We do it occasionally. Some more than most. It’s rarely deliberate and we don’t expect it to bite. Most perpetrators have no idea. But it does have an affect. Sometimes it bites a lot deeper than we think.
Have you ever noticed that individuals react strangely to you for no apparent reason. Why is this? What did you do? Probably nothing right? Maybe they’ve taken something out of context?
It is possible to reduce these reactions. Surely you’re not expected to know how individuals react to your comments. Are we? But the onus is on you. We need to be aware of those around us.
Depending on where the individual sees you in their life will affect the impact you have. Take for example a careless throw away comment from a boss to a new starter. The new starter will probably not react there and then, unsure how to react but you can be sure that he or she will stew on the comment for the day, probably the night and almost certainly the next morning when they see their boss again.
If your aim to to hurt someone then this post is not for you. If your aim is to make conversation, crack a joke or simply respond without any malice then just stop and think about what you’re going to say. Its an easy habit to develop. Watch out for the positive reactions.