A man landed himself in hot water with a close friend recently and took to Reddit to find out where he’d gone wrong and if he’d been a jerk. He’d given her some brutally honest critique on a novel his friend was writing, and it didn’t go down well at all! Here’s the full scoop.
A Tough Critic Got Into a Sticky Situation
34-year-old Trayvon, short for tough critic, has known his friend, Charlotte, ever since they were in graduate school together.
They had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship, but they had a strong chemistry and rapport that allowed them to be very honest with each other.
She Was an Aspiring Novelist
Charlotte was an aspiring novelist, and she often asked Trayvon for feedback on her writing. She made it clear to him that she valued his straightforward and clear feedback.
She Wanted His Feedback
One day, she asked Trayvon to read a first draft of a short novel that she had written as a tribute to her uncle, who had recently passed away from esophageal cancer.
He Was Skeptical From the Beginning
Trayvon was skeptical about the subject matter and the character based on her uncle. When she asked for brutal honesty, Trayvon felt like he had permission to give her no-holds-barred notes.
However, when he read the novel, he found it to be irreparably horrible.
He Hated It
The writing was subpar and lacked polish and attention to detail. The characters were poorly developed and lacked depth or nuance, making it difficult for readers to connect with them.
The plot was unoriginal and lacked any real sense of tension or excitement, making the book a chore to get through. Trayvon couldn’t believe how bad it was.
He Got Carried Away When Leaving His Feedback
Trayvon thinks he may have gotten carried away when he gave her his feedback. He mentioned her uncle, and told her that the character based on him was just some basic man.
He said she had given readers no reason to become invested in the character.
A Completely Tactless Response
Trayvon told her that nobody would care about the story if they didn’t care about the character, and that it was a terrible way to pay respect to her uncle.
The Feedback Went Down Like a Lead Balloon
Charlotte was furious and started to tear up. She said that nothing that TC gave her was constructive, even though she specifically asked for brutal honesty.
He Was Trying to Sugarcoat His Initial Response
Trayvon truly felt like she needed to redo the entire novel. He didn’t think there was anything constructive he could have said that wasn’t just, “It’s terrible; you have to redo it.”
He Couldn’t Understand Why She Was Reacting Like This
Charlotte accused TC of disrespecting her uncle and spitting on his memory, which he totally disagreed with.
She gave him full reign to be as brutal as possible, so she shouldn’t be mad at him for doing the exact thing that she asked for.
His Criticism Wasn’t Constructive
But Trayvon’s response was not constructive and lacked any sense of tact or sensitivity.
Instead of focusing on the writing, he brought her uncle into the conversation and said hurtful things that were not helpful to the writing process.
There Were Better Ways to Go About It
He could have given her constructive criticism that focused on the writing without insulting her uncle or her memory of him.
His criticism was not helpful, and it was insensitive to the emotional subject matter of the novel.
The Situation Is Frustrating Him
Trayvon knew that he may have gone too far with his feedback, but he couldn’t help but feel frustrated.
He gave her the brutal honesty that she asked for, and now she was mad at him for it. He felt like she wasn’t ready for the type of criticism that she asked for.
Now He’s Wondering if He Was Wrong
Trayvon is having a hard time understanding why she asked for brutal honesty if she wasn’t ready to hear it. Now he’s wondering if he was a jerk about things.
He Could Have Pointed Out the Thinks He Liked
Trayvon could have praised the things he did like in the writing, such as the length, certain bits of dialogue, or detailed descriptions of the hospital room, among others.
Honest and Constructive Without Being Cruel
This approach would have been honest and constructive without being cruel and tactless. While he thought he was doing her a favor, he may have just sabotaged their friendship.
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The post She Asked Her Best Friend for Brutally Honest Feedback, but Now She’s Calling Him Insensitive first appeared on Career Step Up.
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