Do you find it challenging to keep your mouth shut as soon as someone makes a grammatical error or a pronunciation mistake? “I feel the need to correct everyone?” Does this line occupy your mind all the time? Do you spend a greater part of your day wondering why you have this compulsive need to correct everyone?
In that case, you might want to keep reading. This article will fill you in on your need to correct everyone. And why this habit makes you look like the most annoying person ever. And when you should and shouldn’t correct others. So, read on.
Why Do Some People Feel The Need To Correct Everyone?
Some people correct others to humiliate them and feel powerful by tearing others down, it is bullying. Others may sincerely be trying to help but lack the necessary finesse. Others are perfectionists who can’t help themselves but cave into their need to appear intellectually superior to others.
Some people are unconsciously trying to sell an image of themselves to others by correcting everyone. They believe that if they impress people, people will like them and be interested in their knowledge and point of view.
If this resonates with you then you have probably fallen into the trap of creating a false self. This is the person you want others to see, a person without flaws, incorrect knowledge, or mistakes. Many people create these false selves not only to project an idealized version of themselves but also to keep other people’s opinions of them at bay.
People have turned their skills and knowledge into weapons that they use against others while concealing their true selves behind a shield. The fabricated, false self is a one-way gate. The false self, like a character in a play, displays sights and sounds to the audience while remaining hidden behind the fourth wall of separation from the observers. The character sees the audience, but the audience does not see the character.
How To Correct People
someone corrects you in front of loved ones, coworkers, friends, and anyone else for seemingly trivial stuff, such as misquoting a line from a movie or saying something happened on a Tuesday when it happened on a Wednesday does not feel so great.
Here’s a quick guide on how to correct people properly if you still can’t help but correct them or if you believe it will have a positive effect:
Before you correct others, ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Ask yourself whether the information you provide will be good enough to outweigh the embarrassment they will experience before correcting others, especially when doing so in front of others. Unless the response is “yes,” you are better off being quiet.
Avoid using the precursors “umm, actually…”
These two words are typically followed by something bad for the other person. Consider your words before saying them because they are often used as a prelude to correcting someone about the most insignificant piece of information. If you mention the lead actor’s name while binge-watching “Sherlock,” your co-viewer may correct you by saying, “Um, actually…his last name is Cumberbatch, not Cumberbatch.” Saying, “I saw him interviewed, and he was introduced as Benedict Cumberbatch,” would be a more polite way to put it. Its name is a bit difficult to say out loud.
Correct people in private.
If you are correcting people good-naturedly, it is a good idea to do it in private instead of everyone, even when you are correcting your children. Being called out in front of others makes people feel embarrassed and humiliated. There is a good chance people will forget what you correct them on but will remember the embarrassment.
Only correct people when it’s helpful.
Corrections that are made privately, gently, and with an explanation of why you believe the correction was necessary to lead to the other person thanking you rather than resenting you.
What To Do If Correction Becomes Criticism?
Give them benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps their harsh tone is a result of their anger toward their spouse. Usually, you can diffuse this situation by asking, “Have I done something that’s provoking anger? Avoid using the word “you” as much as possible. Anytime you can use the phrase ” I,” it sounds less accusatory.
Were they rude to you on purpose?
You don’t have to take disrespect from anyone if you corrected them in private and politely.
Maintain your self-respect while taking the higher ground. Give them the impression that you will stand your ground despite your willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s probably the ideal question to either prompt them to acknowledge their error or elicit information about their actual problem from them.
Leave them alone if someone starts to demean, criticize or raise their voice to you in front of others.
Make an excuse and leave them alone. When the situation has calmed down, talk more about it. The other person has a chance to cool off if you wait a while between the heated exchange and the conclusion of the conversation, and you have time to assess the circumstance and decide what you need to say.
The Ending Note
Resist the urge to correct people for minor errors. Understand that you are better than that. You are not just a product of knowledge and skills. You do not have to appear intellectually superior and create a false image of yourself. Be empathetic of other people and listen to them without offering any judgment.
There is always a healthy chance people will realize their mistakes on their own and correct themselves. Treat it the way you’d want others to treat you if you made a mistake because we are all human and err from time to time. If you want others to value you for what you know, you must learn to value others for what they know.
If you do have to correct someone in case someone’s ill-informed and spreading misinformation that may be potentially harmful, correct them in private and do it politely.