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"Soft" swearing not allowed - do you adapt?


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So, if you allow modified swear words and use them yourself (crappy, dang, shoot, darn it, etc.), but you discover that you friend does not use or allow them, do you change how you speak around them? Do you advise your children, "please don't say 'crappy' around Ms. Joanie, it bothers her." Or just do what you have always done and figure she can get over it?

 

If YOU don't allow soft swear words, do you expect people to change their speech around you? Do you correct their children if/when they are in your care?

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I'll refrain when it comes to actual swear words around people who don't use them, but I refuse to censor myself to the point that I can't even say "darn it." Someone that sensitive probably wouldn't enjoy hanging out with me, anyway.

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I've never told my dds not to use those words around people who don't like them. At one house my dd came up to me in tears because one of the kids told her she said a bad word and I said (in front of the family) that some people think it's a bad word and others do not. We are a a family that doesn't and I told her she didn't say anything wrong. The mom agreed with me and told her dd that mine did nothing wrong.

 

 

ETA: My dds are teens now and we don't mind if dds use curse words here and there but they know not to use those around others for fear of offending. The soft stuff isn't something I will censor though.

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I do teach my kids to moderate their language around others (though their language is pretty mild--I mainly have to remind about the use of "OMG") if they know someone they're with is likely to be offended. I don't necessarily expect others to moderate the "soft" stuff around us, but I do expect others to moderate the harder stuff. I curse plenty, but not in front of my kids--except in the car in certain startling/frightening situations! 

 

ETA: Oops! I was thinking about words like "sucks" and "crappy," which I consider to be actual (if soft) swear words. I don't consider darn, dang it, shoot, etc. to even be soft swear words. So I guess for those, my answer would be no, I wouldn't tell my kids to moderate that stuff. The line has to be drawn somewhere!

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Crappy seems worse to me than shoot or darn. No idea why. My kids think it's a regular swear word. I generally don't say it in front older, "proper" people, but the soft ones would be fine.

 

I wouldn't correct a child for saying a soft swear word. I'm not sure I'd correct a regular swear word unless it was directed at someone, but I would correct meanness no matter what words. No calling anyone a poopy head or the other.

 

I generally can curse a blue streak and get quite creative, but not in "public."

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I don't correct for it if it happens in the moment and just slips out, but I do prep them ahead of time that "Grandma & Grandpa don't like those words, so remember not to not use them during their visit. There's nothing wrong with the words, but since they bother your grandparents, it would be kind to them to not use those words today." If it happens unintentionally, oh well. If my kids do it on purpose to push boundaries or annoy, that's another matter.

 

For a little insight into my family's background on this: my parents once grounded me for a week because I said "Oh my word!" and Jesus is the Word of God, therefore I was taking God's name in vain. Sigh. My mother would probably try to send me to my room even now if she heard some of the words I now use. Actually, maybe I should try that, I could use some alone time in my room. :lol:

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I don't think it would even occur to me to adapt, especially when you're talking about commonly used words. It doesn't bother me when other people use words I and my family don't use and I'd never expect someone else to adapt their speech to my expectations.  I would never, EVER correct someone else, children or adults, for saying something I don't say.

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I used to be quite diligent at trying to keep clean language around other people's children. Then I started working more with kids and school groups and learned that loads of kids (2nd grade, even) swear like sailors the instant they are out of hearing of an adult who matters.

 

Now I don't care, provided I am not acting as a representative of a business, or talking to a preschooler.

 

However, I would always respect somebody's home. Although I will admit to not even noticing some of those "soft" swear words.

 

 

I enjoyed that a little too much.

 

I did, too. Like, way too much :p

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I teach my kids that words aren't bad. They can be offensive, hurtful, or even just over used. I do correct my kids' friends if they swear in my house or use hurtful words. I simply tell them, "Please, don't say that in my house." It falls under a my-house-my-rules clause that I started invoking the first day I started paying my own way in the world. I do reserve the right to swear in my house, but I don't use swear words of any kind in my typical speech patterns.

 

I hope that my kids are thoughtful and intentional about the words they use. I assume that other adults enforce their own house rules, so no, I wouldn't tell them not to say "crappy" around a particular person.

 

Just for reference, I took my dd14 to a punk rock festival last summer and every band seemed to have lyrics with some variation of "f@ck the world."

I still won't let her or her friends use offensive language in my house.

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I'd try to remember not to use those words around that family and ask my children to do the same.  I don't see any reason to intentionally cause offense, if I can help it.  

