Should people learn to be more sensitive to others feelings or should sensitive people learn to toughen up?

I tend to come across this problem very often. I was raised to be tough. My mother would kiss my boo boo like everyone else only afterward she would tell me not to act like a baby and stop crying. A regular theme in my mothers family was "Los hombres no se lloran" which translates to men don't cry. My father was short tempered and had little patience so I couldn't get away with much crying around him either. It's not like he's completely insensitive either. He tells me he loves me and we hug each other often enough. The difference is he also tells me I'm an asshole and sometimes he calls me Beavis(his way of saying Butthead). My mother actually calls me worse things but she has a better vocabulary. I wouldn't even know where to begin with what my friends and I call each other.

I just don't understand why I have to be the one to be careful with what I say. A few years ago I was written up at work for calling a co-worker an asshole. This kind of crap bugs me. That and strict sexual harassment policies. I have two sisters and a mother who I love more than anything who taught me how to respect women so I would never go there.(*note I have never been accused of sexual harassment but I do fear that I might someday say something that would be considered offensive to a woman)

I get tired of tip toeing around peoples feelings and I think people should just learn to toughen up and also lighten up some of us don't like to be serious all the time I like to joke around often.


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sensitive people should toughen the hell up... I get so sick of sensitive people whining over the stupidest things.  


And no, this does not have anything to do with self expression.  This has to do with whiny attitudes towards dumb things that in the broad scheme of things don't matter at all.  


Or perhaps this is because I came from a horrific childhood and can deal with most big issues myself that other people would have breakdowns about.  But the little things.....ackkk I can't stand it when people take that shit seriously.  


Most of the time, I find that these sensitive people can't simply just laugh at things instead of getting incredibly emotional.  


I don't agree with the 'don't cry' attitude.  That is unhealthy, but when it comes to being too sensitive then yeah that annoys me.  A lot.  I have ran into a few girls on dates that just go on and on and on about the most ridiculous and mundane things and all the gossip drama about who said what to whom, blah blah.  


I find it to be shallow, immature and weak.  So I think people need to grow a thicker skin and if someone calls you an asshole, just laugh and say 'hey man I'm sorry - my bad' instead of getting them written up.  


I agree about the don't cry attitude but I think my grandfather was referring to the small stuff when he would say that. He would not object to any crying when someone passed away in the family or we had some other big emotional trauma. And it also comes from a Mexican song that he would sing the same way my mother likes to sing the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" when I don't get my way

Words are just words. They cannot harm us no matter how harsh their meaning is. Words are only powerful, offensive or hurtful because we have given them that power. (Which is also why media censorship is so ridiculous). I mean, WE (the human race) invented this set of 'bad' words and then labled them as taboo. Then, we go so far as to punish people who choose to use these words. Just - silly.

When you piss someone off or hurt their feelings, that emotion comes from within them, not you. They will not think of it this way - they will say 'YOU pissed me off!' - but that does not make it true. They took your words, internalized them, found them to be objectionable, and then chose a reaction. How does that involve you? It all came from within them! They could have, and should have, chosen not to take your words personally - thus creating a feeling of indefference about such language - which is what the world needs on a large scale.

To keep this short, I think that we all need A LOT more tolerance for eachother. Getting written up for calling your coworker an asshole is stupid. I wonder if he/she called their mommy, too, and tattled to her (LOL). I am sorry that happened to you.

I don't like to sugar coat things either, it just gives the 'harsh' words more power.

I'm with you!

Words are not just words.  That is like saying numbers are just symbols.  It is misleading.  Words are the symbolic representations of thoughts.  We developed them in order to actually share thoughts and understanding.  The communication of some things makes people aware of other peoples threat levels to social cohesion.  This is why manners have been invented, and they differ from generation to generation.  Humans are social creatures that depend on other humans and measures need to be taken in order to make sure that they work well together.  

I have seen the OP say things here on this forum that are out of line and socially unacceptable.  He is trying to figure out the appropriate balance, because his upbringing has lead him to see things differently.  But taking words in and internalizing them is part of social participation.  Words aren't made for you, they are made so that you can be accurately understood.   Their sole purpose is accurate communication.  They are all about adapting to be understood.  That is why we make a complex system of symbols in order to communicate thoughts.  The system of manners that are in place will remain in place for a while.  They may eventually die out, but they haven't shown any signs of it.  All fighting them will do, or being a lone wolf fighter against them will do, is make society take measures to disassociate with you as much as possible.

What is OP? Is that me? If you are talking about me then I think you are correct. I wasn't really thinking about that at first but I think that is one of the reasons I started this discussion. Although I agree that I'm trying to get a feel for what is appropriate here I don't think I should have to change who I am and the way I express myself. I think I just want it to be known that I respect everyone here and their opinions, and I care about people but I don't give a shit if some one is offended by my colorful expressions.

