June 17, 2009

Again, with the not getting it.

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Nerdiness, The OCD at 8:11 am by Dagny Taggart

I am, perhaps, just really dense.  But 80% of the conflict I have with certain people (hi, mom!) can be summed up in one main cause:

If I have just screwed up in some way, and am therefore disappointed in myself, it is perhaps best to wait a few minutes before telling me what I should have done instead.

First of all, I’m still dealing with the disappointment.  Give me a minute or two to process that before you ask me to move on to the “fixing it for next time” stage, willya?

Second, I already know I’ve made a mistake somehow, otherwise I’d have reached whatever goal it was in the first place.  Pointing out, rapid-fire, what I should have done instead makes me feel even less intelligent for having made the mistake, since it was SO OBVIOUS to everyone else that I should have handled it differently.  The way people with brains would have.

If, for example, I’ve just lost a game in pool… right then?  Is not the time to ask me if I remember 4 shots ago when the 5 was nestled up on the rail against the 8 and I was just supposed to gently push the 5 into the 8 as a defensive maneuver, but instead I knocked the 5 away from the rail giving my opponent a clear shot on the 8.

No, I do not remember 4 shots ago, because my brain is busy yelling at me for having lost the game.  Trying to teach me something at this juncture is useless, because I’m too upset to absorb anything.  Also, it’s entirely probable that I was actually trying to do the thing you’re about to *teach* me, and all you’re doing at this point is highlighting my lack of skill, which I’m already well aware of, thanks.  So at the very least, wait a little while, give me some time to get back to an emotionally receptive place, and I’ll do a much better job of taking the criticism gracefully.

Again, with the not getting it.  When someone’s just failed at something and is obviously upset about it, how is it useful to start criticizing them immediately?

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6 Comments »

  1. Well, don’t take this the wrong way, but the problem is that you attaching too much weight to the failure. When you are insecure about something, there is no such thing as constructive criticism; everything feels like an attack. It’s not unusual if you are a perfectionist. You are always your worst critic. But you are being way harder on yourself over losing a game than you would be towards a friend of yours in the same situation. Give yourself the same benefit of the doubt that you would give others. You’re still an awesome human being whether you win or lose, and no matter what you do both will happen from time to time, so don’t feel like it’s a reflection on you. In college, Dan Gable’s record was 130-1. Even the best who ever lived loses one now and again.

    • Alias Faux said,

      Cael Sanderson begs to differ;)

  2. But, in the example, it’s a game of pool. Why are you yelling at yourself? Order another beer and try, try again. Or, in my case, order another beer and contemplate how much worse I can lose. (It’s easy, because even sober, I’m a pretty awful player — I get all giggly/huggy when I wind up winning).

  3. Brian said,

    Because really, the advice/fixing/”helping” isn’t actually about you. It’s about them.

    Which may or may not be at/among the source(s) of the wrinkles in whatever relationship to which you’re referring in the first place (because honestly, what are the odds this is actually related to pool?

    In lieu of criticism or suggestions, I offer a big hug.

  4. Lisa said,

    I completely understand this. I think they think they’re being constructive, but really, it’s just totally unhelpful right then and there.

  5. HIN: I totally had to look up Dan Gable. And you make an excellent point. Perhaps I should think about getting over my insecurity, so that I can better appreciate sound advice, whenever it’s offered.

    Alias Faux: I’m not even looking that one up.

    Malnurtured Snay: Well, keep in mind that my games of pool are played on behalf of a team. If I don’t win my match for the night, I’m not *just* letting myself down, I’m letting my team down. But trying again definitely seems to be the way to go.

    Brian: Oddly enough, this really has caused points of contention between me and my well-intentioned “coaches” at pool. But you’re right, it does come up in other situations as well. And I’ll take that hug, and thank you for it. 🙂

    Lisa: I had a feeling you’d understand. In fact, one might even think So! Not! Helpful! as the well-intentioned advice-giver is speaking. One might, if one wanted just a few minutes to process, prior to entering a thesis defense of one’s shortcomings. 🙂


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