 

Most (hard and soft) swear words don't bother me.  I can see myself asking someone else's child not to use the word "crappy" in my home.  I probably wouldn't bother objecting to dang, darn, and shoot.  

 

I've personally been asked not to say "sucks" and "geez."  It's no big deal to use other words instead. :)

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Nope. Many of those words don't even cross my radar. If everyone stopped using words like crud, darn, shoot, etc, then there would be a lot of frustrated grunting sounds in conversations and that would bother me an awful lot. :lol:

 

I'm with Sparkly on this one. :thumbup:

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I've always taught my kids to try to do their best to adapt to others whenever possible.  It comes naturally to them - probably because they've seen their parents do it.

 

I'm not really sure we know anyone who objects to those words though, but if we did, I'd prefer being sensitive to not.

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I don't think it would even occur to me to adapt, especially when you're talking about commonly used words. It doesn't bother me when other people use words I and my family don't use and I'd never expect someone else to adapt their speech to my expectations. I would never, EVER correct someone else, children or adults, for saying something I don't say.

This is my feeling on it. A friend of mine corrected a child for saying a word like this, one that doesn't even register to me as potentially offensive. She wasn't harsh in her reprimand, but said something to the child like, "I'm not very fond of that expression." I did one of those playback reels in my brain, thinking, "Wow. I must bug her an awful lot, because I say a lot of words like that and will throw out a harder word between adults now and then.

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I do try to moderate my sailor-like language (in keeping with my age and putative dignity), but I'm no more careful with one adult than another.  I do keep myself in check in front of the kiddos, though. 

 

It's tough.  I really do love swearing.   :laugh:

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I'll refrain when it comes to actual swear words around people who don't use them, but I refuse to censor myself to the point that I can't even say "darn it." Someone that sensitive probably wouldn't enjoy hanging out with me, anyway.

Right. I don't censor myself. I mainly do it when my kids are going to be around smaller kids whose parents don't allow it.

 

I tend not to socialize too much with people who think, "darn" and "butt" are bad words.

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Well, fudge. "Crappy" and "sucks" are swear words? I must live on a different planet. I guess I'm crasser than I thought.

 

No, I wouldn't change my vocabulary or that of my kids because i think some people's standards aren't reasonable, so I'll stick to my own.

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This is my feeling on it. A friend of mine corrected a child for saying a word like this, one that doesn't even register to me as potentially offensive. She wasn't harsh in her reprimand, but said something to the child like, "I'm not very fond of that expression." I did one of those playback reels in my brain, thinking, "Wow. I must bug her an awful lot, because I say a lot of words like that and will throw out a harder word between adults now and then.

 

Now, see, it definitely would bug me if someone did that to my kid, especially if I was right there. My immediate internal response to her statement is, "Well, that is YOUR problem." 

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I don't use those words in front of my kids. It isn't so much that I find them offensive but I don't particularly want my 2 year old saying sucks (we also don't use butt). I don't generally expect others to clean up their language in front of my kids, but I do appreciate it when they do. I assume some day my kids will say those words and it's ok if they do, I just prefer try were older.

 

We have talked about how some words aren't polite to say in public, usually referring to being in a restaurant and talking about body functions at the table.

 

Now I did correct my then 20 year old brother when he was staying with us and kept saying crap in front of my kids. It wasn't that he used it once or twice, but he was using it repeatedly in a conversation and I requested that he rephrase. I knew my brother wouldn't be offended and that if he thought I was making a silly request, he'd say so. I can't imagine myself asking anyone else other than this brother though.

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Well, fudge. "Crappy" and "sucks" are swear words? I must live on a different planet. I guess I'm crasser than I thought.

 

No, I wouldn't change my vocabulary or that of my kids because i think some people's standards aren't reasonable, so I'll stick to my own.

 

In my opinion, sort of. I think of them as on the softer end--not so much swear words, but uglier words. Which is not to say that I don't use them both plenty! But I could see where someone who's more sensitive to that stuff would be a little offended by hearing them. 

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This is my feeling on it. A friend of mine corrected a child for saying a word like this, one that doesn't even register to me as potentially offensive. She wasn't harsh in her reprimand, but said something to the child like, "I'm not very fond of that expression." I did one of those playback reels in my brain, thinking, "Wow. I must bug her an awful lot, because I say a lot of words like that and will throw out a harder word between adults now and then.

