Again, I think we agree — if you have a phobia, you have two choices:
- Avoid your phobia at all costs;
- Learn how to cope with your phobia.
Obviously, if someone learns how to cope with their phobia, they become stronger. Obviously, there are some people who can never become that strong, and so they spend the rest of their lives avoiding needles. I suggest we respect both alternatives, but try to help people cope wherever possible.
Again, the premise here is that inappropriate banter can (and is often intended to) strengthen social bonds by increasing trust — and if we are the type of person who can never engage in that kind of trust, we miss out on important opportunities. I accept that there are some people who simply cannot strengthen themselves, and get over their phobias or discomfort, and I genuinely pity them.
Now, the flip side of this is that there are certainly ways of increasing trust that don’t include inappropriate banter, but I suspect that people who cannot handle inappropriate banter have a difficult time building trust in other ways as well, having very sensitive defenses. Perhaps the best response for people unable to get over their phobias is something to the tune of “Hey, that kind of talk really offends me. I know you were trying to develop some trust, and don’t want to discourage you from that, but it’s better to approach me with Kitten GIFS to get my trust, rather than talk about Polish bartenders.” This presupposes that the person can actually express concrete ways to gain their trust, of course.