Author Topic: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"  (Read 17776 times)

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Lisbeth

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"I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« on: August 27, 2010, 03:21:23 PM »
I've seen people respond this way in threads to proposed courses of action that they disagree with.

I'm wondering if etiquette and this forum really support this-yes, the "amazed" person has the right to feel as they do, but so does the person who says that they will take that course of action, and it can come across as really snarky, even if that's not what was intended by the "amazed" poster.  I don't think a person who says that they would do something would say so if that wasn't the case.
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AprilRenee

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2010, 03:23:50 PM »
I dislike it to honestly. I don't know if it's rude but it really comes off as disapproval of the poster(s) they disagree with.

DangerMouth

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 03:42:16 PM »
I've both done this, and responded to this.

While I really think it's it's OK to say "wow, I am absolutely gobsmacked by that attitude" I do think that just substituting an "I disagree, and here's why..." works fine in most cases.

Except, there are a few things that I really am gobsmacked about. As with everything else, I'll go with forum concensus on this issue.

supernova

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 03:58:20 PM »
The trouble is that tone is so hard to convey by text alone. 

When a friend tells me something, and I say, "Really?"  I am expressing amazement, shock, sympathy.  When I say this, it comes across the way I mean it.  But I'm almost afraid, anymore, to type it.  Especially when it's so often seen as snarky.

I think there's a sort of reverse Occam's Razor in effect:  if it's possible to read something as snarky, some folks will (and no, I don't mean here specifically; I mean forums in general). 

I think it's very possible that when a person expresses amazement, that they simply are amazed. When I see the word "Really?" I read it kind of like this:

Me: "Wow, people in Ruritania really eat grilled parsnips? Amazing!" 
Politia:  "Yeah, Ruritania is really cool, and I was surprised how good grilled parsnips were!"

And not this:

Me: "Wow, people in Ruritania really eat grilled parsnips? Amazing!" 
Rudine:  "Saphie, how dare you say that?  Politia LIVES in Ruritania, she should know! And as a fellow Ruritanian, I'm offended by your attitude."

The latter exchange would leave me scratching my head, trying to figure out what I missed.

The former exchange would have me fishing for a recipe.  ;)

Lisbeth

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 04:02:34 PM »
Well, I often see this when someone suggests cutting off a relationship or going to the authorities, as in: "Would you really call the police?" or "I'm amazed people are suggesting that the OP cut him off."  So in those circumstances, it does sound rather judgmental that someone made these suggestions.
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MaggieB

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 04:31:00 PM »
I agree that it can be rude, but I think they can also be valid questions in some circumstances.  Sometimes the advice on this forum (any forum, I'm sure) can seem dramatically over the top for the OP's situation.  And I think that's natural because we're all coming from different places with different backgrounds, family relationships, boundaries, triggers, etc. 

Here's an example of what I mean (not based on any particular thread that I can remember):

OP:  I'm so upset today.  Last night my mom called and said that she's concerned that my son isn't reading yet.  According to his doctor/teacher/the books I've read he seems to be developing at a normal rate, but that's not good enough for my mom.  I don't want to let her babysit anymore.  What can I say?

PP1: Oh no!  Anyone who told me to ignore my doctor and my son's teacher with regards to his development so that she could have a perfect precocious little grandson would never see my son or me again!

PP2:  I would be so angry!  Please never leave this woman alone with your son.  Who knows what she will do.  I bet she'll take him to a reading tutor behind your back, undermining everything he's learned in school.

PP3:  I'm really surprised by the suggestions that the OP's mom is somehow unhappy with her grandson or that she would do anything behind the OP's back if they were left alone.  Would you really cut off your relationship with your own mother because she expressed concern about your kid?

Now, we don't know what kind of family dynamic the previous three posters have.  We don't know what their own mothers are like or what other "emotional baggage" they are bringing to their responses.  We don't know if PP1 has a toxic mother she had to cut off after comments like the one in the OP started damaging her family.  Maybe PP3 has a wonderful mother who was a teacher and those questions were part of normal conversation.  If something seems really over the top, it is fair to say that and ask for some clarification.  Of course that should be done as politely as possible. 

I think the "I'm shocked that people on an etiquette site would really advocate..." bothers me more than "is that really how you would handle this if it were happening to you?"  I think the later is valid if you are trying to understand where another poster is coming from.  The former usually just comes off as really "holier than thou."

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 05:02:31 PM »
I think people's past histories also come into play.

For example:  I am often quick to say "Cut him/her off" at the first sign someone is pulling a PA victim/martyr/emotional vampire act.  It sounds pretty cold callous unless you know the back story of my Mother and the years of emotional blackmail, sewage and manipulation she put me through.  I know people like that are never satisfied, they will take and take and take and take until you cut them off.

