Last night, a friend and I used World of Warcraft's dungeon finder to join a 5-man group for a dungeon. I was very impressed with everyone, and the run went perfectly smooth from start to finish. Except after the 3rd or 4th boss, they all decided to tell me "ur gay". This is the first time I've turned a whole party on me like this.
What does "ur gay" even mean?
I didn't have a retort or defense on hand. I only tried to ignore it and keep things up as usual, but they only said it more.
I thought about this a lot until it dawned on me...People are very emotional creatures. I decided that "ur gay" usually doesn't mean what the words themselves mean. It is merely a part of internet culture that for many has come to represent distaste for another person. If you look at the emotion behind the words, it's simply a way to communicate negative feelings towards another.
I tend to talk a lot, so obviously, it was either something I said, or just the excessiveness of it that set them off. Again, this is my emotion coming through...it was the first time I'd played the dungeon, so I was showing lots of enthusiasm, excitement, and friendliness as frequently as possible.
It is very tempting to retort when one insults you. I tried to think of cruel, witty things to say or do to get back at them, but that didn't seem like it would help anything. Continuing to chatter the way I like to didn't work, either. But seeing the insult as a representation of an emotion makes the statement very clear. Rather than "ur gay," they might have said, "Something you said (or Some things you said) have made me uncomfortable/upset/bothered."
Stated like this, it's far more clear how to respond. If someone is hurt by what you said, you can simply apologize, try to clear possible misunderstandings, and offer to change your behavior.
Suppose the conversation had gone like this:
"Oh, I'm sorry, did something I say bother you?"
"Yeah, you're annoying"
"You mean I'm talking too much?"
"And stop using !!! all the time."
"Sorry about that...I was just excited because it's the first time I've been in this dungeon. I'll try to tone back and say things that are more relevant to beating this dungeon."
I think that could have resulted in them coming off with a much better perception of me, and they might have dropped the whole "ur gay" thing at that point.
Saying sorry is important too. People generally forgive when you apologize. And if not, you did your best to keep the experience positive for everyone.
Still...it would have tasted so sweet to just stop lending heals on that final boss *evil grin*.