Monday, September 3, 2012


If you heard me say it was 75 degrees outside and I was a degree off, would you have to correct me? Some people cannot leave alone an incorrect statement.  Which is a good thing if one is about to take a wrong dosage of medicine or make a wrong turn onto a highway ... but the weather?

If you are an expert in a field of knowledge and someone misspeaks, it's easy to understand a correction.  Quite reasonably, you are defending the knowledge and your expertise.  One can also understand the show off who corrects to demonstrate how great s/he is rather than how stupid you are.  No real harm meant.  The pouncer is not so benign.  The pouncer lives to correct, is driven by the need to be right, to be the leader, the superior teacher who makes you less.  Put two pouncers together and they will turn a room into a coliseum.

Pouncers like to lurk.  If you have a pouncer in your life, you may find yourself making mistakes because you feel so closely watched.  Before you know it, you can't put the key in the lock correctly or add up the grocery bill or freely express an opinion.  Serious, full-time pouncers (unfortunately these include parents) damage esteem and relationships.  When challenged they highlight the errors made and ignore their controlling need to correct. If pressed, they try to fool you by giving up verbal criticism but their eyes seek and their mouths are grim with unspoken criticisms.  My suggestion: run, run away from the pouncer.



Toni Brayer, MD said...

I like the concept of "pouncer". I think that is the same person who has to have the last word on any discussion also.

Bridget said...

Hi Toni,
That's the one! Good luck with that. Bridget