Ask For Clarification On What Was Said Before Taking Offence

Ask For Clarification On What Was Said Before Taking Offence
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Even your closest friend might say something that offends you. Whether you think it was unintentionally insensitive or a bluntly phrased form of feedback, you should ask for clarification on what your friend really meant to say. Otherwise, if you leave the incident hanging in the air, you might grow to resent your friend.

Picture: Kat N.L.M/Flickr

Clarifying is simple, but isn’t exactly the most instinctive or easiest thing in the world to express, especially if you haven’t done it before or if a certain amount of time has passed since the incident. Author Laura Coe shares two phrases you can ask your friend to clarify what they meant:

  • “I am sure you did not mean anything by this, but when you said _____, it hurt my feelings.”
  • “When you said __ I took it to mean ___. Is that what you meant?”

Starting the conversation will be awkward and tough to endure, but you should speak up rather than bury your feelings. It will be better for yourself — and for your relationships and friendships — in the long run.

How To Handle Resentment [Laura Coe]


  • If only it were that easy, I tell my wife that all the time doesnt help much. She ‘suffers’ from a high intentionality bias, anything that can be taken negatively is taken that way.

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