Stop and Listen

Events lately have conspired to remind me of two truths:

  • People are very bad at receiving negative feedback, especially when it comes from people they don’t know very well.
  • People are very good at giving negative feedback, especially if they don’t really know the person they’re giving it to.

Bonus: the internet makes all of that terrifyingly easy.

Without getting into any details about the situations I’m thinking about, here’s the lessons I’m taking away so far:

  • Read the room. (Huh, that’s the second time in two essays I’ve used that line.)
  • Relatedly, consider the people who are sitting on the sidelines; remember that when you talk, they are also listening. (Many thanks to a friend for articulating that idea.)
  • Finally, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Also published on Medium.

Author: Elaine Nelson

Elaine Nelson was directionless with an English degree in the late 90s and then: GODDAMN INTERNET. In her current gig, she wrangles content and content management systems, but her last job was Webmaster, so she’s dabbled in all sorts of web work. She’s an editor at The Interconnected, previously published in The Pastry Box, and once had a poem published in an anthology of GenX writing, when that was the big new thing.