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Dutchess_III's avatar

What are the differences between a person who can accept correction and one who gets defensive when they're corrected?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44099points) March 19th, 2012

No one really enjoys being corrected, but there are those who can say “Thanks,” and go on, then others who get mad and yell.

I was reading that story about the teacher who was having a student read a poem about renting from slum lord from a black person’s POV (which is no different than what a white person has to go through with a slum lord, but that’s neither here nor there) The student, a freshman in HS, is black and she told him to read the poem ”...blacker! I thought you were black!”

I read the comments, which were what you’d expect. One reader, however, posted something along the lines of “Does she think we ALL talk slang and gutter? I will continue to speak and write proper English and with proper grammar as my mom and dad taught my siblings and I to do.”

Well, I channeled GailCalled just a tiny bit. I replied to her (“FYI…that should read ’ my mom and dad taught my siblings and me to do.’ :)

Well, she fired back “Who told you to correct me! This is the internet, not school THANK YOU!”

I said, “Well, I just thought you’d want to know.”

OK, ok, so I was probably out of line but it appeared that proper grammar was important to her and I really thought she’d want to know. I think I handle correction pretty well. I know for sure I’ve learned a lot here.

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16 Answers

ucme's avatar

Their egos.

Cruiser's avatar

Some people are simply angry at everything even their own shadow and are waiting for a reason to blast away.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

If you assume, fundamentally, most people either like you or will eventually, a correction is no big deal. You see it as a favor, or mild teasing.

If you assume that most people dislike you, and somebody corrects you, than you interpret it as an attack, because everybody is always out to get you anyways.

Blackberry's avatar

One is rational, and the other is not. The latter probably has some problems with: insecurity, ego, intelligence, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think she has a problem with intelligence in this case. Insecurity did come to mind.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She’s still ranting at me (although an English teacher jumped in on my side!) I’m thinking a high school student.

KoleraHeliko's avatar

I’m of two minds about this (but not really): on the one hand, if it’s something I know little about and I just say something stupid, by all means, I’ll happily be corrected so as to sound like less of a tool in the future. But if it’s something about which I’m rather knowledgeable, then I’d probably get a bit defensive.

Also, I’ll add that English has been switching ‘me’ and ‘I’ for centuries. It’s like we have some kind of fetish for it.

Kayak8's avatar

I am familiar with the story about the young man and I would posit that the thread was already emotionally loaded (discussions of racism tend to work that way). I imagine that the same person, in a different atmosphere would have taken your comment in the spirit intended.

But for her to point out that she was raised differently and doesn’t fit the stereotype, since she said “do they think WE all . . . ,” I would also guess that she represents the same group of people being stereotyped in the story. As such, she may have interpreted your comment to be further evidence that someone is trying to find fault or to continue to stereotype her less than perfect grammar.

I might have interpreted your comment similarly given the thread that preceded it. Knowing you here, I can imagine that your intention was different, but it seems the impact was the same.

janbb's avatar

I have been consciously working at not being defensive when criticized lately and it is hard work. I think having a more intact ego helps.

Trillian's avatar

Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 18: 6–7 A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Kayak8 Yes, I did get that from her post, that she’s black. But when she stressed that she was determined to speak “proper English,” I didn’t take that into consideration when I corrected that VERY common error.

@KoleraHeliko…you said, “I’ll add that English has been switching ‘me’ and ‘I’ for centuries. It’s like we have some kind of fetish for it.
Foresooth of what doest thou speak? Thy have link or proof thereof?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh you guys! Might Come See… Just look for Dutchess and some Butterfly girl…

Kayak8's avatar

@Dutchess_III Totally get it, just trying to share a different perspective about the overall emotion of the conversation.

mattbrowne's avatar

Maturity and self esteem.

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