Is It Wrong to Criticize Your Friends?

@Pigglies (9336)
United States
March 2, 2010 12:00am CST
Okay, I am generally a nice person. Generally. But today when one of my friends called me and told me she got in her second car accident this week, I had to say something. She gets in at least one car accident a month on average and I'm worried she is going to kill someone eventually. I tried saying something before and it never went over well so for awhile I just haven't spoken to her about this. I won't get into her car unless I'm driving it though. She always has an excuse for why the accident isn't her fault. Either she didn't see it (example, 1st accident this week she claims she looked and never saw the car due to her poor vision). Or, the other car came out of no where (example, 2nd accident this week she said she was looking forward like she was supposed to and then bam there was a car in front of her and she rear ended it!). I've tried to explain to her that turning your head is not the same as looking (she thinks you're going for points in a computer game or something, where you must make the action of turning your head, but she generally doesn't bother to actually look and then blames her vision... which might also be bad, but it's generally just her inability to focus on looking and driving). I've also tried to explain to her that you not only need to look forward, you need to know what's going on on the side of your car and behind it as well. She thinks that is other people's problems, not hers. Basically, this chick shouldn't even be out on the road. But due to the way the laws are, it's unlikely she'll get pulled off the road anytime soon. Yet I still feel like I'd feel really badly if she manages to kill someone. Is it wrong that I called her out on this? She hung up the phone and probably started crying, but I feel like she needs a lesson. Even people that she hits are too nice to her. She needs to hit someone that will scare her into thinking that he might beat her up. I don't want her getting killed and I don't want her killing others, but she doesn't take driving seriously and doesn't have to pay for any damage she does since she gets free money from the government.
4 people like this
26 responses
• United States
4 Mar 10
You did the right thing.She Is going to kill someone or even herself if she doesn't stop driving.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 10
I hope so too.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
5 Mar 10
Well, she called me tonight. She didn't mention anything about the talk we had. She just asked me when the marathon was, and then sounded like she was going to just get off the phone after that. But then she asked me to come over. But it was already fairly late, so I told her I'd go over there tomorrow evening. We'll see how this goes. Maybe we won't even talk about the driving issue again for awhile, as it seems maybe I did finally scare her a bit or something. Or at least possibly make her think a little.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Mar 10
I guess you can agree to disagree.
@hofferp (4737)
• United States
2 Mar 10
I think there is nothing wrong with giving a friend constructive criticism. And since I don't criticize friends very often, I think they would know it's intended to be positive, versus negative. It sounds like you've tried, now we're just going to have to wait for her insurance company to jack up her rates...and may be that will knock some sense in to her. We just may have to wait for the police to get involved; that may knock some sense in to her. We may have to wait for that "scary" victim, you suggested, or someone suing her; that may knock some sense in to her. Let's hope she doesn't seriously injure or kill someone, before THAT knocks some sense in to her.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Her insurance went up to $7,000 a year before. Then she switched insurance and complained about it to me. I'm all for hoping what you're hoping for! The police always feel sorry for her, but not everyone will hopefully. Eventually someone will sue or be that scary victim.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (115043)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Does she have mentally handicaps as well? I do not understand why she does not understand.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Mar 10
She doesn't have mental handicaps, except that she has been sheltered her whole life and never disciplined. So I guess that could be a social handicap? She thinks she is entitled to everything, so she cannot understand that there is something she thinks she is capable of doing, but really she can't do it. Which is odd because normally she does not have this "can do" attitude. Because her disability could get her out of PE, she didn't do it... but there were sports she could have done. And if her disability gets her out of taking a class in college, she'll go for that (she often lies so she can drop out of class later than most people can).
