Corrected or belittled?

Allow me to pose this question: At what point does “correcting” turn into belittling, consequently breaking down a person’s character and value?

There is a fine line between it.

While many might feel belittled when being corrected, correcting is simply a part of life’s journey. If we were never corrected, how would we grow (mature) into well-balanced adults who must lead our families and live up to the many responsibilities expected of us?

There is no way around being corrected; but when someone is breaking you down it no longer becomes correcting but belittling.

Correcting is about adding value to one’s life, helpfully removing that which hinders you from stepping into your full potential. The aim should always be to bring out the best version of that person.

However, many do not always do this with that intention in mind.

These incorrect types of “correcting” forms part of all stages in life, e.g.

  • A teacher correcting a student in front of an entire classroom; or
  • A manager or boss losing their cool with an employee in front of other employees; or
  • A parent scolding their child without first giving that child a moment to explain; or
  • A sibling trying to correct the other or a spouse correcting the other spouse.

Many of these instances have helpful correcting in mind; yet it often derives from a place of frustration (whether in the moment or built up over a period of time).

Instead of achieving something positive and building into their life, it ends up leaving that person broken and causing them to feel worthless.

This is all too common within our society today – calling it correcting to justify the behavior when it is nothing more than belittling.

True correcting always carries a heart of caring

Granted, overseeing a group of people can be a challenge all on its own.

I have heard some horror stories from teachers about the lack of respect from some of their students and bosses who struggle with their employees. Not even mentioning some colourful stories from being a parent.

Then again, a coin certainly has two sides and these stories can swing both ways.

The responsibility to lead others is not an easy task. People are people and have their own opinions as to how and when things need to get done.

This is what makes correcting such a difficult, yet important task. Everyone is required to be on the same page to move forward; leaving one behind hinders the results of the many.

It is understandable why those in charge would lose their cool from time to time, lashing out instead of correcting. But this is part of being in charge and as such you need to have a firm grip on the way you correct those who are under you.

While it is important to care about the results, project, or type of person you are trying to raise, the person themself should still matter most. If you do not care about the individual, then everything you are trying to achieve will basically be in vain.

Remember, every person is different

Not everyone can or should be corrected in the same way.

We are told when disciplining children that what works for one child will not necessarily work for another. Each one has a different way of processing information and is driven by a different type of personality.

It is true about kids and certainly true about adults.

While some would rather receive a good scolding (getting the moment over and done with), others would find that same treatment demeaning. This could cause them to switch off completely as they feel embarrassed and broken. It would be best to pull aside these types of personalities and simply talk through the situation with them.

It is important to understand the person you are trying to correct. Failing to do so could lead to great frustration for both parties and long-term damage.

Those in charge will be pleasantly surprised what could be achieved if they would only take the time to get to know their people and vice versa, so that when correcting is done it won’t turn in to a case of belittling.

Whatever the platform, make sure you take the time to appropriately correct the individual. If you are unwilling to do this, then perhaps you should stay clear of attempting to correct others completely.

We all need correcting from time to time, but remember every individual is important and carries great value.



1 thought on “Corrected or belittled?

  1. Very insightful indeed. I use what I call the inch test. Did it make me feel 6 inches taller or shorter? For me that’s the difference between correcting & belittling. Thanks again

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *