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Some Basic Facts About Human Nature

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12/29/2014 9:40:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Before I begin, I should say that this isn't targeted at one specific person, so much as it is generally directed at the site, because I feel like it's something that should be said....

It should come as a surprise to precisely no one that when a person criticizes another, especially without merit, the other is not going to not respond in a way that is going to be favorable to the person doing the criticizing. I say this because in the past three weeks or so, it seems like people think the opposite is true: that unwarranted criticism is going to produce beneficial outcomes. Rather, it's going to make the person being criticized think very poorly of the one doing the criticizing, and it's generally going to damage any future relations or interactions between them.

But YYW, don't you criticize people?

I do, and when I do, I do it privately rather than publicly, and I take the time to explain to someone exactly what has happened/what they did and what they should have done instead. The reason I do this is because I don't believe that publicly bruising egos is something that's a good thing to do. Max is probably the person more than anyone else who has persuaded me to that way of thinking -and it's the reason that moderation is usually kept private. I understand that, and I think it's a good policy.

The reason it's important, if you have an issue with someone, to discuss it with them privately is that only then do you have any reasonable chance of correcting the problem. When you criticize someone publicly, you're going to put them on the defensive and that's going to usually end well for exactly no one. If you try to reason with someone privately, alternatively, you let them keep their ego in tact and you open up the space to reasonably discuss what they did wrong and how to fix it. But that said... there are very few people on this site who have both the standing to do that, and the wisdom to do it effectively. So, as a general policy it's best to just shut up rather than risk making a fool out of yourself.

I say this because in the real world, we all have some opportunities to criticize others. The risk in that is that there is a very real possibility that you, the potential criticizer, are speaking about something from a position of ignorance. The implication to that is that you're forming an opinion about something that's based on a combination of incomplete information and subjective perception which is going to really prevent you from having anything meaningful to say about the thing that's caused you to have a desire to criticize others.

There's this phrase out there which goes to the tune of "seek to understand before seeking to be understood," and it's a good policy to live by. The reason is that if you criticize others, and you do it publicly, you're going to get a reputation for that kind of thing and it's going to follow you. In school, and in workplaces, having that kind of a reputation can have some serious consequences -especially if you get a reputation for "shooting your mouth off" by criticizing others when you really have no idea what's going on at all. The implication there is that it's going to make you a prime candidate to be let go from a job (like, your employer will look for an excuse to fire you), and your friends will exclude you from activities.

The really curious thing about all of this is that you, the criticizer, are probably going to have no idea what's happening -like, you're not going to understand why you got fired from your job or why your friends stopped talking to you, just as surely as you didn't understand the situations that you had the temerity to voice your opinion about in the first place. Usually, people figure this out by about age 18 or so.... but I post this here because I think that it's lost upon several here.
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12/29/2014 1:01:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I appear to have read this subconsciously lol, then come again to give it a fair shot, and it's a pile of bullsh*t.
Posts: 8,281
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1/3/2015 9:33:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2014 9:59:29 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I am so totally going to read this lol
The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realizethat the same fate overtakes them both.
Then I said to myself,
"The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?"
I said to myself, "This too is meaningless."
For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!
- Ecclesiastes 2:14-16