Date: 07-03-04 21:09 PDT
Ah, now that's more understandable.
But you do have to specify sometimes, rather than make general
statements that lead to misunderstandings.
I can understand that some people are not friendly, etc.
Sometimes I used to get questions about Catholic practices
that were amazing to me. But that was when I was younger and
quicker to misunderstand myself, and take offense. I don't
do that any more. As you say, such "friends" are
not worth it.
If you're offended by someone's question or remarks, sometimes
you have to stop for a moment, say that you're not quite clear
on what they're asking, and give them a chance to explain
their question more clearly. Very often people don't know
how to phrase a question clearly in the first place simply
because they're puzzled by what they heard or saw.
Several years ago there was a live discussion by satellite
TV between an American woman and a Muslim woman. I wish I
could remember what country the Muslim woman was in. At one
point the American woman asked the Muslim woman why Muslim
women always wore black. The Muslim woman got very defensive
and insulted and denied that they always wore black, saying
that they wore many colors just like other women do. That
response embarassed and confused the American woman. A few
minutes later, a clip was shown of Muslim women walking on
a city street in that country, and ALL of them were were black
hijabs!! (Not sure of the spelling.) "There! That's what
I mean," said the American woman. "They're all wearing
black." "Oh," said the Muslim woman, "that's
just being formal for outside in public. Inside, they wear
Obviously, no one here had ever seen Muslim women inside
their homes in their regular clothes. Women in black is all
we ever see of Muslim women in other countries (until El Clon,
probably). That was the reason for the American woman's innocent
question, but the Muslim woman, not asking for clarification
of the question, had at first taken offense and caused embarassment
to the American woman for her honest desire to know.
Communication skills are so important, especially when discussing
things that may be of a sensitive nature. It might be helpful
to keep it in mind that some people just don't communicate
well unless you ask for clarification.