Author Topic: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives  (Read 16190 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Lisbeth

  • I am a rock, I am an island
  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 29353
  • a/k/a KeenReader
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2010, 01:58:40 PM »
Are people actually using the phrase, "Get over it!"?

They may not be, but the point being made is that words like "overreacting," "oversensitive," "looking to be offended," etc. can have the same effect on someone as "get over it."

They may have the same effect, but they aren't the same thing. The OP said that we are talking about tone and diplomacy, and I think there is a world of difference between telling someone to "get over it", and that it seems like they are "overreacting."

Do you believe none of the above terms should ever be used? Because I do feel that would be unreasonable. And again, if you are posting on a message board, seeking advice, you need to be prepared to hear dissonance. I don't feel that telling someone that they parehaps are being a little too sensitive is the same thing as telling someone to get over it.

I think you're reading things into my post that weren't there.  I'm not seeing where you're getting the idea that I might think none of the above terms should ever be used (with the exception of "get over it," which I do think should never be used).

I was responding to your question about whether or not posters here are actually using that phrase.  I haven't seen posters use it to each other, although now and then I've seen people say "he should just get over it" when referring to a third party who isn't on the site.

But I do think that depending on how the "overreacting," "oversensitive," "looking to be offended," are used, they can be used in totally reasonable ways, or they can be used in very dismissive ways that have the same effect on someone as telling them to "get over it," so it's important to exercise caution and judgment and not just toss them off when using them.
I'm away from sanity right now...please leave a message after the beep.
NYC

MrsJWine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8783
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2010, 01:59:44 PM »
I've suggested that OPs are looking to be offended, or that they're overreacting, or that their own personal baggage has caused them to react more strongly than the average person would.  My number one reason for doing this is that, most of the time, it only causes more angst to the person who was wronged.  

For instance, OP writes, "It was really crowded at Target, and I was bumped in the store, and it really hurt, but the person didn't even say sorry!"  And the OP goes on to say how upset she is by this, and how she feels so wronged, and should she say something the next time she sees this person.  I would reply with something like, "If it was a busy day, it's most likely the person didn't even realize he bumped into you.  In a crowd, it's possible to stop noticing when people are running into you, or when you bump into them.  I think getting so upset over this is an overreaction, and it's doing you more harm than anything else."

In other cases, I think people hugely overreact to something the average person wouldn't even bat an eye at.  Now, it's okay to tell acquaintances and friends that throwing the word "mangy" about recklessly hurts your feelings because your beloved dog has had recurring mange, and it's an awful condition.  But going off on someone (even politely) over this is and overreaction, and you can't expect that it's a fair reaction to people who have never even heard the phrase used to describe an actual condition.

I try hard not to minimize people's feelings, but some actions and reactions are unacceptable, no matter how huge the impact of previous experiences.  I'm a very easygoing person, but I have a couple of really hot buttons.  People push those buttons, and it's very, very hard for me not to take it personally and overreact.  I need to know that taking it personally and overreacting is both bad for me and unfair to other people.  And sometimes I need to be reminded of that.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2010, 02:05:06 PM »
Are people actually using the phrase, "Get over it!"?

They may not be, but the point being made is that words like "overreacting," "oversensitive," "looking to be offended," etc. can have the same effect on someone as "get over it."

They may have the same effect, but they aren't the same thing. The OP said that we are talking about tone and diplomacy, and I think there is a world of difference between telling someone to "get over it", and that it seems like they are "overreacting."

Do you believe none of the above terms should ever be used? Because I do feel that would be unreasonable. And again, if you are posting on a message board, seeking advice, you need to be prepared to hear dissonance. I don't feel that telling someone that they parehaps are being a little too sensitive is the same thing as telling someone to get over it.

I think you're reading things into my post that weren't there.  I'm not seeing where you're getting the idea that I might think none of the above terms should ever be used (with the exception of "get over it," which I do think should never be used).

I was responding to your question about whether or not posters here are actually using that phrase.  I haven't seen posters use it to each other, although now and then I've seen people say "he should just get over it" when referring to a third party who isn't on the site.

But I do think that depending on how the "overreacting," "oversensitive," "looking to be offended," are used, they can be used in totally reasonable ways, or they can be used in very dismissive ways that have the same effect on someone as telling them to "get over it," so it's important to exercise caution and judgment and not just toss them off when using them.

I didn't assume you felt that they shouldn't be used. I asked you if you did, and stated that if that were indeed the case, I think it would be unreasonable.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 02:11:10 PM by jimithing »

Granny Takes a Trip

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1506
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2010, 02:05:51 PM »
Are people actually using the phrase, "Get over it!"?

I have not actually seen 'get over it', but I have seen some very blunt phrasing, and the ever-present 'this wouldn;t be my hill to die on' which I think is a bit PA.  I do agree that people should not be just posting for validation, and it can be tricky to measure. I really don't want to get into too much detail, because I don't want to call out particular threads. But I will say that I think that there is a very real difference between politely pointing out that someone may be overreacting, and one or two of the comments that I have seen. The more I think about it, the more I think tone is key.
I have a thousand parents. Sadly they
Dissolve in their own virtues and recede.

