“I Don’t Mean To Be Rude But…”

I have a huge pet peeve involving statements like this. Does this preface excuse the insensitivity of the statement that follows? I always believe in being honest but people freely and intentionally saying something that you know will be taking in an offensive way has always irked me.

When I hear “I don’t mean to be rude but…” or “Not to sound like a […] but” I hold my breath and my brain panics because I know that what I am about to hear will almost surely hurt my feelings.

I know that it may sound “hypocritical” coming from an Aspie who can at times come across as rude, but I definitely do not intentionally do it. Maybe I’m taking it too literally, but if not someone like me, then who else would?

Why not skip those statements and re-word what you were going to say? Just my two cents.

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About Gretchen Leary

I am 30 years old, I live in the Boston area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “I Don’t Mean To Be Rude But…”

  1. Ok, it’s official, you’re in my brain. I don’t know how you did it, but you’re in my brain. I quite literally had this EXACT SAME THOUGHT PROCESS last night. Like, word for word… Same exact ideas. Same thoughts. At the time I was alone in my apartment cleaning my dishes after dinner. I swear, you are in my brain. Either that, or I am in yours. I’m not sure which.

    And yes, in case it wasn’t clear from the above, I absolutely agree with this sentiment – if you have to start a sentence with “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” then that means you’re about to be rude, perhaps you should reevaluate what you are about to say and say it in a less rude way. Seriously… thinking before we speak is always a good idea… When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher taught us that “but” was “The Great Canceler” – you should be very careful how you use the word, because it cancels out everything you just said. That has stuck with me for years.

  2. So true! Also applies to “I’m not racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist, BUT…” If someone says that, expect a huge pile of discrimination.

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