 

I wouldn't deal well if it were my child who was reprimanded by her. My instinct would be to say something like 'that sounds like a you problem, not a me problem" but I am not saying it would be the right thing to do.

 

If someone is that delicate in their sensibilities then I am guessing they would not want to be my friend.

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If YOU don't allow soft swear words, do you expect people to change their speech around you? Do you correct their children if/when they are in your care?

 

We don't allow any of these words.  I don't expect other people to change their speech around me and my children, but I do inwardly cringe.  If we are at a co-op, I do not correct other people's children.  If these same children were in my home I would.

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I have taught my children that there are some words that others don't like, but depending on the word I may or may not suggest they not use it.  In our home we do not use swear words.  Words like darn or crud are typically okay if not overused.  There are some words that we don't use because DH and I find them crass, but most people wouldn't blink an eye at using.  It is hard for my youngest because when he hears them he gets upset, and I have to remind him that they aren't bad words, just words mommy and daddy don't like and are okay for others to say.  He is very black and white in his thinking and has a hard time with that concept.

 

We got into quite a interesting discussion once when one of my children said "I hate" something.  I believe it was some sort of food or movie.  My nephew was very upset that DS had said the word hate and my nephew told DS that he had said a bad word. I told DS he was fine and then BIL and his wife got involved saying it was inappropriate to use the word hate.  It was a really stupid (another word they don't want used around their child) discussion.  In the end I told my children to not worry about it.  They don't need to sensor every word they say, but if they think of it at the time to try to avoid those words.  I am not going to get on them about it however.

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My oldest says "what the heck" with his peer group. When he is talking to anyone else he filters and say "what the" and leave out the heck part. That's probably the only swear word he use as we don't censor swearing at home.
My younger thinks even soft swear words are impolite but he won't tell anyone off.

ETA:
My kids also use OMG as in the letters. If they say it in words they would say "Oh My" instead of "Oh my gosh".

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Yes, I generally sound a lot more civil outside of my own house/car.  ;)  I try to be considerate and not use crass language if I suspect it may offend someone.  I teach my kids the same.  My kids spend a lot of time around religious and foreign people who would consider "soft swearing" disrespectful.

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Well, fudge. "Crappy" and "sucks" are swear words? I must live on a different planet. I guess I'm crasser than I thought.

 

I'm going to guess 'fudge' is probably on the no-no list as well, fyi.

 

Personally, I think the other person would be SOL. I don't think I could filter out those words if I wanted to. I'm usually pretty good at leaving out the f-word and the like if I feel there's a need*, but every word that is remotely offensive? No.

 

*Not that often. If one of my kids is acting up at the playground they can get a "what the **** are you doing?!" yelled at them (depending on my mood), from the other end of the playground. But at something like homeschool swim & gym at the Y, I try not to do that. For one, pretty much everyone in homeschool swim&gym is religious and most of them seem like the type of people who'd have a problem with that, and two, it's in a program, not just wherever. I also try to not swear in C's school. Playgrounds, grocery stores, etc are fair game though.

Edited by Susan Wise Bauer
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We got into quite a interesting discussion once when one of my children said "I hate" something.  I believe it was some sort of food or movie.

 

I think some people seriously overuse the word 'hate'. I've told C at least a couple of times that he wasn't allowed to say "I hate x" anymore (with x being something specific). Saying "I hate x" can come across as a very bad attitude (and yes, I'm aware swearing can come across as a bad attitude as well, and if my kids are overusing swear words they get a talk about that as well). It's subjective, but I don't like people throwing "I hate" around casually.

 

ETA: I wouldn't correct other people's kids' vocabulary if their parents are right there. However, if their parents are not right there, I might act in loco parentis and say something if the kids go way overboard and every other word is a swear word or hate. Like "guys, there are times that swearing is okay, but you're overdoing it".

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My child learned to say "dang it" and "darn it" from his teacher at school (apparently, these words appeared in books she was reading aloud to them and she used them constantly in class after that - Roald Dahl, maybe)! And I never stopped to consider that they were swear words until I saw this thread  :huh:  I am more of a slacker mom than I thought  :eek:

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My husband's favorite teacher and mentor from his childhood remained a friend until her death a few years ago. She wouldn't allow anything that even resembled swearing - we couldn't say 'oh my goodness' because it was close to 'oh my God'. I thought it was ridiculous but I valued her as a person more than I valued my use of 'salty' language, so I censored myself. I've tried to teach my kids the same thing. Swear words are cultural constructs that (generally, like 'darn' and 'crappy') aren't offensive in themselves, but can offend some people and we want to avoid doing that. There are some words I don't like (sucks comes to mind) and I don't allow. But my kids know that's just my preference. 

