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When Bad Manners Go Good

Consider the dotty old aunt who comes to family reunions and blurts things others might think but would never say. Things like, “You don’t need that second piece of cake.” Or “You’ll never get a job dressed like a hoochie mama,” or “Is that a toupee or a dead squirrel on your head?”


3 thoughts on “When Bad Manners Go Good

  • January 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    That increased empathy would play a role in the reception of the criticism as well I would think. So this should not be seen as encouragement to be simply rude on the premise that that produces better advice: I am more likely to act on tactless advice from a grandparent than from a peer.

    • January 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Oh yes, you’re right. I’m using the phrase “bad manners” kind of tongue-in-cheek. I don’t encourage rudeness but more suggest that sometimes being overly polite or cautious is not helpful.

      I don’t know if age would make a difference to me as much as whether or not I genuinely respect the person giving the advice.

  • January 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    My mother would more often than not tell people what was on her mind. Most embarassing, actually, and in her case not all together helpful either. It’s not that she was intentionally mean – more thoughtless than anything. But, about receiving such feed back in return? She wasn’t too keen on it. A close friend of hers came right out and told her something that my mother didn’t care to hear and never spoke to her friend again. She could dish it – no problem, but when it came to accepting advice or comments from others it was a different story.


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