"Please engage brain before starting to write" Is this not good advice?

@Hatley (163781)
Garden Grove, California
January 21, 2011 10:27pm CST
while I was working on getting my BA in English I had one very astute professor who always said" Please engage brain before starting to write" and I have found that also can be true here in mylot when responding to others discussions. We can get passionate on their topic a nd yet ultimately write something that can hurt the poster's feelings. I had not really thought much about that factor until I read a discussion from a fellow mylotter who had evidently had his or her feelings hurt by some what he or she called random responses.So it triggered my discussion. I am trying to think perhaps there are some responses one makes from one's own experience that maybe have 'something that could be misread as hurtful to the discussion poster. Although I always do think for awhile before posting my response, perhaps those especially with English as a second language that may take one of our English expressons the wrong way and feel hurt.So I think perhaps one should think and also sort of tailor your response depending on the ooster. this especially if we are talking politics or religion or any contentious topic. I know we are supposed to have freedom to express ourselves in what ever way we want as long as we do not break mylots rules but again if we make the other person, the poster, feel we are making fun of him or her we should be more careful.Your take pleas Hope I have made this understandable.
15 people like this
32 responses
• United States
22 Jan 11
Hatley, you are sooooo right. People should engage their brain before starting to write. But so many here don't do that. They immediately say something and afterwards know they shouldn't. I'm sure they feel bad after they do it, but the other person involved still thinks that person is rude. Hey girl I didn't know you went to college. Congrats!
4 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi chrystaltears oh yes I went back to college for the last two years at age 54 and it was definitely an experience for sure. lol. Yes I have noticed that some just spout out random thoughts and afterwords realize 'that hurt the poster so they apologize but the deed has already been done .thanks there were times when I did not think I could make it but I did. and a lot of it was fun as the younger people really accepted me. lol.
3 people like this
@zandi458 (28102)
• Malaysia
22 Jan 11
The brain is the most wonderful gift God has given to every humans. But many people do not make full use of their brains to communicate with others in a more subtle ways which could create more goodwill. We should engage the brain to communicate our thoughts in an honest and compassionate way rather than merely relying on feelings which more often are influenced by our moods. We should be able to empathise with other people's feelings and avoid using words that might hurt their feelings. If our feelings are in tune with one another, then the words will flow and communication will be powerful and enjoyable. To think before we write, would add weight to our words. By avoiding exaggeration and using simple and well thought out words, communication becomes easy. One kind word spoken with sincerity reaches much further than shallow words eloquently spoken.
3 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi zandi you as always make such good common sense. we just need to corral those random thoughts, examine them and toss them out if they will hurt anyone's feelings as we all have brains. it is just a matter of using them and taking a little time to be clear and use words that all can understand. simple words can convey compassion and well meaning as well as huge words which may not be that well understood. After all we are responding to show our own ideas and we want the other person to understand what we are saying. Kindness should always be in our minds.
2 people like this
• Pamplona, Spain
22 Jan 11
Hiya Hatley, Usually if I write one of my expressions without thinking first I go back and put in brackets an easier meaning. It´s easy for me to get carried away with my Dialect being so strong I have to think in the English I would use if I did not know someone otherwise I use the West Midland´s Dialect mostly. I never try to hide it that´s where I am from and that´s it. It´s the same as if I were speaking another language because we alter the normal English so much that if I were to write in my Dialect I don´t think most would know what I was talking about. I guess it´s the same for other People too. I have an Aunt from Sunderland and People have a hard time trying to understand her but I do I also used to go out with someone from there too. Example I have got to go, I´ve gorra go . Without me losing track of this I do try to be careful though as we can upset someone without realizing it. The same way they can do to us but I usually sidestep that kind of thing if they do.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
hi lovingangelsinstead21 I think all of us from our various countires 'run into times when we have to make sure others understand our own expression as the results can be just funny or happuy or ca be misunderstood. But again I really do think overall most all of us from allover do do pretty doggoned good.doggoned means r eally in our englishe slang by the way. lol lol
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Mar 11
hi lpvomamgelsinstead I am an American with irish and scottish roots as all my great greats came from either Ireland or scotland and nugrated to Kentucky and Indiana so I get along pretty well with English , Irish and Scottish people too as well as other races.I just noticed a typo in my comment above.sure wish I would see these before I hit post.
