Why Friends Don’t Constantly Correct Friends


I wrote this about someone who IS NOT a member of this network, so please don’t take it personally. I just wanted feedback. Is it too strong? Does it get the message across as to why a person shouldn’t CONSTANTLY correct their “friends”? Let me know your gut reactions.

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Friends Who Constantly Correct Friends

If you find yourself alone and lonely, maybe you should assess how you treat the people around you. If you are constantly correcting other people in their opinions, their writing or their speech, remember: only a copy editor or a teacher is expected to (and paid to) constantly correct others.

It is a very bad habit to fall into, and should be avoided if you want to retain friendships. (Especially if you are correcting them when they weren’t in error in the first place!)

A friend is a person who enjoys you, and is prepared to treat you like an equal, not like an errant student who needs to be constantly corrected. Our little idiosyncrasies are what make us unique, and should be enjoyed, not destroyed.

For example: I have friends who routinely mispronounce or misspell certain words, but because they are friends, I let it go. No one wants to hang around with a “know-it-all” or show off. Know-it-alls feel the need to correct/teach/preach/lecture people, rather than simply enjoying their company.

These people feel compelled to rattle off their scholastic achievements, degrees and education, simply to prove that they are smarter than you are, and it tends to put people off.

So, if you find yourself alone and lonely, maybe it’s because you don’t treat people with acceptance and respect.

Just think about it!

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7 thoughts on “Why Friends Don’t Constantly Correct Friends

  1. Good article, Diane. It is frustrating to say nothing of downright aggravating to be continually corrected. I think there are times when it is appropriate and done with kindness, but should not be an ongoing practice. And it should not be done in the presence of others, either. For example, someone who has their facts wrong and is telling everyone they meet about something you know isn’t correct. They think they are right and aren’t doing it knowingly. It’s not good for someone to spread wrong information and it would be kind to take them aside and explain what you know to be true. But for those irritating little things that really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things, I think it is we ourselves who need to work on our own reactions and leave them to their idiosyncrasies.

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    1. Thanks for the back-up Diane. I recently met a person online, and I thought we were developing a friendship, but then he kept continually correcting me, even when I wasn’t in error and he had misread my posts. I tried (3 times) to explain that he didn’t need to continually correct people, and he didn’t get the message. I finally had to unfriend him! He didn’t seem to understand that there are lots of intelligent people on this Earth, and there is no need to constantly try outshine others.

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  2. I am in a bit of a quandary right now about this subject of correcting others. I did book reviews for a couple of people on LinkedIn on my blog and then posted them to Amazon. Another writer decided he would mail me his book. Though he didn’t ask for it, I’m assuming he expects me to do a review for him, too. I’m having a difficult time reading the book because it comes across as being written for children or young teens though it is an adult book. There are significant errors in the book and I’m not sure whether to mention them to him. He is 80 years old and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. But on the other hand, as he is writing a sequel to it, I think it would be good for him to know these things. It will be difficult to do a good review. The book is not a bad one. It’s his memories of growing up in the 40s in a small town. He writes in 3rd person, but drops into 1st person for a sentence here and there. Much of the story is true but he has added some fictional accounts and changed some people’s names. It is a good account of what a growing boy’s life was like in that era and would probably interest some people.

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    1. DS, I think I may be of some help here. There’s a difference between a review (which simply says either what the book is about, or how it made you feel, whether you enjoyed it, etc.) and an editorial review of the book (which would include pointing out the errors in it). I think maybe you should write a short review of how it made you feel, and let him ask for the corrections, if that’s what he’s after.

      After all, we all know from Camille’s experience, that editing to correct a manuscript is real work, and shouldn’t be done for free. If he does, in fact, want you to correct the manuscript, let him know what you’ll charge for it. No one should expect that kind of effort for free!!

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      1. I wasn’t thinking of actually doing a complete edit but wondering if I should point out that there are some problems – not in the review but privately. He has sent his second book out for editing but I’m not sure whether he has a professional editor or not. And I don’t know if anyone other than his wife edited this one. I don’t think he wanted me to correct it, but was simply seeking a good review. I did find it distracting that he has underlined every time someone is thinking. I don’t think that is acceptable especially when there is quite a bit of it. At least, I have never seen it in any other books. The usual method is to italicize it. I have come to a section that I could mention in the review that was rather a cute incident, but the reading level is taking away the interest for me. I wouldn’t want to mention that to him, though.

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      2. The underlining thing is definitely incorrect, plus, as you say, rather distracting. It seems like you can give him a few tips, and let it go at that. It probably won’t sit well with you to do a review that you feel isn’t truthful, so maybe just gently point out that the writing needs some work and leave it at that!

        Good luck, it sounds like a sticky situation,
        Diane T. and furkids

        PS. It’s been raining here for the last few days, what about where you live?

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  3. The sky is very cloudy today but no rain so far. We did have some rain on Monday. It’s about 66′ now, but we have had days of high winds and very chilly temperatures. And of course that would be when we had no heat due to problems with the new furnace boiler in the building. We were 5 days without heat. And then at the same time we were more than 2 days without hot water. We had none for awhile this afternoon, but it’s back now.

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