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2010, 02:09:51 PM »
Are people actually using the phrase, "Get over it!"?

I have not actually seen 'get over it', but I have seen some very blunt phrasing, and the ever-present 'this wouldn;t be my hill to die on' which I think is a bit PA.  I do agree that people should not be just posting for validation, and it can be tricky to measure. I really don't want to get into too much detail, because I don't want to call out particular threads. But I will say that I think that there is a very real difference between politely pointing out that someone may be overreacting, and one or two of the comments that I have seen. The more I think about it, the more I think tone is key.

I think this just comes down to perception. I think *anything* can sound snarky. We just had a thread about using the term, "Is there an etiquette question here?", and even that was divided. It's about tone.

I don't think, "This wouldn't be my hill to die on.", is always PA. But it can be. I think the phrase, "Get over it.", is probably universally snarky. But I find that members of this board are very capable of expressing similar thoughts in a way that is softer and kinder. Which is why I think the phrases that have been brought up here, "oversensitive", etc., are fine.

And again, if you feel that something crosses the line, report it.

gollymolly2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2611
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2010, 03:48:38 PM »
Let's say the question is "How should I respond to Bob's actions politely?"  For me, part of assessing an appropriate, polite response is deciding what kind of response would be proportionate to Bob's actions.  If Bob says "I hope your baby dies," I'm less concerned with sparing their feelings.  If, on the other hand, Bob makes a very minor and well intentioned faux pas, I'm less inclined to suggest making a strong - or any - response.

So the extent of the other party's rudeness is very relevant.  And if the OP is, in my opinion, waaaay overreacting to a minor slight, then I think it is relevant to say to the OP "I think you're overreacting and shouldn't respond to the OP."  There are certainly ways to communicate an overreaction that are rude, and we should avoid doing that.  But my point is that overreactions are totally relevant to the questions being asked, and I think it's fine to communicate that to the OP.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 04:50:32 PM by gollymolly2 »

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2010, 04:48:59 PM »
People have different perspectives and advice.  If someone cannot handle that to the point where they expect the forum to change for them, they shouldn't post.

Granny Takes a Trip

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1506
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2010, 05:27:32 PM »
People have different perspectives and advice.  If someone cannot handle that to the point where they expect the forum to change for them, they shouldn't post.

True, but people also shouldn't be rude about how they post. I don't think it's 'especting the forum to change' to ask people to think before they post, or if it is, that can only be a change for the better.
I have a thousand parents. Sadly they
Dissolve in their own virtues and recede.

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2010, 05:46:32 PM »
People have different perspectives and advice.  If someone cannot handle that to the point where they expect the forum to change for them, they shouldn't post.

True, but people also shouldn't be rude about how they post. I don't think it's 'especting the forum to change' to ask people to think before they post, or if it is, that can only be a change for the better.

Of course they shouldn't. And I would say this is the exception, rather than the rule. And FWIW, if I see a post that I feel is out of line, or overly harsh, I have been known to say something to the poster, or report it.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2010, 06:31:05 PM »
People have different perspectives and advice.  If someone cannot handle that to the point where they expect the forum to change for them, they shouldn't post.

True, but people also shouldn't be rude about how they post. I don't think it's 'especting the forum to change' to ask people to think before they post, or if it is, that can only be a change for the better.

No one in the thread that you are referencing was rude to the OP.
 
Again, you are being offensive by assuming that those responses you felt were rude were posted by people who did not think before they posted.
 
In fact, they did think.  They read the posting, thought about it and offered their opinion.
 
It wasn't an opinion you agreed with.  You are free to post your disagreement, but your insistence that they were rude for suggesting that the issue was rather small, that the OP was OTT for getting upset about it or looking for offense where there was a high likelihood that none was intended is wrong.
 
And if you think someone is being rude to someone else on the forum, there is a link to "Report to Moderator" on the lower right of every post in the forum.  This will bring up a small box wherein you can detail what you are reporting and why.
 
If a moderator finds that a poster has broken the rules of the forum, there will be moderation.
 
But, for you to post an entirely new thread to protest the suggestions and opinions of well intentioned members of this forum where you infer that they are unthinking and rude, is in and of itself rather rude.
 
You may not be calling anyone out personally, but you certainly have no qualms about characterizing whole swaths of this community in a particular way.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2010, 06:32:29 PM »
Here is a thread on the topic of reporting procedures:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=68532.0

dawbs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4424
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2010, 06:56:46 PM »
*snip*. If an OP has asked for valid advice, and several people have been supportive , and offered consrtuctive advice, I think that the naysayer would be better to keep their opinions to themself. But I do agree with you that the issue has many variables.

I think part of the disagreement here is whether the 'naysayers' are being difficult/argumentative/etc or whether they are answering the question/giving advice.

Personally, I think they're usually (usually, although lots of variables and, as established 'get iover it' is probably not the polite way to say it) giving advice.

And I think the question as posed in the OP here may be part of the problem...'Who was rude' is often not the question one intends to ask--it assumes that 1) someone was rude and 2) implies [I know it doesn't say it, but I read it that way[ only one person was rude.
If that is the question asked, "neither of you was rude, both of you are reacting to something minor.  Perhaps in a very over-the-top way; Personally I think ignoring Bob's mistake and going about your business would be the best way to handle it' would/could be a very appropriate answer. 

