Wrong type of feedback

Tyler HurstBlog

As a sometimes professional writer, it’s normal to receive feedback. I’ve been corrected on typos, misspelled words, incorrect assumptions, and, thankfully rarely, poorly-researched ideas. I do my best not to to take these personally.

But when that “criticism” shifts form into statements like “as a writer, I think you should” (reference to me being a writer, not them), it crosses the line from criticism and/or discussion into a patronizing statement. As it’s usually wrapped in a “I’m just saying” or “I’m just giving my opinion”, this approach serves only to likely enrage both of us: I’m about to get pissed at what was said, and the person that said is likely to be angry with my reaction.

I’m not sure where it comes from. It seems to come far more from people I met while I lived in the PNW, no matter if I met them before I first came to AZ or while I lived in Portland.

It’s infuriating, as it shuts down debate, because it isn’t debate. There is no one side versus another, just a tacit implication that I should use my bandwidth/platform/power to word better their views, rather than a discussion as to which views (or parts of) make sense to be carried into further discussion or even action.

But I suppose that’s the point of this, that the act of talking feels like action to most people, and because it will likely never move past this for most people, there’s nothing left to discuss. The only left is to drown out the “other” side, even though many people may have no idea what they they think they’re standing for, because they are too loudly trying to get other people to say what they want them to, instead of listening to what everyone needs.

There’s going to be a solar eclipse today. I’m not ready, but I’m hoping my polarized, black Iridium sunglasses work well enough for me to see what’s happening in my peripheral vision.

And then I’ll tell the story just how I want to, thank you very much.

Tyler HurstWrong type of feedback