Disregard the Following...
Disregard the Following...
By Wes J. Pimentel
Here’s an exposé on yet another oddity found in the realm of human behavior. I am presently addressing unnecessary disclaimers. While some disclaimers are valid and totally worth uttering, others are just a pathetic attempt to conceal confrontations.
You ever heard someone say, “No disrespect, but…” Sure, we all have. Sayings like this are all too common. I’m not quite sure why we allow people to get away with it, but I’m thinking it has something to do with our party-like national culture. Nobody wants to be a party-pooper. It’s like ‘I’m going to confront you by expressing a criticism, but please don’t express displeasure.’ Bullshit.
The weird thing is that right after saying, “No disrespect but,” they’ll say something totally disrespectful like, “your wife is really BIG!” Thanks, respectful guy. Thank you for, once again, reminding me of how fat my wife has become. As if it’s not bad enough this poor schmuck has to bed down with a wildebeest every night. Now he’s got Mr. Spineless calling him out about it, and he can’t even retaliate because of that damned disclaimer! If the victim says, “Shut your trap, asshole,” it makes him look like the bad guy. Nice move.
“With all due respect” is just a variation of the first example. You have to watch out for this one. It’s extra sneaky because it sounds all official. If someone says this to you, be on alert. They’re about to blast you. This one is highly favored by uppity subordinates trying to usurp authority from their superiors. As soon as you hear this, be ready to strike. No matter how good the kid’s idea is, I say you chop him down and put him in his place. A concession today means resignation tomorrow. Make an example out of him. That’ll show those innovative little bastards who’s boss. Still feeling creative junior? I didn’t think so. If you’re going to tell me I suck, don’t hide behind unnecessary disclaimers. Just say it.
By far my favorite is the old “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” right before something like, “what’s wrong with your son?” or, “this tastes like shit,” (after sampling your cooking) or, “your mom is a real bitch.” While these people are formulating these abrasive statements in their minds, they know how rude they’ll sound – hence the disclaimer! If what you are about to say isn’t rude, there’s no need to make a feeble attempt to soften the blow.
The ones that really get me are the disclaimers where the person intros what they’re about to do by stating they’re not going to do it. Confused? Me too. They go like this: “Not to cut you off, but…” as they interrupt you; or “I don’t mean to criticize, but…” right before they criticize something; or “not to change the subject, but…” as they change the subject. See what I mean? This behavior does not make you polite, it makes you a liar; a double liar. You’re lying about your intentions for speaking and you’re presenting a falsely considerate image of yourself. If right before you slap me in the face, you say, “Not to slap you in the face or anything, but…” it does not make the slap any more pleasant.
If you’re prone to interrupting, criticizing, and changing the subject, you’re an asshole; regardless of how often you tell people you don’t mean to do it. I like my jerks out in the open. Just cut me off, change my subject, disrespect me, and criticize me. Don’t tell me you don’t mean to do it. If you didn’t feel like doing all that shit, you would simply refrain from it. The truth is they just want to get away scot-free.
It’s a pretty simple concept. If you don’t mean to be rude, don’t be. If you do though, have at it! Drop your inhibitions, shed all the bullshit social programming, and fire at will. There’s no need to hide behind these cowardly statements, like your mouth is not under your direct control. Some people might get their little feelings hurt, but at the end of the day, even these softies will respect you, because they know you’re a straight shooter. They know when you get that look in your eye they’re about to get sliced, and you’re not going to apologize for it.
PS – Don’t email me about how these tips backfired on you and you got fired or divorced or something. I am simply an advocate for honesty. I’m not holding a gun to your head. If you can’t handle the social responsibility, just leave it alone.
More by this Author
This is a picture of my father, Robert, holding my daughter, Fauna. By Wes J. Pimentel My father is gay. This is the story of how I found out and the emotions I felt at the time and have felt since. I will then share...