Author Topic: Friendly banter hits a nerve  (Read 31594 times)

DollarBill

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Friendly banter hits a nerve
« on: February 16, 2016, 04:01:53 PM »
I'm sure just about everyone has taken part of some sort of friendly banter or battle of wits with our Friends/Family. I've never cared for it that much but I've become very good at playing the game. I admit that it can be fun if people keep it good natured and I'm fine with that. But lately some topics hit a nerve with me and it's odd because I normally have a very thick skin, especially since I spent 23 yrs in the Military and busting each others chops was a daily activity.

Like:
- If someone calls me cheap...I don't think they are being serious but it's like an ice pick in the ribs.
- If someone makes fun of me driving a small hatchback...I have some good come backs for this so I can side step it fairly easy but I feel that this one bothers me because it comes up often. I just feel like showing them my account balance and tell them trust me I can afford something better but choose not to but I also don't want to show them my balance, then they would want to barrow money :-)
- If someone cracks on me for being single or accuses me of being gay...Once again I can shut it down quickly but sometimes I can get down right ugly with my banter.
 
I know I should just keep a cool head and return fun banter or ask them to back off that topic but dang it's very hard at times. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle these situations? Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky :-)

AZDude

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 04:11:04 PM »
It means that deep down you are probably insecure about those topics, for whatever reason. If you were completely comfortable with it, then it would not bother you.

AlanStache

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 04:23:49 PM »
It means that deep down you are probably insecure about those topics, for whatever reason. If you were completely comfortable with it, then it would not bother you.

Yep.  For something said to bug you, you have to already have a thing about it.  Not judging-I have plenty of topics I dont like being joked about.  Maybe you are changing-what once did not bug you now does?

Songbird

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »
Sometimes a person just gets sick and tired of the same old grief over and over as well...it could be as simple as that.

And since most of us aren't politicians and used to it, it can become hard to brush off when the same banter happens repeatedly.

smilla

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2016, 04:50:18 PM »
I agree, hearing the same jokes or comments over and over again gets irritating.

Parizade

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 05:14:44 PM »
I read a fascinating book many years ago called The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. The author is a linguist, and she spent many years studying what she called the 'grammar' of verbal violence. She talked about how any "innocent" phrase can be delivered in a tone or cadence that signifies a verbal attack, just as any "insult" can be delivered in a tone or cadence that makes the receiver smile and laugh and actually feel better and closer to the person who said it.

It may be that you are sensitive to certain topics, but it might also be that your family and friends are feeling envious of you and are using seemingly innocent expressions to take you down a notch. Possibly without even consciously realizing it.

The book helped me to identify the "melodies" of verbal attack, now whenever I hear it I put up a "wall of pleasant" and let their jibes bounce right off.

It works, most of the time anyway :-)

Eric

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2016, 05:25:42 PM »
Maybe try not giving a fuck?

http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

Cassie

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 05:28:23 PM »
It really does matter how it is delivered and what tone, etc. But it is not fun to tease the same person about the same crap all the time.  No wonder  you are sick of it and I would be too.  My sister has spent her whole life single by choice and I can't tell you how many comments I got from people when we were younger always asking is she was gay, who she was dating, etc. After awhile it really started to piss me off. By age 42 she quit dating-so what?  It was her decision.  She never wanted to marry or live with someone and people found that odd.  I guess I would try to comeback with something that is intended to make them stop.  Good luck:))

use2betrix

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 05:29:56 PM »
Just go along with the insults/jokes. The other day I had a meeting with a client and when I came back my project manager kept joking about my bankers hours even though I work a ton. I just joke back, "you know, it's a wonder I even come in at all."

You could do the same about their insults/jokes.

"That's funny you mention that about my car, I was thinking about getting a smaller one."

music lover

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 05:33:42 PM »
If you're close to retirement, simply smile politely and ask them when they are retiring.

