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User Journal

Journal Journal: Offenses for Everybody

We all offend others. Most of the time we don't intend to, and some times we're not even aware of it. The slight we've caused could be so minor to have no consequences, or it could seriously change our future relationship with the other person. When the number of people you're interacting with goes above 0, it seems almost impossible to participate without hurting somebody. I think it's fair to say that most of us don't want to hurt others, and that if we do, we at least want to be made aware of it.
        You can learn something from the fact that smelly people exist. Most of these people have no idea that they smell, and those who are told about it are usually surprised and work to fix the situation. We offend people, in our own ways, almost every day and most of the time we haven't the slightest clue. At least with law enforcement the laws are clearly defined, but every social interaction has it's own undocumented set of laws that are constantly evolving. Every business meeting is a trecherous field of land mines, socially.
        It's always bothered me, the idea that maybe I've done something wrong and no one has told me about it. I swear I don't have a guilty conscience. I've been surprised numerous times by stories about something I said, or didn't say, or implied with body language or eye contact, which hurt their feelings. It's always difficult trying to remember the exact situation, and I never remember it as well as the person who was offended, but I am always shocked to hear how something I did was interpreted by someone else.
        It's not easy to have those conversations with people, to tell them about their offense and how it made you feel. Some people have no problem talking about it, but a lot do. You may have a long fuse and take a lot of offenses before acting on them. It may be no big deal to you, or maybe you'd just rather not say. Either way you decide to deal with it, you're probably offending them too.

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