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I guess I really don't understand how the line gets drawn for the soft swear words like darn and crud. Those are words that are said instead of the words people don't really want to hear. So they shouldn't be offensive, because they're NOT the actual swear word. Would the same people find "Oh no!" or "Oh my goodness!" to be soft swear words as well? Is the real problem the expression of an "unacceptable" emotion? 

 

This has confused me for a long time now. 

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My husband's favorite teacher and mentor from his childhood remained a friend until her death a few years ago. She wouldn't allow anything that even resembled swearing - we couldn't say 'oh my goodness' because it was close to 'oh my God'. I thought it was ridiculous but I valued her as a person more than I valued my use of 'salty' language, so I censored myself. I've tried to teach my kids the same thing. Swear words are cultural constructs that (generally, like 'darn' and 'crappy') aren't offensive in themselves, but can offend some people and we want to avoid doing that. There are some words I don't like (sucks comes to mind) and I don't allow. But my kids know that's just my preference. 

 

Ha, I was asking about that as you were posting.

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 Swear words are cultural constructs that (generally, like 'darn' and 'crappy') aren't offensive in themselves, but can offend some people and we want to avoid doing that. 

 

Isn't 'crappy' offensive?  Words for faeces are usually considered to be swear words unless in baby/medical language.  'Darn' is a euphemism and is in a different category.

 

I don't swear much myself but I don't police others (apart from my own children - talking about appropriate registers for different occasions) but I've always been confused by the status of the word 'crap'.

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Well, I opened this thread to see what a soft swear word was. I use ALL the soft swear words and some that I have made up. I would not use them if I knew someone didn't like them, because I desire to respect people's wishes. However, if it were that big of a deal, I would probably limit my time around that person. The scenario you described in which someone commented on your child's word would have ticked me off. Not their business, imo.

 

My oldest sometimes uses language I don't like, and I tell him not to talk that way around me. I'm his mom and I feel I deserve that respect. I think it is sweet that my dil knows how I feel and doesn't use those words around me, but I wouldn't comment if she did. I also don't comment on other adults' language. It's not my business. And I certainly would never comment on a child's language with their parent right there. Not my job.

 

ETA: I also enjoy the use of non-American swear words like bloody and arse. But I will only use those in front of my immediate family.

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My younger sister doesn't allow the softer words said in her home at all. The last time we were there I said something like "darn it" and several of her children stopped in their tracks and told me in no uncertain terms that they didn't say those words. That was a little much. I respect that it's her home and her rules, but to have her kids practically yell at me for saying something I consider innocuous was annoying. We live several thousand miles from her, so it doesn't come up very much. But I do find myself reminding my kids that "Aunt so-and-so doesn't like, darn, gosh, goodness, etc, so we don't say it at her house." It makes me feel judged by her and her family and that hurts and hurts our relationship and the relationship between our kids--cousins.

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I guess I really don't understand how the line gets drawn for the soft swear words like darn and crud. Those are words that are said instead of the words people don't really want to hear. So they shouldn't be offensive, because they're NOT the actual swear word. Would the same people find "Oh no!" or "Oh my goodness!" to be soft swear words as well? Is the real problem the expression of an "unacceptable" emotion? 

 

This has confused me for a long time now. 

 

I am more sensitive than most about language, but this is basically where I draw the line.

 

If the "soft" word sounds like the "hard" word from across the room it is not ok.

 

If it is something that I would not want my children to say in church or in front of the pastor it is also not ok.

 

I believe that our speech should be pleasing before God; I use the example of the pastor because he is visible.

 

I know that many will disagree with me; I'm posting to try to answer the question from my pov.

 

 

I used to say "growly" occasionally when I was upset/frustrated.  My ds asked me to stop because he was offended by it.  Although the word itself is not "bad", my attitude was.  I believe that he was right.  With the "soft" words, attitude matters.

 

 

Edited to add:  When I say us/our I mean my family, not the board.  I'm not responsible for all of you. :)

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Soft swear words IS me modifying my language, so no, I couldn't be around someone that wouldn't allow me to use them. They'll just have to clutch their pearls every time I say "darn it". I do allow my children to swear (some... not constantly) but tell them not to at co-op, church or around my mother. Or around the baby but we're not very good about that yet.

