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.
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.
A Novelist Friend 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.
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.
They Overwhelmingly Thought He Was a Jerk
The Reddit community was quick to react to TC’s post, with many calling him a jerk.
They felt that while he had been asked to give his honest opinion, he had gone too far in his criticism.
They pointed out that the book was a tribute to her late uncle, and that Trayvon should have been more sensitive in his feedback.
They Thought His Feedback Was Cruel
They also said that TC’s comments were cruel, and that he should have found more constructive ways to give feedback without being hurtful.
Some commenters went so far as to say that Trayvon sounded insufferable, and that he was being a jerk.
An Insensitive First Thought
Many Redditors pointed out that Trayvon’s jerk tendencies were showing when he felt the need to point out that Charlotte’s uncle “wasn’t a particularly unique individual that I thought would make for an interesting subject of a novel.”
His statement was insensitive and lacked empathy for Charlotte’s feelings, as it was clear that her uncle was important to her.
He Should Have Taken This Approach
One Redditor suggested a different approach that Trayvon could have taken: “From how you’ve described him to me, I think you could emphasize [these qualities] a bit more so they really show how unique he was.”
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.
This approach would have been honest and constructive without being cruel and tactless.
He Needs to Apologize
While he thought he was doing her a favor, he may have just sabotaged their friendship.
Hopefully these Reddit responses will inspire Trayvon to apologize, and offer some genuinely constructive criticism.
What do you think about this tale? Was his brutally honest feedback a step too far?
More From Career Step Up
A woman took to Reddit to ask if she’d acted too rashly when she kicked out her son’s girlfriend from their house. She Kicked Her Son’s Girlfriend Out After She Introduced Herself and Made an Inappropriate Joke! Was She Wrong?
She’s Seven Months Pregnant And Has Just Found Out Something About Her Husband That Has Ruined Her Life
She can’t believe what her husband, Harry, has told her. He’s cheated on her not once, but twice, within the span of just over a month! OP is devastated, hurt, and lost. She’s considering divorce, but Harry argues that she is selfish for even thinking about it, as their unborn child needs both parents to grow up. She’s Seven Months Pregnant And Has Just Found Out Something About Her Husband That Has Ruined Her Life
A Rude Entitled Woman Demanded She Help Her Lift 160LB Worth of Dog Food, Even Though She Wasn’t an Employee! Then It Got Physical!
Zara was in the middle of a routine shopping trip at Wally World with her young daughter when an entitled woman, Becky, appeared out of nowhere. A Rude Entitled Woman Demanded She Help Her Lift 160LB Worth of Dog Food, Even Though She Wasn’t an Employee! Then It Got Physical!
She Thought He Worked in a Supermarket, and Got Furious When He Told Her She Didn’t!
Have you ever had an encounter with a stranger that left you feeling frustrated and bewildered? Well, in today’s story, we will dive into a infuriating encounter that Johnny had with a stranger in a supermarket almost ten years ago. She Thought He Worked in a Supermarket, and Got Furious When He Told Her She Didn’t!
Her Boss Had Been Stealing Her Work for Years, and Then He Accidentally Outed Himself to the CEO!
It’s time for a tale of karmic retribution. Today it comes from a woman whose boss had been passing off her reports as his. It’s a great story. Her Boss Had Been Stealing Her Work for Years, and Then He Accidentally Outed Himself to the CEO!
The post She Told Him to Be Brutally Honest, But His Response Upset Her first appeared on Career Step Up.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.