We are not perfect. We all have flaws we are not proud of. Flaws that should stay hidden within us. Flaws we wish no one, not even our closest friends should know about. I know my flaws but, I just wish people ignored it. People don’t need to always state the obvious, some flaws are already known. There are some people who find happiness in pointing out other people’s flaws. When they say it, you can see the excitement and joy on their faces as if having flaws is forbidden.
When we decide to point out a person’s flaw, we need to sometimes say it sensitively. Some people are really struggling with their flaws and pointing it out like it is a curse is just wrong. Furthermore, pointing out a person’s flaw is not the same as constructive criticism. Some people think that calling you out on your flaw will help you. Sometimes, it does help but, sometimes it just makes it worse by diminishing a person’s confidence and self-esteem. If you cannot help them, then let them be.
Matthew 7:1-3 (The Message MSG) says ““Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own”.
I met a European guy once who came to England to learn English. His English was really poor but, he was determined to learn it within a short period. We met up for coffee and obviously, there was no flow in communication. He couldn’t understand me nor I him. The last thing I wanted to do was to make fun of him or point out how bad his English was. To better deal with this, I asked if he had a translator on his iPhone.
This made communication better and fun as well because not only did Google make up its own translations (we had to rephrase our sentences several times) but he learned new English words and I learned some Spanish words. I could see from his reaction that he was appreciative and happy (Contento #BigSmile) with the fact that I didn’t make fun of him and I was patient.
I am a very sensitive person and I don’t like being put down just for the fun of it. When it comes to addressing people’s flaws, communication is very important. When you’re trying to communicate, it’s not about the correction, but how clearly and politely you convey your message. By throwing out words in a harsh way, you are not only making others feel inferior but, you are distracting them from what you’re actually trying to say. While correcting someone to keep them from embarrassing themselves is really helpful, think about the bigger picture. Will your message hurt them, will the person listen to you or are you correcting them to prove your own point? Nobody likes a know-it-all.
Also, know when to let it go. If whoever you are trying to correct isn’t pleased with your approach or message, stop and apologise. Imposing corrections on people even when the intention behind it is good won’t help. Be Empathic. Empathy helps us to communicate in ways that make sense to others. It helps us understand how others are thinking and feeling before we communicate our messages. It also helps us understand the emotions attached to the responses we receive from those we are trying to correct.
We all need to understand that some people are struggling with their flaws and would really appreciate some understanding, patience and sensitivity. Be empathic when communicating.