My advice on correcting people

I have some personal basic rules on correcting people.  They all come back to a theme common throughout my blog: ask yourself, what does my correction offer someone?

For example, take this scene from Friends with Benefits here:

I am completely on Mila’s side:  “Did you understand what I was saying?  Then don’t be a dick about it.”

It’s one thing if a person is making a mistake that could cost them something, then by all means suggest a modification.  For example, if you are in an academic setting and correcting someone could affect a grade or prevent him or her from looking like a fool in front of the class, then genuine correction may be offered.

It’s when the correction is so very unnecessary to the progress of life yet a person finds it necessary to interrupt in the middle of a conversation to correct something that was said – that is what I find so rude.

It is often with our friends and family that we do this the most, and it is a habit I’m trying to break myself.

If you do find yourself having to correct someone, just be sure to do it in a polite way. Don’t be haughty or condescending – you’re not better than anyone else for being privy to certain information.

My general advice is only correct when necessary to prevent someone from making a fool of his or herself, prevent them losing credibility at work or school, and always be kind about it.


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