HenryDavid

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 05:50:09 PM »
+1 to those who say a thing doesn't bug us unless it hits a nerve--meaning we're sensitive about that topic for some reason. Worth considering why we even care about those things . . .

I've found that if it bugs me, that usually means I'm defensive about it. Used to be defensive about lots of things that no longer make one jot of difference to me.
The gay thing is a  bit of a warning. So many of us were brought up to fear/loathe the concept of homosexuality. I know I was. Looking back it's shocking to me how much fear and ignorance was legitimized by adults around me when I was a kid. Now I just wonder . . . what the hell was that about? Spend lots of time with people of all orientations and you will stop giving half a rat's ass one way or the other who they love. Love is love.
And that's when you'll stop caring if someone thinks you're gay.  Instead you'll wonder why that's even a thing to tease or banter about: like, why?

2Saving4Life

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 06:19:29 PM »
I checked this out at the library a month or so ago.  It might help you deal with some of that.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Not-Giving/dp/0316270725

yakamashii

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2016, 06:27:24 PM »
The teasing about homosexuality is not cool. I just went to a wedding where the groom's best man (already in the bag) mentioned his suspicions that the 39-year-old groom might have been a "homo" (his word) not once, not twice, but five times. Ended his drunken speech with, "at least now we know for sure he's not a homo." It's just inappropriate and unnecessary.

As others here have said, sometimes things just get old. Jokes about sexuality, economic status and race were the norm in my family, and I grew out of them without ever announcing it or verbalizing it. I simply let it happen whenever I was around, which wasn't often. When I introduced my girlfriend (now wife) to my family, the jokes continued and were problematic because my family is white and my wife is not. I didn't prep either side properly, and now the relationship is dead from the toxic fallout. Long story short, I called my family on their inappropriate behavior and they shrugged and said "Who, us?"

If the joking seems inappropriate to you, I'd recommend being vocal about it to avoid a situation like mine. My family are decent if misguided people, and I could have salvaged a relationship with them if I had told them over the years how to behave more decently in front of new people, if not in front of people they purport to love. They probably feel like everything with my wife and me was sprung on them at once, which caused them to dig in in defense of some really nasty behavior. They chose to do that, made that bed and are sleeping in it, but I feel like some comments from me over the years could have primed the pump and produced a better result.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 06:45:05 PM »
The teasing about homosexuality is not cool. I just went to a wedding where the groom's best man (already in the bag) mentioned his suspicions that the 39-year-old groom might have been a "homo" (his word) not once, not twice, but five times. Ended his drunken speech with, "at least now we know for sure he's not a homo." It's just inappropriate and unnecessary.
What in the world was going through that guy's mind. This is well past beyond "inappropriate and unnecessary", it's "get escorted out of the building" territory.

SeanMC

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2016, 06:46:30 PM »
I used to enjoy "friendly banter" and being "witty" a lot more, and at some point I realized: that's what people say to justifying being mean, obnoxious, or bullying. This type of banter meant that I was always putting people down or being put down, it was super negative.

The fact that it's funny or teasing or whatever is the cover we use to excuse this behavior. At some point, though, a lot of people don't find it funny. It's either annoying and sometimes straight up hurtful.

There are some people I felt comfortable point that out to (one buddy shares in confidence that I always made him feel bad when we were younger :( ). There were some people that I just had to cut back on spending time with. I made it a point not to engage in this and not to hang around other people who did this as their form of socializing or bonding. The hardest was within my family dynamic.

I don't agree that the things that bug you are always insecurity. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it's stuff that means something to you or go to your core values. If you believe that it's good to save money or drive an old car and someone mocks that, it's natural for that to upset you.

Parizade

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2016, 06:50:14 PM »
The teasing about homosexuality is not cool. I just went to a wedding where the groom's best man (already in the bag) mentioned his suspicions that the 39-year-old groom might have been a "homo" (his word) not once, not twice, but five times. Ended his drunken speech with, "at least now we know for sure he's not a homo." It's just inappropriate and unnecessary.

