Sunday, May 12, 2013

Can't believe I make this post!

"If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all."

I'm so glad I never grew up with that saying. I grew up in a family that was honest. Honesty to the max. If there was something nice to say it was said. If there was something bad to say it was said as well. There was no holding back with praise and blame.

Also I learned the difference between mindless criticism and constructive criticism. And I'm happy to actually see a difference, because I noticed that people who did not grow up in an honest family have trouble telling both things apart.

To them any criticism is an act of disrespecting the person. And truth be told it often comes across as such. But constructive criticism rarely is disrespectful to the person, but to the thing that is being criticised. That may be a behavior, a thing they said or did or some other stupid thing that happened to the person. Naturally the person will be mentioned within the context. And so it can very easily be confused with disrespecting the person him-/herself.

I give an example of a similar thing. And it's even magic related. Some people don't like magic. They somehow don't see the magic as an attack of their logic, but as an attack on themselves. The subtext they read into a magic performance goes like this: "I don't understand how the magician does this, ergo I'm stupid."

We magicians know that this is really not what is going on. Yet those spectators see it as such.

Same with criticism. Some simply see any criticism as an attack on themselves, rather then seeing in as an attack on the argument that is being criticised. And that has something to do with having been raised with questionable moral advice.

Advice like: "If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all."


Good advice:
"If you have something to say, say it, and back it up with arguments."
"Don't be afraid to be wrong. If you are wrong, admit defeat and question your arguments."
"You don't have to be right all the time."
"Before taking advice, see where the advise is coming from!"


Marplots said...

Roland, your English is generally excellent and that's the only reason I'm mentioning this.

Advice (rhymes with ice) is the noun. I give advice, you take advice.

Advise (rhymes with eyes)is the verb. I advise you, you advise me. We advise each other by giving advice.

I think the difficulty comes because the endings, 'vice' and 'vise', when they appear alone, are pronounced the same.

(This is meant as an honest, helpful criticism, as I'm sure you will understand, given the theme of your post. Mark me down as a fan.)

Roland Henning said...

And fixing it

Gary Jones Magic said...

I kinda agree with what you're saying, but sometimes it's best not to give out advice to someone on say, open forums, but to give the advice privately. Too often people forget that sometimes discretion is needed. Yes otherwise I totally agree, honesty is the key!

Essa Carta said...

Superb! May I posted it to my Facebook Note?