• Pamplona, Spain
3 Feb 11
Hiya Hatley, Yes I always knew what doggoned meant in a way too. It´s like Music to me I love to hear someone talking like that. You know what the Girls here from America they love to hear us from England talk the way we do as well. They said I had a voice with a lilt in it as if I were Irish. Well in part I am Irish and Scottish related. I only wish I knew who they all were and are. We have a Ball when we get together us Americans and British we have a Dinner together and let ourselves relax and laugh about everything there are no barriers here. We are all there to have a great time and we do. You should hear my real slang won´t put it on here because it won´t even be considered English at all.
@thesids (22180)
• Bhubaneswar, India
22 Jan 11
Dear Ms. Hatley, There is no doubt about that. Unfortunately there are a few problems that I find in the implementation 1. At MyLot people are from across the globe. Many do not have English as their first language and this at times is a barrier - we just dont get the correct words to express ourselves (Happens quite often with me) Over time, I found out a way - I realized that people here are great and understanding - so I try to put out my thoughts and also mention that I am not able to get the correct words so if I am misinterpreted/wrong, please correct/excuse me for this. 2. Those who are from a non-English background should also make use of online dictionaries to understand the meaning of words they do not understand - some do it(I do), others do not because of ignorance or time crunch or any other reason 3. The current mood also gives a different view of the response. Words are black and white and many a times do not reflect the actual feelings/emotions. Also when I am happy, I find almost all responses positive and the same responses look boring and meaningless when I am sad or mentally not into the discussion But still one must be polite and open to learning and also to healthy criticism Regards, theSids
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi thesids I had not thought about how this discussion might sound to non english as first language as I was approaching this from my English speaking background. I sure am not condemning anyone who has English as a second language as I know how hard it must' be to c onvert your native thoughts into our English language'as its not the easiest language in the world to learn. I think here in mylot I have found most English as a second language people to more than bend over backwards to not offend. I think all of us who are English' speaking here forgive the slightest errors you may make as we know if we tried to write in your native tongue we would not do nearly half as well as you do.
1 person likes this
@thesids (22180)
• Bhubaneswar, India
22 Jan 11
Oh, I missed to add something for you
2 people like this
@thesids (22180)
• Bhubaneswar, India
22 Jan 11
That is so true about the MyLot Family. People are quite so very understanding and helpful. It really is a boon for all of us who want to learn and learn
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jan 11
So true and this is why I like to give as much detail as possible as sometimes a quick response to you Ms. Hatley, you can pick up quick but then someone who may for which English is not their primary language may not. Although at times some who do not understand the language really do not understand it twist the complete comment so you are right sometimes we must think and perhaps re-read our comment as before we enter it. Thanks for the reminder.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi hardworkinggurl yes it would not take long and it would make a difference to the poster.It takes some thinking at times as I could see the poster got what I said completely wrong. so I commented back and explained our English idiom so he understood I was not making fun of him at all but was making a joke which he had not understood at all. he commented back again and said "ha ha,that is funny."
3 people like this
@JohnMach (550)
• Philippines
22 Jan 11
Yeah, that's true. We should think before we post or we could hurt the author's feelings. It seems there are a lot of users here that post discussions about their life and those discussions could get emotional depending on the other's response. We should take note of the author's feelings before we post on a discussion.
3 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi johnmach yes its probably easier than we think as some of our expressions in English could be misunderstood. so just a few 'moments of thinking about it from the prospect of the other person might spare a poster's feelings.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jan 11
Your professor was on the ball. I also had one who used to have a similar mess and hers was "No ink until you think!" I hate discussion which are posted in such a way that they do not really break any rules but in their own way are subtly flaming.
2 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
hi whiteheather thats another good one. I have come across those too where I think boy they are close to breaking rules and another word here or there and they would be flaming. its hard to even respond to something like that as I never know i what I think about it will trip this person's emotional trigger and have them go off on me in a real flame.
@ElicBxn (63252)
• United States
22 Jan 11
excellent advice, one I really do try to observe, but if there is someone I know, I may give a silly response to their discussion. I do try to be a bit more careful if the person is unknown to me... or if I've found them to not have much of a sense of humor.
2 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi ElicBxn yes I find sometimes I really want to laugh but don't as one person asked me if I really thought that eating dog meat was a good thing to do. I commented back that our term in America is hot dogs meaning wieners made of beef or pork. He commented back to me," I am so relieved as I thought you were a nice laddy". So I guess we need to be a bit more careful with people we do not know at all and like you said there are ' some who have no sense of humor.I had no idea he thought I was eating dog meat. I also told him no nobody in the US eats dog meat as we love our dogs, they are our pets.