So from my perspective, I am not being harsh I am trying to warn people and save them from heartache.   So when people ask "Wow, you'd really cut someone off for this?" Yes I would, because I know how exhausting people like that can be.
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MaggieB

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 05:20:51 PM »
I think people's past histories also come into play.

For example:  I am often quick to say "Cut him/her off" at the first sign someone is pulling a PA victim/martyr/emotional vampire act.  It sounds pretty cold callous unless you know the back story of my Mother and the years of emotional blackmail, sewage and manipulation she put me through.  I know people like that are never satisfied, they will take and take and take and take until you cut them off.

So from my perspective, I am not being harsh I am trying to warn people and save them from heartache.   So when people ask "Wow, you'd really cut someone off for this?" Yes I would, because I know how exhausting people like that can be.

I think we all do this to some extent.

You say that you are "often quick to say "cut him/her off" at the first sign someone is pulling a PA victim/martyr/emotional vampire act."  But what if that "first sign" comes ten years into an otherwise healthy relationship?  Your advice would probably seem callous, and I think it would be reasonable for another poster to as if that is really what you think the OP should do.  Of course you standing by your advice may get the OP to really think about whether she is upset about an isolated incident or an increasing pattern of behavior, etc.

So again, I do think it's a fair question if asked genuinely with the intent to better understand the advice. 

(Littlepixie, I hope this doesn't come across as picking on you at all.  I was just using your post to expand on my earlier point.  One of the reasons I love EHell is that there are so many different perspectives and we all see different angles of the same problems.)

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 05:25:00 PM »
Maggie, I don't feel picked on at all :)  In fact I know I am sometimes too quick to say that, because of my history.  We all have hot button issues.  There are things that wouldn't phase me at all that would make another person so angry they could barely speak.

Which is why I think "Would you really do that?" is good question because it gives the other person to say say "Yes and this why".  It could also work in reverse.  Using myself as an example, the question might make me step back and examine the situation with less emotion and more logic.
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DangerMouth

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 05:45:46 PM »
Well, I often see this when someone suggests cutting off a rel@tionship or going to the authorities, as in: "Would you really call the police?" or "I'm amazed people are suggesting that the OP cut him off."  So in those circumstances, it does sound rather judgmental that someone made these suggestions.

I think what people are often responding to is what they perceive as an OTT response:

Unsupervised kid at pool: CALL THE COPS!
Kid left too long at your house after playdate: CALL CPS!
Mom expressed doubts about my SO: CUT HER OFF!
Neighbor's dog barking: CALL THE COPS!
MIL made a suggestion about parenting: CUT HER OFF!

When a poster jumps right to worst case scenarios or the most extreme response, sometimes you get the 'really?/I'm amazed" reactions. And I understand that. Sometimes I am amazed at the suggestions PP's are making. And sometimes I want to respond with all the vehemence of the post I'm responding to.

But being on this board is teaching me better ways to respond. I'm really liking the fact that a forum can not only be educational, but a kind of proving ground. Learning how to state my case calmly (or walk away) when I have nothing invested is good practice for those IRL times when I actually am emotionally involved.

JMO 8)

SiotehCat

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 05:56:59 PM »
I'm glad someone posted about this. I received multiple responses like this recently to a post I made and I had no idea how to respond. How does one respond?

kareng57

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 08:53:56 PM »
Maggie, I don't feel picked on at all :)  In fact I know I am sometimes too quick to say that, because of my history.  We all have hot button issues.  There are things that wouldn't phase me at all that would make another person so angry they could barely speak.

Which is why I think "Would you really do that?" is good question because it gives the other person to say say "Yes and this why".  It could also work in reverse.  Using myself as an example, the question might make me step back and examine the situation with less emotion and more logic.


But, I think this is why sometimes we need to take a deep breath (or, a Scritzy coke-break  :) before posting.  We all need to realize that our own hot-button issues aren't always other peoples'.  Naturally, this is simply a forum - anyone can take or leave any advice given here.  However, some people are more susceptible than others.  Hypothetically - if I had a grandchild who, at 10 years old, did not seem to be reading well at all and the parents seemed unconcerned, I don't think that I'd be out of line if I gently brought up the issue.  If they then did the cut-direct because it was "none of my business" and someone on the Net told them this was the best way to handle it - well, I'd have no choice but to abide with their decision but I'd be terribly hurt.

Lisbeth

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2010, 11:09:19 PM »
Well, I often see this when someone suggests cutting off a rel@tionship or going to the authorities, as in: "Would you really call the police?" or "I'm amazed people are suggesting that the OP cut him off."  So in those circumstances, it does sound rather judgmental that someone made these suggestions.

