Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I wonder: How much of a trend could it possibly be that people will assume a person is innately incompetent or ignorant if they make a mistake, no matter how much they demonstrate that they have corrected themselves? I'm thinking in terms of things like forgetting directions to a place or performing a work task incorrectly, not immoral stuff.

Lately I've noticed I've been nurturing a rather irrational premise about mistakes that has been making me fearful of people watching me cook. I don't mind the prospect of accidentally ruining my meal and learning from my errors, I just don't like it if there are witnesses around, and I think that it may be due to some irrational ideas regarding the nature of mistakes itself.

In the past whenever I would make a mistake it was treated with near absolute disbelief that I was capable of learning or correcting my ways, as when I would err the people around me would then endlessly try to correct and guide me, way beyond reasonable or rational expectations. For instance, if I previously had difficulty remembering the directions to a certain location the person guiding me there would then ceaselessly give me directions to it and quiz me upon it for weeks, even months, longer than ever needed, and they would outright ignore my improvement and correction and continue on with their guidance. In other words, after having made a mistake I would commonly find myself being treated as I weren't capable of learning from that mistake. Thus, I tend to fear people observing my mistakes because I fear it's going to lead them to try and correct me upon it nearly without end, and ignore any proof that I have learned. For goodness sake, some people have even taken to offering me directions to a place I've traveled to literally over a dozen times.

It's okay to offer constructive criticism, but beyond a certain point it becomes insulting. One needs to keep a watch on the evidence that the person is either improving themselves or have totally corrected themselves, otherwise you're ignoring their ability and treating them unjustly.

The reason why I wonder whether this part of a trend in the philosophical culture is because it has a nature as an idea: That mistakes are somehow evidence of a person's inability to perform or learn. And that in effect may be related to another philosophical idea: That ability and talent is innate and outside of one's capacity for development; you either have it or you don't. Given that, a person with that idea might be overly disturbed at their mistakes since they might believe they have no natural capacity to do otherwise, and a like person witnessing someone make mistakes may assume that a person needs to be forever guided in that endeavor otherwise they'll unavoidably fail on their own.

Have you noticed this trend in your own life?

1 comment:

  1. I think that second handers will use the innate ability premise to attempt to justify attacks on others. If they can spot you in a mistake, however trivial, they've "got" you, and can feel innately superior to you. They use these "gotcha" games to prop up sagging fake self esteem, enforce the status structures and concrete bound association sets of their tribes, lash out in envy, and all the other nasty things that predatory second handers do.


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