I have a problem I’m hoping you can help with. I have recently begun seeing this guy who says really insensitive things (or really mean things) and when he sees I’m upset, he laughs nervously and plays it off like he was kidding. When he says these things, is he really serious and just changing his perspective when he realizes I’ve been angered, or is he just a really poor jokester?
All jokes contain a fraction of truth. Anyone willing to recite a racist joke IS somewhat racist, just as anyone willing to recite a sexist joke is somewhat sexist. It may not be a HUGE part of who they are, but think about it…if they were really against racism or sexism would they really recite a joke that would play into that? The same principle applies to mean spirited jokes. Somewhere, deep down (or on the surface), he really feels what he is saying. However, he also values your feelings and once he realizes you’re upset, he’s trying to cover up the hurt caused by what he said. The next time he “jokes”, call him out on things and let him know that he should really do a better job of thinking about what he says because it’s offensive. If he gets upset, then let him be upset, but stand firm on what you want.