Personally, I think that "get over it/you may be overreacting/etc" (phrased appropriately) can indeed be good, relevant, helpful advice

ydpubs

  • Has a fine singing voice.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3362
  • Reading the threads here makes me hungry.
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2010, 02:56:36 AM »
People have different perspectives and advice.  If someone cannot handle that to the point where they expect the forum to change for them, they shouldn't post.

True, but people also shouldn't be rude about how they post. I don't think it's 'especting the forum to change' to ask people to think before they post, or if it is, that can only be a change for the better.

No one in the thread that you are referencing was rude to the OP.
 
Again, you are being offensive by assuming that those responses you felt were rude were posted by people who did not think before they posted.
 
In fact, they did think.  They read the posting, thought about it and offered their opinion.
 
It wasn't an opinion you agreed with.  You are free to post your disagreement, but your insistence that they were rude for suggesting that the issue was rather small, that the OP was OTT for getting upset about it or looking for offense where there was a high likelihood that none was intended is wrong.
 
And if you think someone is being rude to someone else on the forum, there is a link to "Report to Moderator" on the lower right of every post in the forum.  This will bring up a small box wherein you can detail what you are reporting and why.
 
If a moderator finds that a poster has broken the rules of the forum, there will be moderation.
 
But, for you to post an entirely new thread to protest the suggestions and opinions of well intentioned members of this forum where you infer that they are unthinking and rude, is in and of itself rather rude.
 
You may not be calling anyone out personally, but you certainly have no qualms about characterizing whole swaths of this community in a particular way.

I have to agree with Audrey Quest.

One thing I would have to say is, I find the title of the thread to be rather off putting. In most of the threads in the etiquette folders here at EHell, people are specificallly asking for opinions, perspectives and advice. To label those differing viewpoints as unwanted advice or perspectives sounds like: I just want posts that agree with me and validate my point of view. I mean really, are they unwanted simply because the OP (and when I say OP I mean the starter of any given thread) doesn't agree and doesn't like them?

There are folders for unconditional support here. If that is what is being sought, then that is where the thread should be posted, not in the General Categories Folders or any other folder where differing opinions, viewpoints, advice and perspectives are assumed to be welcome.

Edited for spelling!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 03:49:27 AM by ydpubs »
No matter where you go, there you are...

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4706
    • This Is It
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2010, 05:05:24 AM »
Can I just say, a lot of the threads we are seeing in this announcements folder seem to relate more to how people word their posts than to any specific wrongdoing. Once again, this isn't really an issue we can reach a consensus on (or get a "ruling" on) because there are so many different possible scenarios. What may be perfectly polite and acceptable in one context could be harsh and rude in another.  It depends on the poster, the scenario, and the overall tone and direction of the thread.

There is clearly a very fine line with this issue - one shouldn't be dismissive to other posters when they're asking for advice, but neither is it wrong to point out that a situation may not require the kind of response they are proposing.

Ultimately, I think we'd agree that every poster on eHell needs to be aware of the following:  To try to word our posts in a way that avoids rudeness or offence.  That means we have to consider how our posts might be interpreted (even if it isn't the way we intend them), to remain civil even in disagreement, to avoid nastiness and to apologize if we do find ourselves caught up in the midst of unpleasant misunderstandings or conflicts.  So while I agree that I have also seen situations where a poster is being unnecessarily dismissive to an OP's issue, it's really up to each individual to try to avoid crossing the line between discussion and snarkiness. And when they don't, it's up to us to alert the mods to the situation.  Overall I don't think that any discussion on this topic will change anybody's behaviour, because (one would assume) they are not setting out to be rude in the first place and don't think that they are crossing that line, OR they are crossing the line in which case they'll hopefully not be around long.  Just my 50 cents worth.

"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


penelope2017

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3020
Re: Offering unwanted advice or perspectives
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »
Unfortunately when you post an advice question on a public board, you can't cherry pick your responses to be only the ones you want.

That's sort of the reason you post on a public board, I think. To get a cross section of responses, and hopefully ones you haven't thought of before. Sometimes the best advice is to hear that you are overreacting. That's not dismissive of the OP, that's an attempt to be helpful, as long as it is said politely.

There are definitely times when I read an OP and feel the OP is so overreacting, or posts so many of the same type of threads with the same type of over-sensitive responses or  overreactions, that I probably can't articulate that in a polite way, so I don't post in the thread. But if I can say it politely, I will probably do so. And I would welcome that type of advice myself were I to post my own reaction to to something.

It's an opportunity to reflect on yourself and your reactions and possibly change a pattern of behavior that could be making you unhappier than you have to be. The only place really where I think people should be able to direct responses is the "I need a hug" folder. Other than that, if you aren't prepared to hear every politely worded perspective or advice, or view it as "unwanted," it is probably not a good idea to post in a public folder. An actual opinion that falls within the rules of this board, in my opinion, can't be impolite. It is only the way it is presented that can be impolite.