Monday, May 05, 2003 AD Defensiveness Regarding Correction "I never ceased to be baffled by people's defensiveness against correction. Not rebukes, but simple correction. Here we were, a group of people who had invested significant time and expense to attend this camp, one run by instructors whose expertise had attracted us all to the camp. But when one of those instructors would try to give a camper individual criticism, the excuses and arguments would just come pouring out." (Read more at Rick S's blog -- the May 2 entry, if the permalink doesn't work.)
As an editor, I've run into this attitude many, many times. Happily, in my current job, most of my colleagues are very receptive of my ministrations 'pon their writing. One guy used to call me the "style nazi." When I protested, he switched to "style dominatrix." I didn't much care for that, either. But 'twas all in jest. He valued my work, and now that he works elsewhere, he misses having me around to make his writing better.
I wonder if people who don't receive criticism well are responding, at least in part, to their expectation of a complementary (not complimentary!) sin: harsh, arrogant criticism of the "You got this wrong because you're a stupid, no-good nincompoop who's not worth his component chemicals" variety.
Pride is a many-splendored thing, innit? And I oughta know, having myself been guilty of a multitude of varieties thereof. Thank God for grace! Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 5/05/2003 06:16:00 PM
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