3 people like this
@celticeagle (160426)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jan 11
I that in a perfect world this would make alot of sense to the ones who may be doing this. (I hope I haven't) I write what I feel and very seldom change much. I try to remember to proof read before I post it. I have been hurt by what others have said. I am a sensitive person. I try to see things from the other persons side. I wish that others would. I don't talk religion or politics. The few times I do I think I am just too passionate about how I feel and it goes too far. Not worth it.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi celticeagle I also try to remember to proof read and am horrified when I forget and find a ton of awful typos. I have lately been rereading my response before I post it to be sure it does not have anything that could be hurtful to someone not really knowing our language so well.'I am also not talking religion or politics after being called a demoncrat by one not funny mylotter. I am also a bit sensitive and when I got a tag on a discussion once youre a hateful old hag I did report this to mylot sdmins as it really hurt as I did not feel I was hateful or a hag,yes I am old but the rest was pure meanness as the smoker was angry with me for saying smoking was unhealthy.
4 people like this
@celticeagle (160426)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jan 11
I am too. Like in my response. Ugh! Home immature this smoker you speak of was. And if this person continues to smoke will be a hateful and ugly old hag themselves. Haha
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
yes I think they were immature and probably smoked a rally lot' thats why they got upset with me.smoking can really make a person old before their time.At least looking at them and perhaps in their lungs and heart they age faster.
1 person likes this
@fwidman (11514)
• United States
22 Jan 11
Engaging your brain before doing much of anything, writing or speaking, is always a great idea
2 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
hi fwidman yes it pays in anything we do so we dont plow into someone with our car or say something that could be taken the' wrong way. I also try to think of all the different countgries represented here as I write., lol lol.
@cynthiann (18602)
• Jamaica
22 Jan 11
I too have heard this expression and it is good advice. It is very difficult sometimes to answer posts because of cultural differences but by answering we are learning more about each other. I remember receiving a very hurtful pm from a 'friend' because I sometimes end my responses by saying the word 'Blessings'. so I posted and said that when I end with the word 'blessing' then it is because I have whispered a prayer for that person. The person did pm me back and apologised and we became good friends once more. I certainly do not agree with making fun of anyone. Blessings
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
hi cynthiann I offended one person who was an atheist b y my ending with God bless.I tried to assure this one that my intentions were not to mock anyone and that it just meant I wanted the best for this person. I had no realized that that could be taken in any othe way but a good way. Of course there are times when no matter how carefully I word a discussion or response someone is too sensitive and gets it all wrong. I have got so I just say this was not meant to slam anyone. we all have our own beliefs and I respect that.But I really do tr y to be kind and remember not ev eryone has the same expressions or understand our expressions.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Mar 11
hi cynthiann I was just thinking how we all must live with the people who wait on us like the caregivers and the housekeeping people. While maybe some of them may be a little sharp at times, if we snap and snarl back we just lost any credibility with those people as who knows when one of us is taken suddenly ill or has a physical accident we will have t o depend on the person we may have been rude to. When I had my fall back in February the first person on the scene was the little plump Mexican kitchen helper who passes out water glasses. She had a roll of paper toweling and was mopping up blood from my face, where I had a cut ov er my nose and one over my right eye. I had always been very cordial with her and now she was really helping me. She even called the paramedics.
