... there can be a conversation and solution though, if it is dealt with properly.
but no. that's JUST the misconception INTJs have! i'm well aware that INTJs have good intentions, but that's totally not the point. INTJs will make a joke in exactly the same way as an ignorant or purely offensive person will make a joke and then be shocked as if their joke was LACED with IRONY. i can understand how the mindset of the INTJ was very different from an offensive person, but you need to prove that in the way you phrase things. i know how to make an ironic joke to make someone feel better about a sensitive issue, and the INTJ approach as i've observed it is not it. it doesn't even have to be something which is an issue, INTJs will somehow find all the weakpoints in a person's armour and start plugging away, and will even get worse and worse if the person can't be bothered hitting back.

the fact is the KEY reason i think INTJs are misunderstood and shocked about it is they don't realise that people are made to feel DIFFERENT. for example, a fat person doesn't like being constantly told they are fat, ironic or no, they might appreciate a rare fat joke if it's funny enough, but if it's repeated they're just going to be pissed off.

the fact is, that this is some kind of urge which INTJs deal with, as in they can't seem to live without doing it, kind of like our flakiness is something we feel misunderstood for, and whilst they are awesome half the time, i really can't be asked dealing with the other half. it is essentially the INTJ asking the question "we are such good friends that if i insult you now, it will be considered irony and you will be ok with it yes?" and then repeating it if there is no answer, i'd rather just have a positive contribution thanks.
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