@GardenGerty (115043)
• United States
2 Mar 10
How does she get free money from the government to pay for her car accidents? Most of the people I know who get government aid are on very tight budgets. How can she keep on driving if she has so many accidents and how can she afford insurance? You have reduced vision too, don't you? You do not go around having accidents every month do you? People who have some impairment need to work harder at being safe. I am glad that you do not ride as her passenger. You need to give her that message that she is your friend but you could not bear to lose her due to her own carelessness.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Most people are on tight budgets, but she gets the maximum amount since she has been disabled for life. Plus she now has an inheritance as well, so perhaps she has also dipped into that. Oh, and keep in mind that most people would be on a tight budget because they must pay rent, car payments, food, etc. She doesn't pay any of that, she lives with her mom. I have poor vision for reading, distance is fine. But I do have one eye that doesn't function. I just turn my head (imagine that, lol). In emergencies I have also used my hearing... as in, I've heard people about to slam into me and moved over. I could not afford to be in an accident every month, nor would I like to even if I could afford it. That's the main thing I don't get... I've been in one accident and I hated the hassle, and there wasn't even any damage! But still there was paperwork, phone calls, etc. I can't imagine how she could enjoy taking her car in for repairs all the time.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (115043)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Thanks for clearing that up. She is basically spoiled. I know someone like that, whose guardian no longer allows her a car, and who now has case management.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
If her mom was smart she would take away the car too. She's definitely spoiled. Her mom even says that you can't punish someone if they are disabled as a child, so that's why she was never punished. But she wasn't this bad before she started driving. Yeah, she was spoiled and couldn't understand while when we were at the mall she could buy everything and I had to budget. But at least she wasn't out hurting people. She thinks driving is her right and that no accidents are her fault because she is disabled and the rest of the world should just deal with it.
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
2 Mar 10
how on EARTH does she get insurance? How can she AFFORD insurance? I think I've asked this before
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (115043)
• United States
2 Mar 10
Hi, Elic I was wondering the same question myself. How does the government pay for her accidents, as well? I hope we get our curiosity satisfied.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Because she's on disability so the government is paying. Her insurance went up to $7,000 a year and she just switched to another carrier. I hope eventually she'll exhaust all options on insurance and not be able to get coverage.
2 people like this
@laydee (12811)
• Philippines
3 Mar 10
First and foremost, it's weird that your law doesn't stop someone who's a regular reckless driver out in the streets even if she literally gets into an accident every month! I do not think it's rude that you did so. She just hasn't learned her lesson and nobody is telling it her otherwise. I mean, once is okay, twice is something but regularly means that it's not your call.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Isn't that weird? I've looked into the laws on this and can't find anything that would take her off the road unless she was under 18. I hate that our laws are like that, because that means tons of reckless drivers could be out there. But if her mom would wise up and realize her daughter could kill herself, then apparently family members do have the ability to get a license revoked.
1 person likes this
@jaiho2009 (38989)
• Philippines
3 Mar 10
There is nothing to tell our friends about their mistakes and wrong doings. True friends are those ones who criticized yet,still stands with us. She really needs to realize her mistakes before something serious would happen,or even worst than we ever think of. If she wouldn't listen to you after all the accidents...then,it's her fault and maybe she needs more professional help with this. It's hard to let other people see their mistakes,unless they will learn the big lesson. I hope she will realize about it...before bigger accident happen.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Mar 10
She probably could use some professional help. Interesting suggestion and I'll have to see if perhaps something like an intervention might work. It would really help if her mom saw the danger in her driving too. But I think her mom is blinded by her joy of not having to drive her daughter everywhere.
1 person likes this
@leeoz22 (183)
• Australia
2 Mar 10
I don't think you would be a real friend if you where not to say anything to her. I think you are trying to not only keep your friend safe but you are also trying to help save some innocent bystander. Your friend one day may not be so lucky she is only putting her own safety as well as others in danger. Don't feel bad, maybe one day she may have reason to thank you for trying to get her to see reason.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Mar 10
That's what I'm hoping. Once she gets off the road, I think she'll realize when she gets older that she'll be glad to be alive rather than out driving. I understand that she badly wants to be out driving because everyone else is and because otherwise it is somewhat inconvenient for her. But I would think getting in several accidents is even more inconvenient.
