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01 Dec 2005

AM I TOO SENSITIVE? SHOULD I NOT HAVE TAKEN OFFENCE???
Hi Doc,

Just got home from being out... Today, one of my longest running friends hurt me...well... if that is the best way to describe it.

Im a young jewish guy...with some christian friends... and as people are...tend to throw some comments my way...in a jokingly fashion... type thing... ive always been the minority!

But tonight, my friend called me a fckin jew... in the context... it was a joke... However, I did take offence...

It's the first time i've ever told a friend where to get off the bus... it took me a while to decide what to say...

I said to him.. if you ever say FJ again... ill consider our friendship over... Did I take it too far? Should I have kept quiet?

I have the utmost respect for my friends... but the line must be drawn somewhere to determine when a joke is not a joke...

I did leave the club...but my friend phoned me back to apologise... and said I must come back... I did... but the friendship has now changed... all im going to be now is the FJ.

What advice do you have? Should I carry on and just ignore it or what?
Answer 394 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hello Mervyn,
Obviously by 11.18 at night I have long since left the Computer in the office ! Congratulations on handling the event well. I don't see how "FJ" could EVER be considered amusing or relevant to any actually funny joke. And while all gropups in society tend to have jokes they tell about themselves ( Scots tell jokes about mean Scotsmen , and so on ) the same joke, when told by someone NOT a member of the target group, is not funny and considered lousy bad manners.
You say you have the utmost respect for your friends ? Good for you. But this guy failed to show the utmost respect for you. OK, he probably didn't intend to be hurtful or offensive, but he was, and you were perfectly right to be upset by it. If human rights and religious / ethnic tolerance is to mean anything, we need to stand up for such rights, too. It's good that he apologised --- only you will know how sincere he was. Maybe you need a quiet chat with your friend now, to clear the air, to explain how hurtful that comment was --- and there are surely equivalents which he would have found just as hurtful. And then the test will be whether he thereafter shows grace, respect, and sensitivity to your feelings, or not.
Y describes rather wll how minorities of all kinds can feel coerced into laughing along rather than reminding careless jokers that some things are not funny.
Well done ; talk it over with him, and if, in your judgement he shows understanding and remorse, give him another chance
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