This made me chuckle a bit, my son's best man was (is) gay and brought his boyfriend to the wedding. Just trying to imagine him giving that speech for my son.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2016, 06:58:58 PM »
You could always point out that they are repeating the same thing over and over, boooorrrrring. In a slightly amused voice (amused that they are so limited in their comments).  Or maybe it is time to declutter them out of your life.  Not all clutter is inanimate.

And Suzette Haden Elgin's books are worth reading.  She had a blog (http://www.adrr.com/aa/) but from her blog: Regarding Suzette Haden Elgin I was asked to "tell everyone that she's really sorry, but she just can't communicate anymore. She just can't focus on things well enough to even answer an email, let alone talk to anyone."  
(November 18, 1936 - January 27, 2015) 79 years on this earth, not bad.  Nice if it had been longer.

yakamashii

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2016, 07:03:16 PM »
I used to enjoy "friendly banter" and being "witty" a lot more, and at some point I realized: that's what people say to justifying being mean, obnoxious, or bullying. This type of banter meant that I was always putting people down or being put down, it was super negative.

The fact that it's funny or teasing or whatever is the cover we use to excuse this behavior. At some point, though, a lot of people don't find it funny. It's either annoying and sometimes straight up hurtful.

There are some people I felt comfortable point that out to (one buddy shares in confidence that I always made him feel bad when we were younger :( ). There were some people that I just had to cut back on spending time with. I made it a point not to engage in this and not to hang around other people who did this as their form of socializing or bonding. The hardest was within my family dynamic.

I don't agree that the things that bug you are always insecurity. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it's stuff that means something to you or go to your core values. If you believe that it's good to save money or drive an old car and someone mocks that, it's natural for that to upset you.

Great post, and I agree that it's used as a justification for being mean and nasty. Sometimes I'd hear things from family and friends and that I thought was a bit over the line, but I never heard the same coming out of my mouth even though it was probably regarded by others the same way. I wised up through some embarrassing and hurtful experiences.

People I've called on it act offended and like life can't be fun if we can't engage in "friendly banter." I acted the same way when I first met people who weren't okay with it coming from me. I think people can demand too much PC, or be too quick to be offended, and just plain misinterpret things, but most friendly banter is not defensible at all if you think about it carefully. It's definitely nobody's place to say that a person of color, for example, is too sensitive about a racial joke. Slingers of friendly banter are putting this stuff on others. If it's too much, it's their bad, not the targets of their insensitivity.

aceyou

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2016, 07:10:47 PM »
When asked my why I drive a prius instead of something larger, I respond that its enormous compared to the bicycle that I usually use to get around. 

When asked why I bike so much: I respond that I do it because usually I want to get places really quickly, and walking would take too long. 

Response to being called cheap: I point out that not buying things allows me to buy time instead.  That I don't need to take a job for extra income in the summer, and get to spend every moment of those months with my wife and two kids.  I tell them that in my opinion, being cheap is skimping on things in a way that makes life worse for those around you.  But that frugal is about making choices that will make life better for those around you, and that my wife and kids don't think I'm cheap when we're spending all day together.  I don't say this in a snide way, but as genuinely as possible so they hopefully understand that money doesn't just have to be spent on things. 

DollarBill

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2016, 08:08:40 PM »
Wow...thanks for all the great comments. It really got me thinking. It's getting late tonight so I'll try to add my comments in the AM; I have a feeling it will be comical or good humor banter...lol.

Zamboni

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2016, 08:58:10 PM »
I get tired of some of the same old cracks at me, too, so you have my sympathy. I get cracked on about different stuff than you do (other than the car, I do get ribbed about that too) but some of it has gotten tiresome.

In my case it's not at all that I am particularly sensitive about the topics, and in fact some of the things I'm perfectly delighted about. For example, I love my little car and eagerly await the odometer getting to 222222 sometime in the next couple of weeks. It's just that the ill intent and nasty peer pressure to conform or be cast out is so very clear in the tone, particularly in the cracks coming from a couple of co-workers. If only it really was good-natured.  Think I'll read that book on the gentle art of verbal self defense . . . it might keep me from snapping at some people at work in a way that would be FIRE self-limiting. Thanks to the poster who suggested that.

Thankfully, most of my family doesn't do it at all and this sort of banter would be considered quite rude. It was an issue that I had in coping with my ex's family dynamic, though . . . part of the reason we are ex, I suppose.

mozar

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2016, 09:00:19 PM »
I was bullied a lot growing up, and I still have to deal with my inappropriate/hurtful family sometimes. It's tough to be the person who has to come up with a quip to an arrogant comment. When it comes to my family I make sure I'm not alone with anyone so they can't corner me with questions. Walking away without answering also works. Sometimes I'll say why do you ask? Usually I say nothing at all. Just let them keep talking and not respond. Or just going with it and saying something I know will horrify them.  I find the less I react/ get tense, the more people leave me alone. Because it's really about making themselves feel better by hurting someone else.

Kris

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2016, 09:16:38 PM »
I'm a big fan of the "innocent question" approach. Whenever you encounter a mocking remark or question you are tired of, just innocently ask, "oh, really? Why do you think that?"  At a response, you can say, "Hmmm, I see.  This seems to really bother you.  Why is that?" When they stumble over a response, say something to the effect of, "You seem really worried about this.  Are you okay?"

Repeat as necessary, until they are so uncomfortable they shut the hell up. That should take care of it.

Telecaster

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2016, 09:33:39 PM »
One technique that I've found works well is triangulation.  You acknowledge the other view point and then turn it around.

For example:  You drive a hatchback.

Response:  Yeah, it is kind of crappy car.  But it gets the job done, and I love not having a car payment!  Plus the insurance is lower.  I really love having the extra money each month.  It has been pretty great overall.  Plus, I only drive the car about 1.5 hours out of 24, so while a better car would be nice, it just sits in the driveway most of the time.  But the extra money allows me to do lots of stuff I otherwise wouldn't be able to afford, so it is a great trade off.




CATman

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2016, 09:42:22 PM »
The next time someone does that just look them square in the eye, wait a few seconds, then wait a few seconds longer, then simply say, "yeah" that will be one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever and normally it gives people a second to reflect on the fact that what they are doing is really being a jerk. Sometime's they're realize it right then and apologize. It's amazing when we don't conform to other people's expected patterns of behavior.

Adventine

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2016, 09:54:48 PM »
I find a big, bright smile and a cheerful "Yup!" usually shuts down anyone who makes condescending remarks about my old, worn things.

I will have to look for a copy of The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. I might find some new techniques!

a-scho

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2016, 01:47:53 AM »
One technique that I've found works well is triangulation.  You acknowledge the other view point and then turn it around.

For example:  You drive a hatchback.

Response:  Yeah, it is kind of crappy car.  But it gets the job done, and I love not having a car payment!  Plus the insurance is lower.  I really love having the extra money each month.  It has been pretty great overall.  Plus, I only drive the car about 1.5 hours out of 24, so while a better car would be nice, it just sits in the driveway most of the time.  But the extra money allows me to do lots of stuff I otherwise wouldn't be able to afford, so it is a great trade off.

This!!! I would also throw in a slight, very covert, dig at them. Such as, "My car may be ten years old, but it still works. I already have the thirty grand to buy another car(I would never actually pay this much), but I would rather drive the car I have and with the thirty grand, make seven percent on that money every year I don't spend it. I'll make 2100 per year that I keep driving my current car!" Their faces fall so fast after I say, "I already have the thirty grand........."

Miss Prim

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2016, 04:58:53 AM »
Our family is a very teasing family!  It's part of who we are.  Actually, I think it toughened all of us up so that we don't get upset about other people razing us!  My husband and I are known for our frugality/cheapness and our extended family jokes about it all the time, but we love it!  They also suspect and are right, that we have a big stache.  I guess I can take a joke about anything because my self-esteem is good and I know my faults/weaknesses and don't care.

