I have thought a lot about the earlier situation, and how I strive to be true to myself regardless of what other people think, feel, say, or do. I thought about how the man may well have been trying to flirt and be funny or cute or clever. I thought about how hard it is for many to even take that risk and initiate contact. I thought about my own leaning toward social dorkiness.
I went back to the message board and asked for advice, including specifics as to what to say to the gentleman, if anything at all. I read over his profile and decided to send him a reply. I did my best to be diplomatic and kind. We shall see how he replies, if at all.
Its hard to know how to respond to people who are rude or just socially inept. We all make mistakes - Heaven only knows how many social faux-pas I commit on a regular basis! I try to give the benefit of the doubt and to be true to myself - which is to try to respond with kindness and compassion. That is in constant conflict, however, with my Jericho Mile of being totally lacking in diplomacy and tact.
So, onward I go, trying to learn how to be less of a social dork and more diplomatic.
When it comes to handling difficult situations, what words and phrases have YOU found to be helpful?