Monday, February 9, 2009

Disapproval

Sometimes you're faced with a situation where you have two options, one not that great, and another not that great either, and you are forced to choose between the two. For either decision, you can predict the disapproval with which it will be received, but still, you must make a choice. And so you use your best judgment to pick the one that will be least disruptive to anyone else. You make an honest decision. And yet, once you've decided, you still feel that searing disapproval of those whose opinions you care about. But sometimes you really just mess up and there's nothing you can do except pick which unpleasant situation to put yourself in. And maybe you've picked the wrong thing. But it was an honest, sincere choice using what you thought was good judgment. And perhaps you still feel it was good judgment.

When you don't ask for advice and instead try to make the best decisions for yourself, if you choose wrong, how much disapproval from your peers does that warrant?

6 comments:

the apple said...

Gee, I wonder what brought this on. :P

I think moderate disapproval that is in proportion to what you chose to do can be okay if expressed nicely. A distinction can be made between the subjective viewing of an action and an objective one - chances are, you are seeing your choice in a subjective way (i.e., you know your reasons for doing so) and friends can see it in a more objective way (i.e., that kind of behavior is to be avoided). A mix of both can be healthy as long as you don't feel too put down. It's as if two contradictory things should happen: 1. you should let it roll and not take disapproval too much to heart and 2. you should think about what they said in an objective way and try to look at your behavior in an objective sense, rather than rationalizing it or making excuses for it.

Erachet said...

and friends can see it in a more objective way (i.e., that kind of behavior is to be avoided).

But what if either choice is really one that ought to be avoided, but at that moment, you have no option but to choose between two unavoidable yet should-be-avoided choices?

G said...

And so you use your best judgment to pick the one that will be least disruptive to anyone else

What?! Why not pick the one that is least disruptive to you?

When you don't ask for advice and instead try to make the best decisions for yourself*, if you choose wrong, how much disapproval from your peers does that warrant?

Define "disapproval", and since when is it warranted (regardless of the chain of events).

*please take this as advice from one who has a VERY big problem with this issue and has had to learn the hard way...there is no honor or diginity in always figuring things out by yourself. If one needs advice, get it - the best decision you can make is being honest about knowing what you don't know.

Ezzie said...

And so you use your best judgment to pick the one that will be least disruptive to anyone else.

Why is that the priority?

And so you use your best judgment to pick the one that will be least disruptive to anyone else.

Actually disruptive to someone else or disruptive to their opinions and sensibilities? There's a far cry from one to the other.

You make an honest decision.

And yet, once you've decided, you still feel that searing disapproval of those whose opinions you care about.

Was the decision truly honest? If so, who cares what others think?

The opinions of others matter insofar as much as they are checks on our own judgment (* see the Apple's comment). It is almost always worthwhile to hear their opinions to better gauge whether one's own actions are correct.

That said, all that matters is the content of their commentary and not the feelings associated with it (* see G's comment). Ultimately, it is up to the person who made the decision to determine whether that criticism is warranted.

Or, in other words, you could have just followed your own advice. :)

{Criticism and advice are merely two manifestations of the same thing, which is others expressing their views on your actions. In both cases, handle with care - whether giving or taking.}

Erachet said...

Actually disruptive to someone else or disruptive to their opinions and sensibilities?

My gut reaction was to say, "disruptive to someone else," but truth is, I think it's more the latter than the former. Although both decisions would fall into the latter, only one would fall into the former (AND the latter), so it's hard to say...

Was the decision truly honest?

Completely. I don't know if it was the best decision, but it was made with complete honesty and sincerity. That said, I know it sounds silly to care overly much how other people view it.

Thanks for the rest of your comment.

Erachet said...

Define "disapproval", and since when is it warranted (regardless of the chain of events).

I see disapproval as someone not only disagreeing with a decision you've made but also looking down on that decision, or you, because of it. There's a way to disagree and still respect the decision a person has made, you know?

I think it's warranted only in extreme cases, though hardly ever from friends. Disapproval, to me, is something a parent shows for a child, usually as part of educating and disciplining. I would think a friend would show concern rather than disapproval.