My son-in-law, on the other hand, can dish it out, but he can't take it, so we have to watch what we say around him.  We can joke a little, but if we go too far, he gets upset. 

Basically, we love the teasing and get a lot of laughs out of it!

                                                                                              Miss Prim

aprilchem

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2016, 06:15:59 AM »
I'm a big fan of the "innocent question" approach. Whenever you encounter a mocking remark or question you are tired of, just innocently ask, "oh, really? Why do you think that?"  At a response, you can say, "Hmmm, I see.  This seems to really bother you.  Why is that?" When they stumble over a response, say something to the effect of, "You seem really worried about this.  Are you okay?"

Repeat as necessary, until they are so uncomfortable they shut the hell up. That should take care of it.

That's exactly what I do.  I hate jokes and teasing, and usually responding with "What do you mean by that?" and then NOT letting it go when the person tries to say that they're joking is effective.  It only takes one time to get people to stop joking or teasing with me. 

Torran

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2016, 06:24:22 AM »
I know some are saying that they enjoy kinda giving people a light ribbing and making fun of them as 'banter'.

However. I'd say don't beat yourself up for finding it upsetting.

I grew up in a family where we did not make anyone the 'target' of jokes. Humour was usually absurd and silly but not the mocking, 'making-fun' kind of banter.
My flatmate, on the other hand, makes very biting 'funny' comments to other people (and me) about our choices, our feelings, our opinons, our (ahem) food choices... anything.
I found this nastiness (in an otherwise lovely person) kind of mistifying, until I saw her interacting with her siblings. They were brutal to each other. It was just constant mockery, sarcastic comments, 'funny' criticism of each other.

In an ideal world, each person should have the maturity and self-awareness to modify their behaviour if it's upsetting other people. To continue to mock and make fun of someone who is not enjoying it - well, the people doing that KNOW what they're doing. They're being dicks.

Really stupid, tiny example: last night, I was making myself some home-made soup when my flatmate came into the kitchen, looked at it and said 'eeew what the fuck is that?' - and laughed. I'm sure in her family that's probably the starting point for a hilarious ribbing. I just thought 'can she ever stop saying rude things' and ignored her. Queue a bad atmosphere between us. But you know what - I'm not her family. I'm not her sibling. I'm a completely different person. It is totally inappropriate to just start mocking someone if they are not the kind of person who can enjoy mockery. I honestly don't even find it funny. It's just dreary, depressing and rude. It's also unimaginative. There are so many OTHER, non hurtful things in the world to talk about, find humour in, get mega laffs out of.

I realise we all decide for ourselves how much we let something affect us; so I'd advise putting a protective-shell into action, much like a tortoise, if you are aware of this happening, but most importantly, don't turn it in on yourself and think 'I'm being overly sensitive'.  Last night I just thought 'she's being a dick because her whole family talk like that all the time'. I tried to ignore it and not feel compelled to show that I was a 'good sport' or some other such BS.

In summary, I don't think there's anything wrong with you for feeling upset about it.

coppertop

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2016, 07:35:31 AM »
What bothers me is when you tell someone that they have crossed your line, they will try to put it back on you by saying you are too "thin-skinned" and "can't take a joke." 

pbkmaine

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Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2016, 07:45:50 AM »
I'm sure just about everyone has taken part of some sort of friendly banter or battle of wits with our Friends/Family. I've never cared for it that much but I've become very good at playing the game. I admit that it can be fun if people keep it good natured and I'm fine with that. But lately some topics hit a nerve with me and it's odd because I normally have a very thick skin, especially since I spent 23 yrs in the Military and busting each others chops was a daily activity.

