Scolding And Disagreement

People have a tricky relationship to scolding. Most people growing up were scolded for what they did wrong, according to their parents’ values, and maybe, sometimes they were praised for what they did right. As such, people tend to engage each other with uncurious scolding as adults. Since this is the social currency, the other piece of this is that people tend to experience disagreement as scolding.

For example, Person A is wildly incorrect about something. Person B engages by saying, “This is badly wrong.” Because we’re all psyoped in this crazy social currency of scolding, Person A automatically assumes they’re being scolded and is on the defensive and begins to think less of Person B for having engaged in scolding.

But notice, Person B did not say, “This is badly wrong and you’re a piece of junk for thinking so.” There was no scolding. The concept was judged but this is not judgement of the character of the person.

How often do people pay attention to this? How many people really catch the distinction? It’s a low figure. People want to make disagreement personal because it was, in their childhoods.

Now, Person B can make things a little easier on Person A by, instead of engaging with a conclusion about the quality of the idea, engaging with curiosity along the lines of, “Well, why did you say this?” or “How exactly does this work?” But this is a courtesy done to Person A, IF the idea is truly a bad one.

That’s a lot to parse over, so I’ll leave it here for now!