Why do we keep on telling others what to do?

I'm a happy member of fosstodon but one thing tends to get on my nerves, so I was thinking I'll write a tiny bit about it. Why do people keep on telling others what to do?

What do you want to achieve with it?

What are you really wanting to achieve with telling people not to use something or to use something? If you want them to actually use what you are suggesting, instead of telling them that they should use this or that, or demanding what to do, rather tell them that you've had success with it and why you do it. Not only does this come over as a lot more pleasant, but it's also more likely to bring you where you want.

Telling people what they should or should not do is a good way of alienating people, since it really gets across a feeling of people thinking they are superiour to others based on what they do, and that usually makes people feel talked down to. I don't really see what is to be gained by that approach.

Talking bad about something tend to just make people dig their heels in, and look into ways to refute you, and there are so many “apologetics” for most things that if you're trying to talk someone out of using something it might just make people dig their heels in even more, and ending up deeper into what they already doing.

So what's the alternative?

I don't claim to have any solutions, I'm just tired of this one approach, and it's really getting on my nerves, but one solution to talking bad about one thing may be to talk good about something you'd rather have people use instead, so instead of focusing on negatives of one thing you try and focus on the positives of the alternative instead, all in all this is something that at least for me makes me more likely to want to try something out, and all in all it tends to foster a more positive conversation all in all.

Usually starting a conversation out with telling people what you feel they are doing wrong is going to make it a negative conversation all in all, and I tend to believe that it's better to follow “the campfire rule”, try to make all people taking part in a conversation end up a bit better off than what they were when they started the conversation, and telling people what to do or what not to are going straight against this.

You're probably right

Yeah, I know mostly people saying this are actually right, but it doesn't mean that following the approach is going to be the right way of doing it, even working as IT-Support, mostly knowing better than most of my coworkers what is the more sane approach, framing it as “I know better so do as I say” never was something that actually brought results, rather coaxing them into making the descicion themselves based on positivity has been way more successful.

So I'll try to end this rather negative thing on a positive note, the newest thing that I've been trying to do is to just smile to a random person each day :) You never know who might have a bad day and need just one friendly person to make it a bit of a better day. Personally I hope that it makes someone else's day a bit better :)

Note: I rewrote the end there as Chrono made me aware that I was kind of doing exactly what I adviced against in the end there, and he was right, see, I'm just as guilty of it as everyone else :)