Generalisation is the best way to annoy someone

February 2015 · 1 minute read

Random thought.

If you are about to say things such as “everything is broken”, “nothing works”, “it’s all crap”, “nothing ever changes”.. these are broad sweeping generalisations and are usually emotion charged “remarks” as they certainly aren’t constructive

If I find myself about to say this kind of thing to someone I’m trying to enforce that my first actions are to apologise if I just said it and then consider what the actual situation is. Saying this kind of thing to someone in the face of some success and some failure immediately ignores and dismisses any positive attempts and fixates solely on negative aspects of a situation. It can often be quite ignorant of the full situation and I hate looking ignorant so further motivation to not do this.

If you want to make things constructive, focus on the actual problem and get the full story. See where things have worked and other areas haven’t. Discuss the solutions to the actual problem.

Sure it’s plain common sense but it’s surprising how our reflexes can be to only give focus to a generalised problem that has no possible course of correction rather than figuring out what we actually need to address and get cracking at fixing it.