Like:
- If someone calls me cheap...I don't think they are being serious but it's like an ice pick in the ribs.
- If someone makes fun of me driving a small hatchback...I have some good come backs for this so I can side step it fairly easy but I feel that this one bothers me because it comes up often. I just feel like showing them my account balance and tell them trust me I can afford something better but choose not to but I also don't want to show them my balance, then they would want to barrow money :-)
- If someone cracks on me for being single or accuses me of being gay...Once again I can shut it down quickly but sometimes I can get down right ugly with my banter.
 
I know I should just keep a cool head and return fun banter or ask them to back off that topic but dang it's very hard at times. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle these situations? Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky :-)

Here's what I would say:
1) "I prefer the word 'stingy.'"
2) Give your car a cute name. I called my hatchback Eggbert, and when people made cracks about him, my response was: "You are insulting EGGBERT???!!!" Very loudly. The other people in my office would then say things like: "Oh, you don't want to mess with Eggbert."
3) "Are you offering to fix me up?"
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 08:24:34 AM by pbkmaine »

Parizade

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2016, 08:23:53 AM »
...last night, I was making myself some home-made soup when my flatmate came into the kitchen, looked at it and said 'eeew what the fuck is that?' - and laughed.

The book I was talking about earlier describes these kind of questions that are not really questions because they don't expect or want a serious answer. The best way to deal with such "attack questions" (according to the book) is to respond as if it WERE a real question and calmly answer it, in excrutiating detail, in your best Ben Stein monotone. Recite the recipe, describe how you found the recipe, where you bought the ingredients, how much they cost, coupons you used. Drone on and on.

The point being that attack questions are designed to get a rise out of you for the entertainment of the attacker, but if instead you bore them to tears with your answer they will likely not ask you such questions again. They did not get the entertainment they wanted, they will try with someone else.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 08:37:02 AM by Parizade »

debbie does duncan

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2016, 08:29:55 AM »
Never let a person make you feel bad for choosing not to tolerate their disrespect anymore.

stolen form the interwebs.......

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2016, 09:02:29 AM »
I read a fascinating book many years ago called The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. The author is a linguist, and she spent many years studying what she called the 'grammar' of verbal violence. She talked about how any "innocent" phrase can be delivered in a tone or cadence that signifies a verbal attack, just as any "insult" can be delivered in a tone or cadence that makes the receiver smile and laugh and actually feel better and closer to the person who said it.

It may be that you are sensitive to certain topics, but it might also be that your family and friends are feeling envious of you and are using seemingly innocent expressions to take you down a notch. Possibly without even consciously realizing it.

The book helped me to identify the "melodies" of verbal attack, now whenever I hear it I put up a "wall of pleasant" and let their jibes bounce right off.

It works, most of the time anyway :-)

I will have to check out this book, thanks for sharing the info.

Torran

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2016, 09:04:55 AM »
...last night, I was making myself some home-made soup when my flatmate came into the kitchen, looked at it and said 'eeew what the fuck is that?' - and laughed.

The book I was talking about earlier describes these kind of questions that are not really questions because they don't expect or want a serious answer. The best way to deal with such "attack questions" (according to the book) is to respond as if it WERE a real question and calmly answer it, in excrutiating detail, in your best Ben Stein monotone. Recite the recipe, describe how you found the recipe, where you bought the ingredients, how much they cost, coupons you used. Drone on and on.

The point being that attack questions are designed to get a rise out of you for the entertainment of the attacker, but if instead you bore them to tears with your answer they will likely not ask you such questions again. They did not get the entertainment they wanted, they will try with someone else.

Nice, thanks for that. I went for a long sigh, with my hands on my hips, and then I continued with food prep (for the other parts of the meal) which I think made it clear I was not up for any 'hilarious' banter but also made things very awkward. Giving a detailed, accurate answer would be much more entertaining and less emotionally charged. I will definitely remember this for the future.

Torran

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2016, 09:10:00 AM »
I'm sure just about everyone has taken part of some sort of friendly banter or battle of wits with our Friends/Family. I've never cared for it that much but I've become very good at playing the game. I admit that it can be fun if people keep it good natured and I'm fine with that. But lately some topics hit a nerve with me and it's odd because I normally have a very thick skin, especially since I spent 23 yrs in the Military and busting each others chops was a daily activity.

