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Your_Majesty's avatar

Which one do you think is more damaging; the 'indirect humiliation' or the 'direct humiliation'?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212points) April 19th, 2010

Example: When one wants to humiliate a poor person in front of other rich people. He/she use two ways:

The indirect way: “What a surprise to see you here. That dress,it looks so dirty,where did you buy that? You know people around here,Mr. A is a rich business man,he own a big casino in LA,Mr. B is the owner of one of the biggest diamond factory in this state,and Mr. C is just another millionaire. And you? Oh forgive me,I really have no intention to say this…but you…you know…..

The direct way: “You poor ******! this place is just for well-moneyed people! Get out of here! You poor ******!

So Which one you think is a more damaging humiliation for you?
If you think the ‘indirect humiliation’ is more damaging then what kind of indirect humiliation you ever heard in your life?
It’s weird enough as we know the ‘indirect way’ is basically intended to less damages the target.

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26 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Actually, the scenario that you describe is only humiliating to the object if that person feels inferior.

It is, however, directly humiliating to the speaker.

DarkScribe's avatar

Is that chip weighing you down as much as it appears to be doing? Why would wealthy people want to do something like that? You really do seem to have some strange ideas about wealth and the people who have it. I find both of your proposed approaches clumsy and more likely to embarrass the person uttering them.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think the indirect way of dealing with anything is worse.I like directness when being insulted ;)

Kismet's avatar

To myself, I think direct humiliation is the worst, because that least indirect is something you have to catch on to.

I haven’t really been too humiliated in my life to think of any example.

njnyjobs's avatar

I think that no one in their right mind and stature would be bold enough to say those things. . . at least none of the rich and famous people that I personally know of.

Vunessuh's avatar

I like when someone is direct with me. Being indirect leaves room for people to misunderstand your intentions.
For example, if somebody doesn’t like me, I would prefer if they tell me straight up so I can respect them by keeping my distance.
But if they go about it in an indirect, beat-around-the-bush way, I may not catch onto what they want or don’t want from me. Being indirect also leaves room for people to lie about what the real issue is. If you’re direct, then people will always know where they stand with you and I think it lessons your own distress.

Cruiser's avatar

Direst insults will more often color the insulter as cold, callous and boorish hardly worthy of further indulgence. A well crafted indirect insult can inflict much more harm and opens the door for an equally crafted rebuttal and a well aimed creme pie.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@marinelife I’m curious. May I ask how could it humiliate the speaker?
@DarkScribe We don’t think about the reason whether or not wealthy people will say that. But we process that if it’s said by them. Some of them said that. You just haven’t heard about it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I just assumed your example were just that, exam[ples.

I think the indirect method shows a slighly higher order of processing skills and wit
Oh my dear, is that last year’s Versace?

eden2eve's avatar

I wouldn’t call the first example “indirect”. It’s not at all subtle, and certainly very clumsy. As @DarkScribe said, I think it would be more embarrasing to the speaker than to their “victim”. It’s not at all realistic.

That’s not to say that people never humiliate others indirectly. I don’t think it would matter to me if it was direct or indirect, if I was able to understand that I was being disgraced, it would be all the same to me. And it would probably hurt me. But even then, it reflects more upon the rude abuser than on the object of the insults. People who are truly refined and mature don’t have a need to disparage others, and most intelligent people realize that.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Those are both pretty direct, actually. (The thing about the dress, for example. I would never wear a dress. In public. If it was dirty.)

But if you’d like some indirect insults (we call them “backhanded compliments”), then here are a couple to get you started:

“For someone as poor as you, you managed to dress almost appropriately.”

“I really liked that dress when I had one like it a few years ago.”

“I’m always happy to help the disadvantaged. What can I do for you?”

phillis's avatar

Of course, there are cultural differences that can skew the subtle nuances, as I am sure you already know, Dr. D. For instance, DarkScribe’s (thrid party reference not intended to be rude, DarkScribe) response highlighted how cultural differences can leaves blanks in communication. He was right, though, in that the person speaking such hideous remarks does look bad. But no matter how bad the speaker looks, it does nothing to lessen the pain of the target when those barbs find their mark.

That point being made, direct and indirect nastiness can cut somebody to the bone, so why bother doing either of them? Both inflict damage to their recipients. It’s best not to get too sophisticated in the delivery of such nasty attitudes. All it does is cause unnecessary pain to another human being. There is no honor in that.

gemiwing's avatar

I agree that both examples are rather obvious. Usually I’ve been presented with people using backhanded comments like @CyanoticWasp said. Specifically- ‘That’s a lovely outfit. I had one just like it but grew tired of it years ago’.

I think the less-obvious ones are more insulting because the speaker assumes you are too dense, as is everyone else within earshot, to realize the insult.

marinelife's avatar

Because it shows the speaker to be:

1. influenced by wealth and power to an inordinate degree.
2. totally declasse enough to put someone down and/or judge someone based on the amount of money they have.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

For me it would depend on the subject of my humiliation and who all would be witnessing. My concern would be for who would see or hear (fallout) more than my own discomfort versus the rude speaker.

Trillian's avatar

Your examples smack of the juvenile. Adults do not speak this way. @DarkScribe is correct in his assessment. The only rich people that I can imagine speaking that way would be some idiot who won the lottery and had no basic understanding about society and no class.
Neither phrase is damaging or humiliating except, as others have already pointed out, to the speaker. Who is most likely in the 8th grade.

SeventhSense's avatar

They are both ugly but the first is uglier in it’s weasely nature.

Arisztid's avatar

I reinforce that the situation is humiliating if you feel inferior. Otherwise it is annoying.

In many places of the midwest, there are signs that appear by cash registers, discreetly, that say to watch your tills, Gypsies are in town. If you do not believe me, I have testimony. I do not feel inferior so it does not humiliate me.

As far as subtle nastiness vs. outright, give it to me outright, please.

phillis's avatar

In an ideal world, yes, personal attacks, spiteful comments, an verbal barbs won’t hurt a recipient because that person stands secure in the knowledge of their self-worth. However, that is far removed from current reality. If the former were the case, internet trolls would starve to death from lack of attention. A Jelly would not have to publicly suggest not to point our friends who throw painful barbs at other people. Barbs DO hurt. Snide comments DO hurt. Until everyone reaches total enlightenment, it will always hurt. It’s best we accept that, if we hope to make the world a better place while those of us who choose to, work on personal enlightenment.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Humiliation comes not from the giver but from the receiver. If a person is wearing a suit from the 7-s to a business meeting and someone there says “Wow, I never knew my father’s fashion was making a comeback”. The person in a suit can take it 2 ways, he can say “I am Avant-garde I am glad you recognize”, or he could feel bad he wasn’t wearing Louis Vuitton, Armani or something like that. No person can make you feel humiliates if you don’t let them.

phillis's avatar

@Trillian See? You aren’t the only person who thinks that way :)

DarkScribe's avatar

@Doctor_D DarkScribe We don’t think about the reason whether or not wealthy people will say that. But we process that if it’s said by them. Some of them said that. You just haven’t heard about it.

Are you sure about that? I come from a wealthy family. I have spent much of my life socialising with wealthy and influential people.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@DarkScribe Yes I’m sure. As I said I heard it from other rich people. Maybe richness and wealthiness won’t always define one’s moral.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Doctor_D Yes I’m sure. As I said I heard it from other rich people.

You can’t always believe what other people say.

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