I think what people are often responding to is what they perceive as an OTT response:

Unsupervised kid at pool: CALL THE COPS!
Kid left too long at your house after playdate: CALL CPS!
Mom expressed doubts about my SO: CUT HER OFF!
Neighbor's dog barking: CALL THE COPS!
MIL made a suggestion about parenting: CUT HER OFF!

When a poster jumps right to worst case scenarios or the most extreme response, sometimes you get the 'really?/I'm amazed" reactions. And I understand that. Sometimes I am amazed at the suggestions PP's are making. And sometimes I want to respond with all the vehemence of the post I'm responding to.

But being on this board is teaching me better ways to respond. I'm really liking the fact that a forum can not only be educational, but a kind of proving ground. Learning how to state my case calmly (or walk away) when I have nothing invested is good practice for those IRL times when I actually am emotionally involved.

JMO 8)

Well, I often see this when someone suggests cutting off a rel@tionship or going to the authorities, as in: "Would you really call the police?" or "I'm amazed people are suggesting that the OP cut him off."  So in those circumstances, it does sound rather judgmental that someone made these suggestions.

I think what people are often responding to is what they perceive as an OTT response:

Unsupervised kid at pool: CALL THE COPS!
Kid left too long at your house after playdate: CALL CPS!
Mom expressed doubts about my SO: CUT HER OFF!
Neighbor's dog barking: CALL THE COPS!
MIL made a suggestion about parenting: CUT HER OFF!

When a poster jumps right to worst case scenarios or the most extreme response, sometimes you get the 'really?/I'm amazed" reactions. And I understand that. Sometimes I am amazed at the suggestions PP's are making. And sometimes I want to respond with all the vehemence of the post I'm responding to.

But being on this board is teaching me better ways to respond. I'm really liking the fact that a forum can not only be educational, but a kind of proving ground. Learning how to state my case calmly (or walk away) when I have nothing invested is good practice for those IRL times when I actually am emotionally involved.

JMO 8)


But just because it's over-the-top to one poster doesn't mean that it's the case generally.  That's why sometimes coming out with "I'm amazed anyone would suggest a cutoff," etc. adds fuel to the fire, so to speak. 

I agree that there needs to be a better way to handle such situations-and I think kareng57 is right, that it may be a knee-jerk reaction and we sometimes need to take a time-out before responding, because we could make a situation worse without intending to.
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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 11:15:24 PM »
Maggie, I don't feel picked on at all :)  In fact I know I am sometimes too quick to say that, because of my history.  We all have hot button issues.  There are things that wouldn't phase me at all that would make another person so angry they could barely speak.

Which is why I think "Would you really do that?" is good question because it gives the other person to say say "Yes and this why".  It could also work in reverse.  Using myself as an example, the question might make me step back and examine the situation with less emotion and more logic.


But, I think this is why sometimes we need to take a deep breath (or, a Scritzy coke-break  :) before posting.  We all need to realize that our own hot-button issues aren't always other peoples'.  Naturally, this is simply a forum - anyone can take or leave any advice given here.  However, some people are more susceptible than others.  Hypothetically - if I had a grandchild who, at 10 years old, did not seem to be reading well at all and the parents seemed unconcerned, I don't think that I'd be out of line if I gently brought up the issue.  If they then did the cut-direct because it was "none of my business" and someone on the Net told them this was the best way to handle it - well, I'd have no choice but to abide with their decision but I'd be terribly hurt.
No you could totally call CPS  ....I'm sorry that was bad


I think "I'm amazed" is a blunt/aggressive version of "that advise seem extreme".  I can see how some posters are amazed when advice seems so OTT or out of left field , but I think "I'm amazed " just seems to be a "gas on the fire" phrase not a "I disagree let us discuss" phrase.

Not thinking about the recent thread but there have been some threads that just went way sideways "how I can I talk to my husband about not being late for dinner"  quickly becomes "he doesn't respect you." "he doesn't love you" "He's obviously having an affair and you should leave him yesterday" "he's abusive you should change the locks and get an attack dog" "oh my gosh protect yourself call the police before he gets home"

No not really yes I can remember a few threads that progressed from minor(at least the OP felt it was minor) issue to change the locks,leave him,call the cop and even the OP can't derail the CRUD MONKEYS! LEAVE HIM train.  








Mahdoumi

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Re: "I'm amazed/would you really do that?"
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2010, 01:22:57 PM »
This post had me laughing.  While the points are true, seeing a long thread's progression condensed into a paragraph makes the situation seem comical.  How right you are, Mrs. Martin!