Posted by: unlikelygrad | March 18, 2012

pet peeve: “I’m just being honest”

You know what I’m talking about. Someone unloads a barrage of harsh criticism on you and, when you react negatively, tell you that they are “just being honest.”

I have serious problems with this. If you want to be truly honest, I believe that you must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And most of these so-called “honest critics” don’t do that.

See, we all make mistakes–and I believe we should all make progress towards correcting mistakes. But I also believe that about 80-90% of what people do is perfectly fine. So, to be truly honest, an evaluator would have to say 80-90% good things and only 10-20% bad things.

But these so-called “honest” critics are never the sort of people who do that. No, you can bet your bottom dollar that every single thing they tell you about your performance will be negative.

This goes to show how short-sighted they are. Because if they knew anything at all about human psychology, they’d give you that 80-90% positive feedback…thereby boosting the chances that you’d actually listen to their advice. And they’d be truly honest to boot.

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Responses

  1. […] Beginning with a list of what went right will not only reinforce those good behaviors, but also make the one being evaluated more receptive to hearing criticism later.  (This is very related to a past post of mine in which I gripe about people who say they're just being honest.) […]

  2. […] Beginning with a list of what went right will not only reinforce those good behaviors, but also make the one being evaluated more receptive to hearing criticism later.  (This is very related to a past post of mine in which I gripe about people who say they're just being honest.) […]


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