the mindful use of provocative language

To celebrate the occasion of Angela and I having a pleasant and totally on-topic exchange in private (in regard to some rather expensive pendants that provide electromagnetic frequencies favorable to human health), I post this (which is two recent exchanges that are related): as for using provocative language, there are times to avoid that and times to do that very precisely and mindfully (which some people may find to be very effective- very educational, intriguing, even hilarious). So, one’s own use of language is one part of the equation.

What about what others say to me? You (directed to a specific correspondent) could make some criticism of me that is rather mild, but I could be offended by that. That is another part of the equation. It could be valuable to be “hard to offend.”

Not only is it important to be aware of what kind of language people might find offensive (either to intentionally avoid offending them or to intentionally offend them- as distinct from being accidental and surprised). It is also valuable to be “hard to offend.”

Imagine someone who is in a public position in which it may be relevant to be prepared for occasional controversy and dissent and criticism. How reactive are they to criticism? How volatile are they? How calm are they? How “steady and solid” are they?

Even as a parent or employee, if it is easy for someone to “upset” me, that could be a serious issue. If I crumble in to a pile of weeping when a business prospect rejects my proposal, that is not a good quality for a salesperson, right?

Through an immense amount of rejection and criticism and discipline, one can become aware of the value of being GROUNDED rather than easily offended/ distressed. Do people respond to criticism with condemnations of the critic or with desperate apologies to anxiously attempt to “please everyone all of the time” or with calm, measured curiosity?

At times, I might display any of those patterns of behavior. I might say “please tell me more so I understand where you are coming from.” I might issue threats: “if you continue to use a public forum to communicate on those subjects, I am willing report you for harassment.”

I can be challenging [intense] as a critic or analyst. I can be frightening to some people. I can also be encouraging and refreshing.

Imagine Aajonus Vanderplanitz talking to a typical group of high schools students. Someone may even be willing to publicly make a statement with the expectation [or acceptance of the possibility] that no one in the audience will initially comprehend the detail of what is meant. Some will react in terror, some in curiosity, some in rage, and some with boredom or simply confusion. As for me, the ones who display curiosity (except for in rare occasions like elections) tend to be the ones who receive the vast majority of my interest and attention and interaction.

Also, Tim and Steve just demonstrated one of the typical tensions found on this group. It is fair to say that Tim “started” it by using provocative language like “stop worshiping _____.” (FYI, I agree with him though on the general point he as making.)

Further, the WAY that someone says “use manners” can be inflammatory (like a personal accusation) or soothing (moderating). So, I can say “Steve should use better manners… OR ELSE.” That would tend to provoke most people to further escalation of distress/ antagonism.

Steve comes back with more provocative phrases like “No, dude, YOU stop worshiping bla bla.” Is that really the kind of manners you want to model for Tim [and everyone else] to copy? 😉

Also, please use winks more, people. It makes your provocative and inflammatory language seem like it is being said amongst friends. (I’m sure we will all laugh about this later, right?)


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