@cynthiann (18602)
• Jamaica
3 Feb 11
Of course you were not mocking anyone! I think that her hurtful response to you was really unkind. Blessings
1 person likes this
@quita88 (3715)
• United States
23 Jan 11
Ok, here I go, trying to engage my brain ! I do know what you mean. I hate it when members are mean to those people who are not from the US and do not speak or type as well as we do......sometimes my typing skills leave a lot to be desired but hey! these people need some understanding and some easy direction........ it doesn't hurt to help these people out. I agree, sometimes it's hard to make out what some do write in here but all the same I've seen some who respond with I don't understand what you are saying---------------ugly, ugly !! Instead of trying to make sense of it, they are cutting the other person down. In one instance, last week I think it was a member wanted to quit writing,,,period cuz some members had told her she wasn't good enough with her english. I told her to go and get some more education in writing and learn the tools of the trade and find out the little things that help a writer be a good writer. I think that was nice and got some nice replies from several members. So, really it never hurts to be nice, offer a helping hand and let the sunshine in !! hugs, quita
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Feb 11
hi quita I know what you mean as I responded to her also. I told her that what she needed to do was get a grammar book and learn how to deal with present future and past tenses as she had a grasp'bu was just making little errors. I also showed her some examples making it clear I thought she was doing wonderfully well as I doubt I would have made that much progress in her language and trying to write in it. I told her also do not let people hurt you report them when they critize hurtfully like that. you know if we are good to people if always comes back double fold. I was fighting wind and rain one time trying to open the door here at Gold crst with a quad cane in one hand and a package in the o ther. this sweet young asian lady grabbed my arm, held her umbrella over my head and opened the heavy door for me. S he told me I had been a customer of her a few weeks back at the bank and was so sweet and polite to her. so what goes around comes around with good as well as bad.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Mar 11
hi quita so many times fellow Americans hesitate to help someone as if waiting for the other person to do it, and that little young Asian woman never hesitated.She saw me getting out of my friend's car and was right there to shield me from the pounding rain, and to open the door for me. There were several other people outside there but nobody moved to offer help. I had not asked for it,but was happy to have receivedc it.
@quita88 (3715)
• United States
3 Feb 11
I remember some of the comments made to her. Nasty, cutting remarks. I tried to help and told her if she needed further help to PM me. It's always nice to be nice.......what does it hurt? and for those who were nasty to here, they should be ashamed. If everyone would be nice like that asian lady was to you there would be no reason for wars. You are right, what goes around , comes around. hugs, quita
1 person likes this
@sender621 (14894)
• United States
22 Jan 11
This is excellent advice to both give and take. Writing takes focus. If we don't think about what we are doing, we lose momentum for what we want to achieve. Acting foolishly and irresponsibly would not be the way to achieve this.
@coduo1 (8)
22 Jan 11
think twice before you say is most common way to not to hurt anybody and i agree with your post that " Please engage brain before starting to write".
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi welcome coduo to mylot wow you are very new. Yes thats really'good advice and I have really been doing that today after reading this discussion about being hurt by random responses. I got to thinking maybe I should also be more careful and check if theres anything in my'response that could be deemed hurtful
3 people like this
@KrauseHome (36448)
• United States
25 Jan 11
So true this is. There are times when you may not always agree with what someone is trying to say in here, or just disagree because of Religion or social beliefs or even sometimes political and if you just post your rant sometimes back to them without really taking the time to think you will often end up loosing out and hurting their and others feelings as well. I sometimes think if more people could stop and think before they talk or act the World as a whole would be a lot better. Great discussion my friend.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Feb 11
hi tina you are so right if we were not so darned critical of people because they have a different language than ours, or different religion or even a physical disability.I have often disagreed with others here but did it kindly telling them this is just my opinion and I truly respect yours. I do not like to be preached at as my religion is my own and want people to respect that. I know others here also feel the same way. this country was built by men and women coming here to be free to worship as they pleased.If we did as well as countries as we do here in getting along with each other what a wonderful world that would be.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25180)
• Australia
29 Jan 11
While I agree with you in principle dear Hatley there are times when I find a discussion silly or ridiculous (meaning pathetic) or just containing inaccurate "facts". By this I mean details from the posters imagination or opinion that are not at all factual or true. I'm only human and I find myself quite often telling these people where to get off... and I may not do it in a respectful way. I know I should move onto the next one and not respond but I just cannot make myself do that sometimes.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Feb 11
hi mstickle there are several here whom really do tick me off as they come off sounding like they are the only intelligent'person in my lot and oh my in politics this one has gone too far and had his discussions deleted. he ticks off people and seems to enjoy it.'I do not like gettin into a word fight with him but once I had a response deleted as admins told me I flamed. o kay I am only human.but almost all the time i do try to think before I write. Yes we both are only human and should really just move on.But Mstickle when someone here jumps'on my friends like you or any other, then I can get into the fray and I will tell that person you h ave been reported. lol. I will not stand for my 'good mylot friends being flamed.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13963)
• United States
25 Jan 11
Hi Hatley! You've made your point perfectly clear and understandable! In other words, use constructive criticism...... treat the person the way you want to be treated. I couldn't agree more! I try to put myself in the other person's shoes and act accordingly. I'm a firm believer of to get respect, you have to give respect as well. One has to earn respect because it's not freely given. I do have one fault though, when it comes to the elderly or animals, hell's fire comes out of me if I hear or read about one being abused. Sorry, no respect is going to come from me in that catagory but I do try my best in all other things.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
25 Jan 11
That is a good saying, “Engage the brain before starting to write” I like it...I think it boils down to tact, empathy towards others and common sense. I agree that it is very good advice to stop a moment, think about what you are about to post and yes, consider those who don’t have English as a first language!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Feb 11
hi paula yes I read a discussion awhile back in which a young lady was ready to quit mylot because a mylotter told her her English was too bad for her to be here. I told her that was not true at all and that that person had broke a my lot rule. do not critique newxomers to English language because of their errors, instead extend a helping hand. I told her she was already improving but needed an English grammar book to help her get the tenses right. I also said do not quit because of one nasty person , just keep on posting and study some grammar and you will get better every day. I felt so bad as that critical person had no business saying that. We are talking to real people with feelings just like ours. nobody likes to be criticized like that.