@edu4625 (188)
• United States
2 Mar 10
We all get angry at people we care for. I've been in the position of being really angry at good friends. But even though I've lost my temper I don't really feel that it is really the right way to handle the situation even if the person is doing something dangerous to themselves or others. I sincerely believe that you can communicate with an individual about something important or serious without getting too emotional or abusive. People will only change when they are ready. If they happen to change after you gave them a blistering speech or told them off it is only because they were already prepared to alter their behavior.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I know people only change when they are ready, but when they are hurting other people I feel like I need to catalyze her change before she kills someone. I didn't lose my temper, but I am definitely on the verge of it. I've told her nicely too many times, so the last time I was a bit blunt. But you couldn't really say that I lost my temper, I wasn't shouting or being angry with her.
@kaylachan (4775)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
2 Mar 10
That simply made me want to twitch. I would have called her out on it too. If she's claiming poor eyesight then she shouldn't be behind the wheel of a motor vichel. She's out right lying to gain sympthoy, and believe me, if one of thease "accidents" get her pulled over she'll probably be invistagated for driving under the influence. Cops aren't very lient when it comes to accidents on the road. If she's in an accident as often as you say, then I've got two words for her: "Bus Pass".
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
She tells me the bus is too dangerous, but it's no where near as dangerous as her driving. She lives in a safe area. The cops are always really nice to her, but they did give her funny looks at the vision excuse on that one accident when I was in the car with her. But funny you mention being investigated for DUI, because she's been pulled over twice on suspicion. She tends to swerve around as she drives sometimes, especially if no one else is around (not that she'd really know, since she never bothers to look). The cops pulled her over and could quickly tell she wasn't actually drunk. She doesn't drink, but I think a drunk could drive better than her.
1 person likes this
• India
3 Mar 10
I think it is human weakness that they criticize each and every one when they r not near but the criticism should be healthy and not abusive type of so that even that person comes to know this from others he does not feel bad and ur realtions dont get spoiled
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12836)
• Australia
2 Mar 10
no i don't think so... we all should be open to a constructive criticism so that we can reflect on ourselves and become a better person... especially we are already adults... we should be able to take constructive criticism and even thank the person who had taken the trouble and the time to tell us... as for your friend, i think you had done nothing wrong and you are absolutely doing the right thing... she is endangering her own life and other people's lives on the road by driving so recklessly... she should reflect on herself and improve her driving skills before she should be allowed to drive again... take care and have a nice day...
1 person likes this
@common_man (1799)
• India
2 Mar 10
You can always tell your friend to improve her driving, but without hurting her.
1 person likes this
@arunthvf (55)
• India
2 Mar 10
i don't think it is wrong to criticize our friends. it is good say the mistakes or point out there bad habits directly to them instead of telling it to some body else. if we criticize him he may change his habits or correct the fault that he has done. some times it may mislead our relationship. but we have to explain it to him clearly.
1 person likes this
@phoenix8606 (4977)
2 Mar 10
hi! of course it is not wrong. that are the friends for so that they can help us, because criticizing is also some kind o help, and when our friends or someone else criticize us, we must not get mad on them, they just try to help us, like showing us our mistakes!
1 person likes this
@emerillus (475)
• Philippines
2 Mar 10
Oh, what is wrong with that? No, I don't think it's wrong of you tell her what's the matter with her. It's just that you want what's best and that is getting her out of anymore future troubles. I think you're just being a true friend.
1 person likes this
@skysuccess (8880)
• Singapore
3 Mar 10
Pigglies, I am sure your criticism is nothing anywhere near being malicious and that you meant well. However, like all accident victims I am sure they have their fair share of reprimands and harsh words. So, the last thing they need is another lecture and I feel that you should have been a little more patient and tactful here. I think all accidents are not for the asking and from experience no matter how careful you can be, all it takes is the other party to embark on a journey of recklessness to spoil the day and your car for you. So, IMO your friend could be in that disposition. On the hindsight, I wonder if you are aware of defensive driving course which are generally available around. Now, if your friend or you have not participated in this course before, then let me encourage the both of you to sign this up. It teaches a lot about road situations and how to handle them with your car and some technical control know hows. Have a nice day.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I've never heard of defensive driving courses being available. I don't think my friend is even ready for that, she's such a bad driver that if she could just get the basics down it would be okay. While I know from experience that most accidents can be avoided by at least one party paying attention, I don't think she'd be able to drive defensively. If she would just disembark on her journey of recklessness that would be best.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
6 Mar 10
Pigglies, Then, your friend should attend this defensive driving course. This is really necessary and I hope that you will look it up for her. Unbeknown to you, she may even benefit from this course.
