Critiques with sprinkles on top

I asked a question in my “Let’s do this Together” Facebook group the other day and it got me thinking and most of the time the best way I figure things out is to write it out.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to tell someone something that you thought would help but could also hurt his or her feelings?

Yeah, I know, pretty vague.

But my point isn’t a specific situation as much as a broad question about us as a society right now.

Yesterday I saw an Instagram post from a woman who walked around with two different earrings on all day, and no one said anything. I mean, I know that’s not in the league of toilet paper stuck to her shoe; but still, no one said anything?

I’ve pointed out typos to a few blogging friends in the past, and for the most part it was appreciated. But one blogger I shared my observation with got her feelings hurt, and I felt terrible.

So I don’t do that anymore.

There have been a few times lately that I’ve wanted to say something to someone but then stop myself. “It’s none of my business,” I tell myself. I keep it all surfacy and find “something nice to say.”

Have we become so afraid to communicate and share?

Did the social media pendulum swing from contention and anger to fear of saying anything that could in any way be misconstrued to be a slight?

The other day I stumbled upon the last part of an NPR interview with one of the authors of “The Coddling of the American Mind.” It was fascinating, and I had to wonder if this type of behavior is occurring outside campuses as well.

“In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.”

That line caught my attention and surprised me. Have we stopped teaching critical thinking? If so, how will these young people be able to cope in a world that is filled with unintended people who may direct a “micro-aggression” their way?

Is being hurt always a bad thing?

I’ve been unintentionally hurt by another’s words towards me, but I didn’t crumble or drink a fifth of vodka and throw myself on the train tracks. I actually learned from each one of these times and in some cases was even able to turn the tables and teach them too.

That’s a good thing, right?

I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from difficult conversations and interactions about myself and the world around me.

Who knows, maybe the pendulum will swing back to the middle; and we will once again interact with critiques but sprinkled with kindness?

For now I am just going to keep saying, “It’s none of my business”; and smile politely.

It’s probably none of my business.

Oh, and I’m okay of you point out my typos.

Reader Comments

  1. Susie

    Your reflections on this topic so perfectly describe my thoughts in this as well! How will we grow and reach for excellence without the helpful advice and input from those around us. This is also an issue in the work environment with some people not being willing to accept correction from their managers and bosses! Hopefully things will change!!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Well said Susie. Interesting that it’s in the work place too. How, indeed, will we grow in this environment!?

  2. Karen

    I think a lot of it has to do with how we comment on something. A few years ago I was in a meeting & the person leading the meeting was a well dressed/styled woman. She took off her blazer and I noticed that her shirt/cami underneath was on inside out! certainly she didn’t intend that! At the next break I took her aside & told her – she was very grateful

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      I think you are right Karen. But it’s also how the other person hears it. We must be open to suggestions or critiques without defense…although it isn’t easy at times.

  3. Cindy Scurry

    I definitely want to hear critiques, about typos, if my shirt is inside out, etc. I’m okay hearing tough words in order to grow. I like being nice, but I mostly appreciate honesty. I don’t have any time for haters just for the sake of being hateful. Between you and me…let’s keep it real and be each others sister. Tell me when I have lip stick on my teeth or if you have a suggestion. I’m all ears!

  4. Rebecca

    One person getting hurt should not make you afraid to do the right thing. Tell me if I have typos. You have in the past. Very few folks will block your good intentions. Let them miss out.

  5. Nancy Giacolone

    “Oh, and I’m okay of you point out my typos…” Pretty sure you meant to say “if you point out my typos!” ;-0

    I still say something when I feel like it would be accepted. I am careful about how it is presented and try to do it in the most caring way possible. Personally, I feel if we can’t be honest with each other, what is the point.

    One thing I DON’T comment on very often, but want to is all of the “secret products and services” that you can only find out about through DMing the poster. I find this incredibly annoying and disingenuous.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Glad you caught my typo…I couldn’t resist throwing it in there!

      And, I so agree with you about the “DM me and I’ll tell you” BS!!

  6. Linda Cassidy

    I think we all need to stop saying to ourselves it’s none of our business and maybe make it so. I would rather a moment of embarrassment from something in my tooth vs realizing I went a whole day with no one saying anything. Plus we need to tell our kids no, and it’s not OK, and stand up.
    I once went all day with two earrings in the same ear, total oops. Great conversation starter though

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      That’s funny Linda (the two earrings)

      I think all of the hate and opposition on social media from our current political climate scared us into saying anything at all! Geez

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