Recently, I’ve encountered two incidents on some social media sites from acquaintances. My immediate reaction is anger, but then I take a deep breath, wait a while to cool down and then respond. Even then, I’m sure my responses could be nicer. I wonder if I’m doing more harm than good. Like the saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I tend to be more vinegary.
The first comment came from an acquaintance who is an elementary school teacher. She posted a video of a guy playing a guitar. Rather than strumming, he tapped the guitar. Her comment was “Tourette’s or talent?”
I replied that that comment hurt me, as I have a son with TS and it isn’t something to be made light of. She wrote back saying that it wasn’t meant to be derogatory — that it was more of a compliment. Yeah right. I said, “So if you replaced Tourette’s with autism or epilepsy, do you think that would be taken as a compliment?” I told her that I hoped she would educate herself about TS, because chances are, she will have a student with TS at some point.
Another person made a joke about coprolalia. My response, “I hope your children don’t have TS. Believe me, it’s not funny.”
How do you respond?