Hi everyone! Today's Reader Reply email is from "C." He asks about a tricky situation - how do you handle being in a group where people use satire and humor that feels hurtful to you?
I am writing to enquire about a conflict that I recently have.
In the coming October, I will start my third year in a math degree in [A particular city]. This summer, I have participated in an undergraduate research project with 3 students. (For convenience, I will name them A, B, C.) We have a Messenger group for all sorts of communication. In the 4th week, I neglected A's will to discuss one math problem, and responded with a bad math idea. Subsequently, all of the 3 groupmates displayed satire in front of one, such as expressing wrong ideas deliberately in a discussion. In the supervisor's meeting last week, they together with the supervisor displayed satire.
In the next few days, I apologized to each person individually (including the supervisor) and listed some possible errors I had made. All of them said that nothing had gone wrong. Today, when I went back to school, A and B continued their verbal satire. Then I became too angry and imitated their way of speaking to retaliate. Now, their verbal abuse in the Messenger group became more serious.
I admit that I had done something wrong, but I think that their actions were much worse. Am I being manipulated? Besides leaving the project, are there any other solutions? Thank you for listening to me.