I was “just joking”. This is a term that many people use whenever they say something that hurts someone’s feelings. I have also heard “I didn’t mean it”, “you are too sensitive”, “it’s not that serious”. All these phrases are used. I have used them myself. But the one I am focusing on today is I was “just joking”. This phrase I was “just joking” is in my head because of a recent conversation I had with my daughter. She said something to me that kind of bothered me and when I asked her why she said it she said she was “just joking”. It made me wonder how many times people have used the phrase to cover up what they really meant to say. How many people aren’t “just joking”. I am totally guilty of slipping in my true feelings when I am supposedly just playing with someone. But I never thought about the impact of some of my so called jokes. If you know something you are saying is going to hurt someone’s feelings then why say it. Like if you know someone is sensitive about their weight why would you pick that thing to joke about. For me I truly admit that I did it simply to hurt someone when I had the opportunity. But now that I think about it taking that opportunity did nothing but caused more problems and made me look horrible. Then it made what happened between me and the person I hurt even worse. Then I just felt horrible afterwards. Cause that one moment of satisfaction didn’t make me feel any better than I did before. In the end it definitely isn’t funny.
Why do we expect people to feel better when we say we are “just joking”? It really doesn’t make the person feel any better than when you initially said the joke. Then on top of that why do we get upset because they get upset about it at all. It definitely doesn’t make it funny. All you really have accomplished is embarrassing the person and hurting them. Then by implying that they should just move on because you were “just joking” it makes you look even worse and makes them feel invalidated.
This post is more fore me than anything to remember that saying I was “just joking” doesn’t take away a person’s hurt. Doesn’t make whatever you said funny. There is such a things as going too far. Also you don’t know if you what you said might be the deciding factor in a decision that a person can’t come back from.