2 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Mar 11
thanks paula I felt so sorry for her, and that other mylotter had no excuse for saying what she did. Mylot guidelines tells us not to criticize people who have English as a second language. Thanks for the kind words you are making me blush[/em]
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
3 Feb 11
I am so glad you encouraged this member not to leave due to a rude MyLotter, it would have been a real shame if she had! Good on you Hatley for being sensitive to other people, shows you're the good person we all know you are.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27514)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I agree Hately. I do think that we should be considerate when we respond. I think that we should express our true opinions but that can be done in a kind and understanding matter. The two topics that you mentioned..religion and politics..are two of the hardest ones to have this considered in. People are so passionate about these two subjects that it really doesn't take much to offend. I do try to approach these with as much respect and consideration as possible.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
hi jen i agree religion and politics can get so heated and sometimes I try my best to respectful and consider the others point of view. But still I have been called a demoncrat and naive and worse than that. one was just too hateful and I just hit the report button and while he had his comment deleted they did not delete my response as I did not say any thing hurtful to this person who quite evidently thought all democrats are evil people and he w as another American. boy how politics has divided my own country. wow. I stir clear of religons as no matter how careful you are someone starts trying to convert you to their religion verse of the bible by verse. I am a Christian and I sort of thought baptists, methodists, congregationalists all believe in the same God but some always tell me my religion is not the right one so I stay out of there.
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Mar 11
Hi JenInTn yes I do agree we all worship the same higher power. I get a charge out of the way the Mexican care givers here pronounce my first name patsie as it comes out sort of like the a is an o so it sounds'lik Potsie but I just smile I do not correct. they have a hard enough time with all the work they do here and probably they do not make a heck of a lot either.Some residents are very rude to them and thats just so unnecessary. for one thing why not be courteous because as long as we are here we have to get along with these people. When I worked as a nurses aide there were always a few people who would be rude to us nurses aide but I just tried to chalk it up to being ill and unhappy at having to be in a hospital at all.
@JenInTN (27514)
• United States
3 Feb 11
Well...if they think about it...most all religions worship the divine higher power. There are just different names. If I go to Mexico or something...my name is pronounced differently too.
1 person likes this
@topffer (42156)
• France
22 Jan 11
Hello Hatley, I try to engage my brain, but it does not work every time . I committed a blunder in a discussion about religion yesterday, and realized it when I read the response. It is too late when you have hurt somebody, but I came back and apologized... There are probably other cases where I don't saw the exact shade of a word, because English is not my first language. And I am afraid to do such errors. I like to have fun, but I don't want to hurt : I can have fun of a friend here, and, indeed, I accept the same from my friends as a game. As always, your advice is very good
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jan 11
hi topffer thanks. I have goofed myself.once I told this young man from India I believe it was that I really enjoyed a nice juicy hot dog. He commented back " oh dear lady you should not eat dog meat. that is wrong." so I commented back and apologized and explained no I did not eat dog meat at all,it is an American slang term for a wiener made of beef or pork. He was delighted to know I did not eat dogs and said he thought i was a nice lady and I proved him right.lol.
4 people like this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Feb 11
yes topffer it was at that. and I wa amused when he told he was so releiv ed as he thought I was a nice lady.
@topffer (42156)
• France
22 Jan 11
A fun misunderstanding [em]!
1 person likes this