FFT: When Humor Hurts A Friend

Food for thought inspired by a silly FB post.  I learned that conflict is an opportunity for growth.   I also learned  culture matters.

Most saw the humor in the post, but others outraged that I offended Melania’s honor made such a comment:

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this. I never expected you could post shit like this. You’ve lowered yourself now to the level of people you question and totally reject. Shame on you.

“When they go low, we go high” Remember that one?

Being a thoughtful person, I saw an opportunity to manage offended people. Without conflict, there is no growth, right? Believe you me, I don’t usually think like this, but I did this time.

When a post offends a friend, how do you manage the fallout? Should you delete the post not to risk hurting or losing friends? I’d like to hear your thoughts since I didn’t manage this one well.

Once I sensed conflict I wanted to understand why someone would get upset over a meme-tweet of a person they never met? And whose husband was the élite pussy grabber who proudly coined the term for himself?  Trump inspired the tweet and my FB post. Responses of friends mystified me, considering it is near damn impossible not to make fun of Trump and his family.

This was an example where culture matters.

When Obama was President, I saw countless derogatory images, memes, and tweets of Michelle Obama on FB and Twitter.  Though hurtful, I didn’t take them personally.  Unlike Trump, Obama and his family did not tweet disparaging remarks about women, immigrants and disabled people.  Still, social media ridiculed the Obama family including their children.

Being told how wrong it was to criticize Melania, I thought of the innocent black men, women, and children humiliated and murdered daily.  How come friends showed no outrage or support for those innocent people?  My experience was a peek into culture and its multi-dimensional nature.

Next time a friend gets offended by humor or posts or tweets:

  • Ask why the topic is important to them
  • That will give insight into motive
  • Knowing motive will help understand and predict behavior

Performing the above will ease tension, improve communication and hopefully outcome.  Imagine the impact on understanding  each other.

Most don’t see conflict as an opportunity for growth.

This post was edited on 5/14/2018






Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

24 thoughts on “FFT: When Humor Hurts A Friend

  1. Hi Angela, in my opinion, I see nothing wrong with your post about Mrs. Trump. Your friend is very sensitive. Low is giving rich people tax breaks, cutting essential programs for the poor and increasing the imperialistic military budget!

    1. Hi Rudy, he’s not sensitive. He cares more about Melania’s honor (as if she has any) than he does about people suffering from her husband’s incompetence and racist policies. Wasn’t Melania a stripper or a call girl?

      1. “He cares more about Melania’s honor ………..”. Now you’re sinking even deeper.
        On FB you wrote: “Why is Melania’s honor so important to you? So important that you would insult me.”
        And I answered: ” Lmfao. Is THAT what you think is why I condemned your post? Well, you’re wrong sugah. It was, like I said, because it was YOU “of all people” who came up with this shit.”
        So, while I told you it was NOT what you thought it was, you STILL insist it was (thus saying that I’m a liar), and are telling people here that my reaction was all about Melania’s honor, even suggesting I’m with her husband’s shitty behavior, while you perfectly well know that I more than once called your so called POTUS out in no uncertain terms.

        Sad, Angela, very sad.

        Um…….”Wasn’t Melania a stripper or a call girl?” Does that mean she’s an inferior human being, or something, perhaps?

        Ah, like your wrote earlier here: “…….I didn’t manage this one well.” Reflect on that, Angela, reflect on that indeed.

          1. “I still don’t understand your gripe.”? Oh, shit happens when you are convinced of having an open mind, but are afraid it would shatter your truths, convictions, and culture to pieces should you leave it open for too long. So you slam the door shut.

            1. Shatter my truths! I wish them smattered in a million pieces.

              Once upon a time, I had an open mind now not so much. Not sure having an open mind is safe or wise for someone like me.

  2. Being overly offended is a sign of left authoritarian virtue signalling based on narcissistic intolerance for other viewpoints and attitudes. We’re all different, so let’s celebrate our differences.

  3. “Failure to Listen” yep, I found that to be a problem in this exchange… AG, not listening. “When humor hurts a friend” it becomes humorless. Attempts at humor should never be directed at another, even without the most subtle negatives. It is hurtful. I lived it. Oh how I wish the pendulum would swing the other way, to the side of decency and respect.
    What a waste of your brilliant talent, AG. What a waste.

      1. Oh no… I didn’t mean to make you feel guilty. I think you’re brilliant… and quirky is good, too. I had a quirky sister (passed this year), and she was one of the funniest and fun people around, when she wanted to be. In fact, I used the word ‘quirky’ to describe her in her obit. Pretty much everyone loved her wit. But, I can say, she didn’t use other folk it her humorous moments. Her joking was mostly situational. Smile and make the rest of the world smile… you and the world are worth it.

          1. Motto? Here’s another one: “Walk your talk.”
            And especially for you who is “in the Lord”, yet another one: “Practice what you preach.”

            1. I don’t understand your sarcasm as I do practice what I preach. I have a project that I would very much like the right help on and I’m working on getting that help. Will you pray for me? LOL hahaha

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