Friday, June 22, 2012

Handling Correction ~ Life Lessons from Moments of Moronity

Yes, I made up a word.

Lately I have been having a few of what I call "Moments of Moronity". Times when I do something and I feel COMPLETELY stupid when someone points out the very obvious solution. Let me give you two examples.

Example #1 ~ The Mysterious Air

I was driving home from dropping my daughter off at school. I was on the phone with my mom (hands free headset in place!) and I kept hearing this rush of air. I turned off the front and back vents, but I still heard it. None of my door open lights were on so I was beginning to get a little worried.

My mom asks if I have a window down.

Yep. Passenger window still down from where I rolled it down to talk to the secretary at the school.


Example #2 ~ The Dim Headlights

I'm guessing this pic is from England.
That or a WHOLE lot of people are driving on the
wrong side of the road.... 
We were on a long drive. The sun went down while we were on the road. I'm driving along (Usually on long trips I do better driving than riding. I seem to have developed motion sickness as I get older. Yech!) and things just seem dark. (Some of you are probably already laughing because you have guessed where this story is going.)

I check my headlights and the switch says they're on but I just don't see them. I remark to my husband that my headlights don't seem to be working right. He reaches out and, you might have guessed it, takes my sunglasses off.


The Common Factor

What these two hilarious but embarrassing moments have in common is that in both of them someone had to correct me for things that I had no excuse not realizing myself. I was so used to not having my windows down that I didn't even think to check them. My sunglasses had been on the whole time the sun went down so I just acclimated and didn't think to remove them.

Sometimes it becomes necessary for people we love to just bluntly point out the areas of moronity in our lives because we don't see them. It's difficult for both parties because you know it's going to be embarrassing and uncomfortable. You know that someone is going to be left feeling stupid or angry or defensive.

My examples are cute and, in retrospect, funny. But often we have things deeply embedded into our lives that aren't good for us. They are blinking neon signs to everyone else, but we are so used to them that we ignore them. How do we handle them?

Tips for the Receiver

Maybe because she couldn't see me, but the window thing didn't disturb me too much. I felt a little silly, but I got passed it. I almost cried about the sunglasses, I felt so ridiculous. So how should we handle when someone we love and are close to points out an obvious glaring flaw in our understanding.

Sometimes we just want to hide.
Realize that's not going to fix things.
Better to move on and deal with the embarrassment.
At least when it's over, life should be a bit better.
1. Realize it for what it is. Dear Hubby did not set out to embarrass me. Had there been any way to remove my sunglasses without making me feel silly he would have done it. Eventually things boil down to the point where you just have to say it like it is. Realize the correction for what it is - someone who loves you trying to make your life better.

2. Don't get defensive. I could have gotten all huffy and said something insane like, "Maybe I like driving with my glasses at night." All that would have done is make me look, well, stupid. Why would I knowingly choose to make things worse on myself? Just to save my pride? Pride is not worth wrecking your life.

3. Accept the solution and move on. Some things are easier to do this with than others. Removing my sunglasses, easy. Trying to figure out how to stop yourself from constantly gossiping because it's ruining your friendships? Quite a bit harder. The point is, that if you realize the person is coming to you in love and you realize the problem and don't try to defend it, the next sensible thing to do is solve the problem. The person who loved you enough to say it is probably ready to help. Take them up on it.

Tips for the Pointer-Outer

Sometimes you are the person who sees the neon sign in someone else. What should you do then?

1. Weigh the significance of your relationship to the severity of the problem. Anyone could have pointed out my sunglasses without much backlash from me. My embarrassment would have been greater had it been someone else, but it wouldn't have been a huge deal. Other times, you have to decide if you are close enough to the person for them to see you are coming in love and not judgement. You may have to sit back and pray for a while or enlist the help of another trusted individual such as a pastor or someone MUCH closer to the person.

2. Don't judge. If you judge the person, they will have an incredibly hard time avoiding getting defensive. My husband took off the sunglasses and just sat there, not laughing until I started laughing. My mom never mentioned the window thing again once I confirmed that that was what it was. Everyone has Moments of Moronity. Don't judge someone else's because one day you will have your own. Examine your motives before you speak.

3. Be patient.You may see the problem for a long while, but wait for the right moment to bring it in. I think this usually happens when the other person notices some result of their issue. At that point, it is easier to point out the problem because they have already noticed the result.

Wrap Up

Some situations are much harder than others. Some have much more significant consequences than others. You will have to adjust things according to where you are and who the other person is. The point is that we all have those moments in life. Those moments when we just miss what is, sometimes literally, right in front of our face.

What about you? Have you ever had a Moment of Moronity? Who helped you fix it?


  1. i have pretty tough skin, when it comes to being laughed at---i have been teased all my life--not in a mean way--it doesn't bother me--interesting topic!

  2. I think even people who are used to teasing have sore spots. My family is a very teasing family but if they hit certain things, life gets very uncomfortable for a while.