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Sunday, May 31, 2015

You Haven't read this have You?

You Haven't read this have You?

I want to talk about a specific pet peeve of mine that has been chipping away at me for some time. I want to approach this in a healthy non ranty writing piece that can logically describe what I am talking about. Of course, I can only limit my emotional reaction to this subject to a certain degree.

I can make a pretty good conclusion that most of us have heard what I am about to say. Some of us probably don't even bat an eye when we hear it or even acknowledge it's fallaciousness. My problem surrounds itself around passive aggression and blind assumptions. The way it is approached is very illusory in nature. Here are a few variations on what I am talking about.

You guy's don't happen to have butter pecan ice cream do you?

Y'all don't have a bathroom I can use do you ?

You guys don't happen to have some tweezers I could borrow for a few minutes, do you?

Yada.yada.yada.

So at first these questions seem mildly confusing. Is it really a question? Why can't they just ask.

Do you guys have a bathroom?

Seems simple doesn't it?

For one, you are not starting an ambiguous and passive question with an assumption. You are immediately pushing yourself into a situation where you are assuming this person does or does not have what you are asking for. This seems very perplexing. You are establishing a relationship where you have  made some uninformed judgments and assertions. Sometimes it is more obvious and absurd than it looks. It's like someone going to a specialty toilet store and asking: "Y├íll don't have plungers do you?"

So why do people do this? I believe the reason lies in the perpetuation of being kind. Being kind is important, but this is a special type of dumb kindness that has no relevance to perpetuating good kindness. It is simply being indirect. It is a failed attempt of relating to another person. It's beating around the bush and somewhat insulting. It is softening the blow if someone tells you "no".

The best way to solve this is to ask direct and concrete questions?
Such as:

Do you all have a bathroom I can use?
Do you all carry butter pecan ice cream?
Do you all carry specialty toilet plungers?

The more we trim the fat in communication, the more we can progress as a peaceful and intelligent species.

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