Yeah, OP means either "original post" or "original poster".  But there really is no way to respect everyones opinions.  Some people really have bad opinions.  From watching you interact with people, I have seen times where opinions that seem very misguided get pretty harshly criticized.  I would agree with you that bad opinions should get criticized.  They shouldn't be respected because they are bad for both the bearer and the receiver.  But it is better to catch more flies with honey. 

Scorn is a social construct.  Calling someone an asshole is a form of scorn.  Scorn serves the purpose in a society of enforcing penalties against non-compliance to social standards.  But it only has the strength to dissuade people if it is carried out en-masse.  Because scorn has been so successful in society it has become so valued, that individuals dread falling under the finger of scorn.  They will fight vigorously against the justifiability of scorn.  This creates a sort of social tyranny, which causes individuals by and large to not want to accept anything bad or flawed about themselves, because they don't want to fall under the finger of scorn.  If anything could be sacred in a society, it is scorn and praise.  If you use scorn against someone, such as calling them an asshole, or if you express scorn, you are going to face a lot of defensiveness, because nobody wants to be self-accepting when it includes things they believe are shameful and scorn-worthy.  So they will just refuse to accept they have the flaw, ect.  So unless you have a large group, this communication tactic is largely useless at its base.

It doesn't bother me when people get defensive. I too get defensive when I'm harshly criticized or as you say scorned. And yes it causes me to reflect on my behavior but when it's all said and done I'm still going to be me and perhaps a better me if I feel the criticism has substance. My father would call me an asshole for being mean to my sisters so I stopped being mean to them. He called me an asshole for eating all the Fruity Pebbles so I did it again next time he bought some. I reflect and I still choose who I am. Rather than cry about it I thank him for helping to make me who I am today. The man who treats his sisters well but will eat all the Fruity Pebbles.

Yeah, but people will miss out on that and not be able to see that good side of you that is open to criticism in order to become a better person, and cares about people.  If you operate with different manners in a system that isn't compatible with those, then you aren't going to be able to contribute as much or be appreciated as much.  Granted, there are limitations to what begins to feel like oppression in trying to meet the demands of society, but I would suggest gradually transitioning into it, so that it doesn't feel like that.  Do what you can.  But try to be compatible with the system in which you live.  You adapted well to your family system.  It is just another system.

Words are, indeed, just words (and numbers ARE just symbols). We can put different meanings behind them and dfferent emotions in order to convey our thoughts and intentions, but we can do the same thing with facial expressions, body language, and reactions (like leaving the room when someone has pissed you off instead of exploding in their face, for example). Words are just a thing that we invented for the ease and convenience of conveying our thoughts more clearly. Phrases can be taken more than one way, based on the body language and the way we choose to express our words. For example, say you were joking around with a friend and they make some crazy, impossible statement, like-say- "OMG! There was a walrus on my toilet this morning reading the newspaper!!", you could reply "Get the fu*k out!", meaning :No way! You're making that up! Ok, still with me? Now, take that same friend and say he pisses you off by stealing your last beer (or whatever) and you are so angry that you want him to leave; then you could say "Get the fu*k out!", meaning: get out of my house! Two totally different meanings, same exact phrase. The emotion with which the words are conveyed are far more important than the actual words.

I believe the OP was about the social acceptance of certain language and words and the tolerance level of society. What, I ask you, is the point of making words, labeling them "bad" and then punishing people who use them? I mean, this is something that we, as a race or society, have control over. We need negative words to convey our complete range or thoughts, don't get me wrong, but why do we have to go so far as to label some of them too bad to use? And then, why do we choose to punish people, even in the smallest ways, who use these words? Words are air moving through our vocal chords; they cannot cause bodily harm, they cannot move objects of their own accord, and they have no life at all unless WE give it to them. We can invent any words we want and decide not to use any word we want. They are at OUR diposal, and I just think it's a waste of energy to worry about certain words.


To further explain, the person who created the OP for this thread was written up for calling his coworker an asshole. Now, do you think that he would have been written up if he called his coworker a 'jerk' or 'poopy pants' or 'nincompoop'? Probably not, but it would have meant the same thing to the person who was speaking the words.

So, if Amy were to be referred to using an offensive term, should she be happy about it because it is possible that the person uttering the term uses it more freely?  I'd demonstrate the fallacy in her argument, but I'd violate forum policy.

I don't take things personally, so refer to me however you want to. If you call me a jerk, or if you call me a bitch, I will recognize the the real problem lies within the person speaking the words and they will have no real afefct on me. They are just words.


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