Like:
- If someone calls me cheap...I don't think they are being serious but it's like an ice pick in the ribs.
- If someone makes fun of me driving a small hatchback...I have some good come backs for this so I can side step it fairly easy but I feel that this one bothers me because it comes up often. I just feel like showing them my account balance and tell them trust me I can afford something better but choose not to but I also don't want to show them my balance, then they would want to barrow money :-)
- If someone cracks on me for being single or accuses me of being gay...Once again I can shut it down quickly but sometimes I can get down right ugly with my banter.
 
I know I should just keep a cool head and return fun banter or ask them to back off that topic but dang it's very hard at times. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle these situations? Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky :-)

Here's what I would say:
1) "I prefer the word 'stingy.'"
2) Give your car a cute name. I called my hatchback Eggbert, and when people made cracks about him, my response was: "You are insulting EGGBERT???!!!" Very loudly. The other people in my office would then say things like: "Oh, you don't want to mess with Eggbert."
3) "Are you offering to fix me up?"

Hahaha my friend used to drive around a very bashed up Fiat Punto - it was tiny and had a temperamental passenger door that sometimes fell open.
I remember someone honking their horn at the car one day when we were driving around and he responded 'Nobody toots THE PUNTO'.

Ricky

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2016, 09:26:12 AM »
Maybe try not giving a fuck?

http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

LOL - thanks for the great read.

DollarBill

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2016, 09:55:57 AM »
Most of the time I play nice with friends and try to build them up, compliment them, it's just part of my good nature but then the same people will turn around and take a dig on me. That's when I have a choice...I can grin and bare it...defend myself with reason...deflect with something funny...or tear them a new A-hole...lol. After being in the military for so long I kind of have a gift to lay into someone like the Gunny Sergeant in Full Metal Jacket but it gets old and not my natural instinct or maybe I'm a little rusty and my material is a little stale.

I know we humans can be insecure and mean spirited at times and try to blow someone's candle out so ours look brighter. But I don't try to make someone feel bad because they drive a crappy car...I would give them props! What no payment hell yeah, drive that thing into the ground! I mostly get the jabs from people who are insecure (Thats probably why they spent so much on their car) and they make me feel like I'm beneath them. I guess if I wasn't so insecure myself then it wouldn't matter...wait did I just figure out my problem? Ahhhahaha! Maybe when they take a jab I should just ask them why are they insecure? Do I threaten your livelihood? I know some people will say just don't worry about it...how do I turn that switch off? Or does it just happen slowly over time?

I think I may have been a little insecure about the topics I listed. Maybe they dig on me because there was a time were I was on the cheap side when I was over saving or maybe they see how well I've done and that I don't have to work like them or they might wish they could save themselves. Maybe they can get a rise out of me from my car because I do have some insecurity (About 20%) about my "G-ride" because I've always driven trucks and the good ole American advertisers imprinted the guy stereo type into my head or maybe other people are just a "Crab in the bucket" and trying to keep me in debt. Maybe they can get a rise out of me for being single because I do have a little insecurity about being single (About 10%) or maybe they are trying to rub my nose in it or maybe they think I'm a good catch. One thing I really don't like is when someone digs on me or others about how much money they make or don't make...I hate down playing my wealth. I'm going to work on my perspective!   

Overall some people try to get a rise out of you and if you "ALLOW" it to happen then they won. I think maybe I just need to work more at the funny comebacks...lol. I'll continue to build people up but will keep a few comebacks handy incase the time arises. I guess I could opt out of the game but I will admit I do like it sometimes.

You guys had some great points of view and had some good comebacks...I'll read through this again and share some of my own :-).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 09:59:32 AM by DollarBill »

DollarBill

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2016, 10:05:09 AM »
It means that deep down you are probably insecure about those topics, for whatever reason. If you were completely comfortable with it, then it would not bother you.