 

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I wouldn't deal well if it were my child who was reprimanded by her. My instinct would be to say something like 'that sounds like a you problem, not a me problem" but I am not saying it would be the right thing to do.

 

If someone is that delicate in their sensibilities then I am guessing they would not want to be my friend.

It wasn't my own child she was correcting. It was another homeschooled playmate; the child's mom was not present. I know the mom pretty well, though, and I am confident she would faint on finding that someone feels averse enough to the phrase to remark on it.

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I am more sensitive than most about language, but this is basically where I draw the line.

 

If the "soft" word sounds like the "hard" word from across the room it is not ok.

 

If it is something that I would not want my children to say in church or in front of the pastor it is also not ok.

 

I believe that our speech should be pleasing before God; I use the example of the pastor because he is visible.

 

I know that many will disagree with me; I'm posting to try to answer the question from my pov.

 

 

I used to say "growly" occasionally when I was upset/frustrated. My ds asked me to stop because he was offended by it. Although the word itself is not "bad", my attitude was. I believe that he was right. With the "soft" words, attitude matters.

 

 

Edited to add: When I say us/our I mean my family, not the board. I'm not responsible for all of you. :)

Thanks for contributing your thoughts to the thread. How does this work out IRL? I would think you would spend a lot of time inwardly cringing about the speech habits of most of the population. I hang out with some very straight-laced folks, but almost everyone uses some of these words, at least some of the time.

 

And, to the part I bolded: I think this is where it gets interesting, because if one grows up in a family culture that is not bothered by these words, then they probably WON'T care if they said it in front of the priest.

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I'm going to guess 'fudge' is probably on the no-no list as well, fyi.

 

Personally, I think the other person would be SOL. I don't think I could filter out those words if I wanted to. I'm usually pretty good at leaving out the f-word and the like if I feel there's a need*, but every word that is remotely offensive? No.

 

*Not that often. If one of my kids is acting up at the playground they can get a "what the **** are you doing?!" yelled at them (depending on my mood), from the other end of the playground. But at something like homeschool swim & gym at the Y, I try not to do that. For one, pretty much everyone in homeschool swim&gym is religious and most of them seem like the type of people who'd have a problem with that, and two, it's in a program, not just wherever. I also try to not swear in C's school. Playgrounds, grocery stores, etc are fair game though.

 

Well, that would be unexpected...

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My oldest says "what the heck" with his peer group. When he is talking to anyone else he filters and say "what the" and leave out the heck part. That's probably the only swear word he use as we don't censor swearing at home.

My younger thinks even soft swear words are impolite but he won't tell anyone off.

 

ETA:

My kids also use OMG as in the letters. If they say it in words they would say "Oh My" instead of "Oh my gosh".

I had a friend tell my son not to say "what the." It was one of many clues that we were way too far apart on parenting things to have a close long term friendship. We are relaxed about language in our house. But we all can self-censor for the grandmas.

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I am more sensitive than most about language, but this is basically where I draw the line.

 

If the "soft" word sounds like the "hard" word from across the room it is not ok.

 

If it is something that I would not want my children to say in church or in front of the pastor it is also not ok.

 

I believe that our speech should be pleasing before God; I use the example of the pastor because he is visible.

 

I know that many will disagree with me; I'm posting to try to answer the question from my pov.

 

 

I used to say "growly" occasionally when I was upset/frustrated.  My ds asked me to stop because he was offended by it.  Although the word itself is not "bad", my attitude was.  I believe that he was right.  With the "soft" words, attitude matters.

 

 

Edited to add:  When I say us/our I mean my family, not the board.  I'm not responsible for all of you. :)

 

Thank you for explaining that. Please know that I'm not trying to change your mind or argue, but to understand.

 

Isn't this asking someone else to control your own thoughts and behavior? For example, if someone said "Shoot!" and you're afraid you're going to hear and be made to think "$h!t," telling them not to say shoot makes your problem their problem. No? And about "growly," again, isn't that also making someone else responsible for your thoughts and behavior? Isn't someone entitled to their own emotional state without having to worry about upsetting those around them? (To a certain degree, obviously. You don't get to go around abusing people because you're unhappy!)

 

I guess I can't fathom being so affected by those around me that I'm unable to control my own emotions. I feel like it's a short walk from here to "It's your fault that I did X, Y, or Z." This is what it sounds like on my side of the issue, and it concerns me. I'm uncomfortable being made to carry the emotional burden for others. Does that make sense?

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