First, remember, the following is intended to be constructive commentary on your conduct. This is to explain and to teach, it is not intended as a personal attack nor is it meant to criticize your attitude as much as it is to show you how you might improve.
pinback wrote:I would like more positive feedback. Let's begin again.
All right. Consider which would have been a better thing to say:
What Pinback could have said wrote:You are wrong and her statement of what that part of American Pie meant is correct.
On the other hand, this is what you did say:
You really are a fuckhead. Its not JUST about the plane crash, and loafergirls interpretation of the fifth verse is generally accepted as correct. But you know every fucking thing so I won't confuse you with the facts.
Let's see what errors are here.
(1) Extreme hostility. Consider this; your attitude towards another person goes a long way toward dictating their attitude in response toward you.
(2) Hearing hoofbeats, presuming zebras. Reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements. Your first presumption was intentional malice rather than simple mistake or misunderstanding.
(3) Ad-Hominem attack. "Your comment was moronic," is an accetable disagreement to what someone said. "You are a moron," is both an ad hominem attack on the person, but at the same time says nothing about the response itself.
Consider the following: you say something, and instead of saying whether your answer is right or wrong, I say, "That's what I would expect from an alcoholic like you." That's a double-insult score. First, I've trash-talked you. Second, since my insult is true there is nothing you can say to counter it.
Plus, I've tarred your answer as wrong through "guilt by association." It is entirely possible whatever you said was actually correct, but hardly anyone will notice because of the insult.
(4) Reverse appeal to ridicule. In your last sentence you mock my intelligence by sarcastically espousing it as more than it was, in order to trash it through the implication that because of my errors I'm stupid.
Notice in all of this I have never challenged your primary point, that I was wrong about the meaning of that part of American Pie
, what I have challenged is how you presented your arguments.
Now, consider these things the next time you criticize someone. In Japan, for example, they're very big on "face," or the respect they have in public. To a lesser degree we have it here. It's probably been said many times that if someone is wrong it's a good idea to let them save face, to give them an easy out.
The second thing is to "leave a good taste in their mouth." Sure, throwing a juisy cut down insult is fun, but we often forget there's a human being on the other side of the monitor, who's flesh, and blood, and has feelings. When you remember that, you can make the person like and respect you even when you correct them over something. It's the "good taste in the mouth" that you leave behind instead of a bitter pill that means the difference.
Now, think about all I have said here, and let me ask you: do you think (1) my critique of your words was warranted (2) it was accurate (3) was a critique of your words and not an attack on you personally.
If you agree, then take it to heart and think about it. If not, say how you disagree. I don't claim to be all-knowledgeable, I just make the best analysis I can given what I know.