Yep.  For something said to bug you, you have to already have a thing about it.  Not judging-I have plenty of topics I dont like being joked about.  Maybe you are changing-what once did not bug you now does?
Yup...I changed! I use to be the guy driving big trucks and jeeps. I bucked against my wiring to take control of my life. Now for the most part I miss that part and I could rejoin that part of my life if I wanted to because I have the assets but I don't really have a good reason to partake in it unless I have a reason to tow something. At this time I like the low cost of driving.

DollarBill

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2016, 10:17:05 AM »
Maybe try not giving a fuck?

http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck
Ahhaha...the picture of Tim w/ balloons just became my new desktop photo!

ketchup

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2016, 10:28:24 AM »
I have found that light-heartedly mocking yourself preemptively can smooth out some of this sort of thing.  If at work I refer to my car as "the kind of car a normal person would have already thrown away," it's pretty hard for someone to get under my skin about it in the parking lot.

DoubleDown

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2016, 10:31:35 AM »
Another +1 for "sometimes it just gets annoying." Sometimes you're not really deep-down sensitive about the topic; it can just get irritating to hear the same thing over and over.

Just a few weeks ago we were on a long cruise, and my 12 y.o. daughter pointed out every single time I had a cup of coffee that I like to add 2-3 packets of sugar, and how much sugar that is, and I can't believe you put in that much sugar, etc. I certainly am not insecure about it (I'm fit and healthy) and don't give a single fuck about it, but I have to admit that by the 20th time or so it became a tired subject to me. I eventually said, "Enough already! Yes I like sugar in my coffee, it's no secret, and we don't need to focus on it every single time!"

So yeah OP, I hear ya that it can be aggravating. If you do have underlying sensitivities about the subjects, then it's worth considering with yourself whether you should care what others think or if you're insecure about it. However, sometimes it's just annoying hearing the same tired things over and over and doesn't reflect on you having insecurities.

J Boogie

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2016, 10:51:39 AM »
My recommendation:


frugalnacho

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2016, 10:53:34 AM »
Does anyone have any advice on how to handle these situations? Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky :-)


Parizade

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FIREwoman

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2016, 11:05:40 AM »
...I can grin and bare it...

i might start doing this. might horrify people into not bothering me.


frugalnacho

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2016, 11:08:14 AM »
If someone makes fun of you for your tiny and frugal hatchback just tell them you are compensating for your enormous penis.

GreenSheep

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2016, 11:26:40 AM »
I think this sort of thing often happens without those involved fully realizing it. Last year, I went on a group trip in Chile, and aside from the fact that it was a beautiful place, fun, etc., it was also full of people who were genuinely nice. I mean those who worked there and my fellow travelers, but it was obviously created by those who work there, and the visitors picked it up. It felt almost contrived at first (lots of "How was your day?" and actually waiting for answer, people I just met using my name, big genuine smiles, random hugs, etc.), but I realized it only felt that way to me because I was coming from such a toxic, sarcastic work environment. I came home and quit my job. I had been contemplating changing jobs anyway, but that was the last straw.

I have found the heading them off at the pass does help when it's possible to do so -- commenting on your own POS car, insulting yourself even more than they already have, etc. A firm, silent "Miss Manners" stare also helps if it's a completely inappropriate comment. And I love the "innocent questions" tactic. Sometimes people don't realize how awful they're being until you show them.

On the other hand, there are some people who just can't be shown, or won't admit to being wrong even when you can tell by their body language that they know they screwed up. Those people do not get to remain in my life. Or, if they're family and I can't completely avoid them, I put as many barriers between us as possible.

acroy

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Re: Friendly banter hits a nerve
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2016, 11:40:43 AM »
Does anyone have any advice on how to handle these situations? Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky :-)

Pull on your inner position of strength and confidence! comments slide right off.

or...
Splash out on fancy clothes, nice watch, big SUV and some arm candy. Then the comments will stop :)