DEAR CAROLYN: My boyfriend and I are both avid readers and he recently finished a book by a well-known author with a very distinct writing style. He decided to read a new book by this same author, which I have already read. When we were sitting down last Sunday to read over coffee, he pulled out his book, to which I said, “That book is wild! I think you are going to like it.”
Carolyn Hax: He gets to retire, and I have to keep working
Carolyn Hax: Unless he gets this, I won’t have kids with him
Carolyn Hax: Grandpa says why bother caring about the stepkids
Carolyn Hax: Making the best of a broken engagement
Carolyn Hax: My friends’ homes showed me how abnormal my family was
He got upset that I ruined his chance at having an unadulterated first impression while reading it. I replied, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I really didn’t mean to ruin anything, and I don’t think I did ruin anything — this author has a wild writing style.” This, in his eyes, was a non-apology, which I admitted it was, and told him I would never say anything about a book ahead of time again.
It led us to a conversation about how beholden the offender ought to be to apologize when they think there has been an overreaction. I know overreaction is totally in the eye of the beholder, but even my boyfriend admitted his reaction was a bit much, especially since I really didn’t mean to ruin anything for him; a lot hinges on the descriptive “wild” here.
What do you think? If someone overreacts, can the original offender let them know they think that? Is that unfeeling? Or does it just totally depend on the situation?
DEAR WILD READERS: If anything, it’s the opposite — it totally depends on the aggregate.
When you take each situation individually, there’s always a way to spin it into one person’s overreaction, or, from the other side, one person’s dismissiveness of the other’s feelings. Especially when both of you …
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle