General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

When is it right to verbally hurt another person?

Asked by ninjacolin (13349 points ) October 25th, 2011

What kinds of moments do people tend to feel it is okay to be verbally aggressive, cruel, teasing, insulting and mean?

Can you ever truly justify a firey tongue lashing towards another person?

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17 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Personally, I never think it’s o.k. or right to be “aggressive, cruel, teasing, insulting and mean” to hurt another person. Angry, yes, justified anger yes. A little good natured teasing? Sure. Assertive sometimes, yes, but what does one accomplish by cruel, insulting and mean? I don’t get any pleasure from it, it serves no purpose but to hurt someone else. But have I ever done, just hurt someone with my words? Yes, I have on a few occasions, I’m only human, but I apologized and never, ever would have considered my behavior “right” or justified, just bad behavior when I was caught in the heat of the moment, in an argument.

linguaphile's avatar

I don’t think it’s ever okay to be cruel, insulting or mean. Or malicious, vindictive or sadistic. I just can’t go into ‘acceptance zone’ with those behaviors. Aggressive has its value in some settings and teasing is too varied. It can be fun and lighthearted, and that’s perfectly okay.

I do think that, if you accidentally hurt someone while teasing, it warrants an apology.

A fiery tongue lashing— it depends on how, along with the intent and motivation. If it’s in self-defense and intended to set boundaries, clarify expectations, etc, then I think sometimes it’s warranted, but if it’s cruel, then no it’s not necessary. Where I am coming from is sometimes people don’t give a FF what you have to say until you get angry enough to get their attention, then they finally listen. That’s not cruelty, but setting your expectations.

AshLeigh's avatar

My immediate thought was “Never…” but then I started thinking about all the times I had to be mean, for people to get the point. Unless I yelled, and called them nasty names, they would never stop. Because they are those kinds of people.
So I guess when it’s the only thing you haven’t tried to get someone to leave you alone…

Blackberry's avatar

When someone is raping you? Trying to kill you? Cursing at your grandma?

jonsblond's avatar

Never. I don’t care if you had a bad day, if you care for me, you’ll never say anything that will truly hurt me personally. I’ve never said anything hurtful to my best friend. She’s never said anything hurtful to me (we’ve been best friends for 33 years now).

or what the lovely ladies (and berry) above me said =)

whitetigress's avatar

I just got whooped in StarCraft2. And the winner was pretty mean spirited. I don’t know its necessarily bad or good to verbally abuse someone, but I’d rather keep away from those mean spirited peoples.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Nullo's avatar

Never okay, but likely to happen when you are pushed to the limit of your patience. There are cases where it’s excusable.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s ever right. That’s not to say I haven’t done it, but it wasn’t right. Even teasing, once you know it is hurtful, should stop and an apology should be given.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Never. Why would you want to hurt someone? They’d have to push me pretty far to get me to respond that way.

Coloma's avatar

No insulting cruelty, verbal abuse, misguided and passive aggressive “teasing/joking” is ever acceptable, but, sometimes a very firm, no nonsense confrontation is necessary.
Nobody likes confrontation, but, I tend to think that there are times when another persons soul needs to hear some unpleasant truths.

I laid it on the line with an ex friend some months ago, I was ready to let go of the relationship sooo, I had nothing to lose. It was about speaking MY truth in response to her manipulative game playing. I know she was shocked, oh well, it needed to be addressed and she proved herself to be the hypocrite and fraud that she was. Exposing others false self images is sometimes the BEST thing you can do. Jig up! haha

phaedryx's avatar

Rap battles?

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Skaggfacemutt's avatar

It is justified when the alternative is to physically clobber the jerk that drove me to it. I can’t just sit there and let someone verbally tear into me and not defend myself.

Nullo's avatar

When is it right to physically hurt another person?

AshLeigh's avatar

@Nullo , I don’t think that applies here.
Verbally hurting another person is still not okay when they are verbally hurting you.
However, when someone is trying to kill you, it is absolutely okay to physically hurt them, in order to protect yourself.

dabbler's avatar

Hurt ? Never.

But I think it’s arguably not hurtful to be screaming whatever at an attacker, you might be merely getting their attention and causing no hurt. Getting hurt by verbal tirade implies you care about what’s being said.

Even from a completely selfish point of view you would not want to intentionally hurt someone else because to do that you first have to put yourself into a hurt frame of mind.
Does neither of you any good.

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