I have a tendency to correct people when they are doing something incorrect or not optimal. Much to my dismay and detriment, I come across as an asshole. I try to subdue this tendency, but I think it is just part of my nature, and therefore not correcting people seems to be not acting as my true self.
This is a fine trait to have at work, but I see that it’s a problem in my interpersonal relationships with my family, friends, and particularly with my new girlfriend, who has told me on numerous occasions that it is frustrating and disappointing when I behave this way.
How can I correct people without making them feel like I’m criticizing them? I’ve tried waiting until we are not in the moment when they are doing something wrong, and saving it for later so as not to seem like it is a bigger deal than it is, but that is problematic, too. Do I need to stop doing this completely? I want to live an honest life, where I express myself fully, but I definitely do not want to push people away.
You may correct a person if:
- he’s in the middle of asking a non-pregnant woman when she is due
- her skirt is tucked into her underpants in the back and she’s about to walk down the street or into a party
- her blind insistence on following the GPS lady’s directions is leading you off a cliff or into the middle of a gang fight
- the cheese he’s about to put on his sandwich is actually just really old milk
Other than these situations, and maybe a couple other life-or-death circumstances I can’t think of right now, shut your face.