Sunday, November 01, 2009

Knowledge November - Day 2 - Don't say it

Don't ever say "Don't take it personally" to anyone.


When you say "Don't take it personally", you're asking someone to accept an insult or an injustice, be publicly humiliated, do your dirty work, lose their job or do something potentially horrible to someone else (like fire them).

It is a meaningless phrase that is often only used to make the utterer feel less bad, not the sufferer.

Saying "Don't take it personally" means that you are also belittling that person's genuine pain and hurt feelings.

Think of it this way: If I came up to your house out of the blue and slapped you across your face and then defecated on your front door step before issuing you with a 'Don't Come Monday' slip, you wouldn't want me to then turn around and say, "Don't take it personally," would you?


Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Mrs PM uses the phrase "I'm not being funny but ..." which I think translates in a similar way.

"Dave! I'm not being funny but your hair looks like crap. Has somebody electrocuted you?"




Kath Lockett said...

Or the other one - "Can I ask you a favour?"

Of course they *can* but it's *always* something that you really, truly don't want to do - or they would have just come out and said, "Would you mind looking after my four children whilst I go to Fiji for a fortnight?" rather than trapping you with, "Can I ask a favour?"

drb said...

I did find the phrase, "Don't takeit personally" helpful when it was uttered to me 2 weeks ago after I found out that my fellowship application (which I spent 3 months, including X'mas, to prepare) was rejected and was at the verge of spitting the dummy. It helped me to put the rejection into perspective that hundreds of people across Oz applied and only a handful was successful.

Spicybugz said...

As soon as I hear the phrase, "don't take it personal" I know it's going to be personal, and painful. It's like a cowards way out of hurting you,and not owning the responsibility of it.

franzy said...

If you ever have to say this, instead hold up your hands, palms facing outward, after you've fired your best friend and say "It's just business."
It dares them to be tough and not cry and makes you feel like a mafioso, rather than a prick.

ps. I'm super excited that you're doing another theme month!

PM - Have you ever seen 'Orgasmo'? Classic by the South Park boys - one running gag always kicks off with "I don't wanna sound like a queer or nuthin, but ..."

River said...

Slaps, poops and "don't come Monday" slips? What the heck is going on over there?

Don't take it personally is something I have never said,because I know it hurts, although I have had it said to me. Of course, I'm such a hard unfeeling person, I never take anything personally. I just laugh it off. In public. Privately is a whole 'nother story.

Baino said...

Boy I've heard that one a few times. But it IS personal. Anything that happens to us is 'personal'.Personally, I'm not fond of "Can I ask you a question?" You just did you moron!

deepkickgirl said...

You make a good point. It's kind of like a "it's not you, it's me" rejection. It still hurts and the meaning is clear.

Helen said...

Ah, we say "no offense meant, but..."

I try to use it in a more positive way. Like "Don't take it personally, but you look fantstic today!"

Really messes with their heads.

delamare said...

I hate this expression intensely! I like the scene in When You've Got Mail when Meg Ryan addresses the use of this line - "Of course it's personal".

Kath Lockett said...

Yeah but you were successful, DrB! :) My meaning is that I hate it being used to absolve the person doing the dirty deeds... see what Spizybugz said underneath your comment.

Franzy I think the reason I like working from home for myself is so that I never have to say 'It's just business' to anyone. (Hitches her trakky daks up a bit higher).

Chill, River, it's just an example. Life is fine and dandy over here in the CITY WITH THE WORST CARTONS OF ICED COFFEE IN THE WORLD!

Baino, that's true. If your current Bulldog of a boss ever tries it on you - get out or call her on it.

Deep Kick Girl - perfectly said. Or put. Or written.

I like the way you think Helen :)

Glad you agree Delamere, and welcome back to the blogosphere!