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
6 Mar 10
We don't seem to have one here that I can find. There is driving school and there is traffic school. I'd like to encourage her to do traffic school, except that then it would take points off her record and she needs all the points she can get so they'll take away her license soon. I think what she really needs is a good pair of glasses.
1 person likes this
@yresh12 (3217)
• Philippines
2 Mar 10
Hi Pigglies! The only thing you did wrong was CARE for your FRIEND. She did not appreciate the thought of you caring about her. I think she's also very hard headed or who's used to having things her own way. I also have a good friend like that, compromise. Say sorry when she feels okay and tell her that you are just concerned about her safety....
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
She's very used to having things her way. She was never punished as a child, she was a single child, and she still has never had to work a day in her life. Everything is handed to her. She won't speak to me yet, but I'll try to apologize without making it sound like her driving is okay.
@yresh12 (3217)
• Philippines
4 Mar 10
Sure Sure.. Good luck
• Singapore
7 Mar 10
I see nothing wrong with that except you did it to a person who didn't appriciate your advice even it's so true!I think she must gets some lessons for this or else,she will damage her own life or even worse,others life!
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
8 Mar 10
Yes, I can only hope she doesn't take someone's life.
• Philippines
2 Mar 10
if you're really a true friend, you must continue to caution her to be careful. in fact you are saving her from a disastrous event. you have to tell your friend that she must be considerate to others even if the insurance had to pay for the damage but the hassle she had created to the other party involve. you must try to persuade her to be careful in her driving. and try to improve her driving skills. happy myloting..
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I've tried the hassle route already, explaining to her what a hassle it is. But since she has no job and no place to be, she doesn't see it. I tried telling her that other people have jobs and they have kids to take to school, and having their car in the shop is an inconvenience. To her, that's their own fault for driving. I don't think her driving skills are correctable. It is just in her personality to not pay attention to things she is doing and to not want to focus much on anything.
@mr_pearl (5037)
• India
2 Mar 10
Hi Pigglies... I would say that 'criticism' is always bad.. It hurts the feelings of the other person and make them feel annoyed... I always advice my friends to refrain from critisizing... Well... Your friend is really in a serious trouble, if she is getting into accidents frequently. I agree with you that she needs more lessons upon this matter... But tell me, would your criticism make her take those lessons? Ask yourself! I am sure no one can make the other person do something by critisizing. Let us see the matter from her point of view. She has been making mistakes while driving for quite a long time, she knows it! But she wouldn't say it. Any human who makes some mistake or does something wrong/unlawful, always has a reason (just or unjust, doesn't matter!) for his/her actions. No one likes to call oneself 'guilty' for anything. Why? Because that hurts the pride. So even after getting into many accidents, your friend always has a reason. Try to understand her! Sympathise with her... And then, make her understand what her mistakes have been- do it tactfully, gently, without any hard word. Make her understand how sad you would be, if she gets hurt or hurts others. Use a little diplomacy! I am sure with love and care, she will take more driving lessons. Criticism is a deadly poison, which acts slowly and kills a lot. Please avoid it! Have fun!! I hope things'll be better soon, with your friend... :)
@Pigglies (9336)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Driving lessons won't help her, she just needs her license taken away. She went to several driving schools and most told her that she could never learn to drive. The last one must have been desperate for her money because they taught her. I know I probably cannot change her, but I'm hoping my lecture planted a seed in her mind to think about if she should be on the road or not.