“Hi, I’m Jen, I Ruin Everything”: 79 People Introduce Themselves Using The Most Annoying Feedback They’ve Ever Received

Professional feedback is one thing, but there is a special breed of person who thinks that they have some special knowledge about you that they just have to share. For your benefit, of course. At best, it’s annoying, at worst it’s so wildly off-base that you have to wonder what fantasy world they inhabit.

Content design consultant Amy Hupe started off a viral Twitter thread when she shared the most ridiculous feedback she had ever received in a creative way. She asked people to introduce themselves with the offensive things clients, coworkers, and managers had told them when trying to be “helpful.” So upvote the worst examples and comment your own terrible feedback stories below.

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Bored Panda has reached out to Amy Hupe via Twitter, and we’ll update the article once we hear back from her.

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Both scientific reviews and many of the examples listed here together disprove the notion that experience and education will somehow stop a person from saying something deeply stupid or rude to a fellow professional. One study indicated that in scientific peer review, aka how most of our research is disseminated, people will still get personal attacks from anonymous peers (hence the term peer review). This tends to happen to women in male-dominated fields or people with feminine-sounding names. It seems that being a literal scientist isn’t enough to prevent childish prejudice. 

Giving useful feedback is a skill in itself, but the main predictor of its usefulness, or lack thereof, often lies on the receiving end. If the receiving person expects judgment of performance, they are less likely to actually absorb the feedback. If the feedback is perceived as a side effect of a learning experience, they tend to perform better. This has been demonstrated in a 1995 study where two groups of students were made to solve math tasks. The first group was simply told this exercise was to help them learn, the second group was told it was designed to measure their knowledge. The first group performed better. 


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Obviously, a smart adult will understand that feedback will happen, regardless of context. Australian academic Phillip Dawson has a few strategies he suggests to make even genuine negative feedback feel more “toothless” and, as a result, be more effective. He recommends allowing oneself to feel whatever negative emotions we naturally feel when hearing something bad. Anger, despair, whatever, just get it out of the way. Then note down whatever was said so you can learn from it when you are in a better headspace. 

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Now, that about the many elements of useless and downright offensive feedback shared here? A true optimist would perhaps think that the feedback-giver is just trying to be helpful, whatever that means. But the focus on specific negative traits could point to the classic psychological fallacy of projection. Basically, a person who can’t really deal with their own flaws and insecurities will just “project” them onto someone else. So if a person is very concerned about their own body image, they will be the first to point out what they think might be wrong with your body! And if you are wondering, what does body image have to do with professional ability, then you are one step closer to understanding the bewilderment of some of the Tweets here.


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Now, if the feedback-giver and receiver share a similar issue, field or experience, there is an argument to be made that the data could be valid. However, studies show that, for lack of a better word, the “projectors” tend to not absorb external information and just work with their own experience. Hence the downright useless and generally offensive feedback, as their primary motivation to give it comes from waiting to feel better about themselves. Simply put, projection is a defense mechanism and you are the unfortunate soul caught in the crossfire. 


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All told, it’s a pretty silly mechanism, since at best it just distracts the person from their own issue for a little while, all while sabotaging a potential relationship with another person. It’s particularly dumb because projection is a pretty well-known and documented psychological phenomenon, as a result, it only makes the person’s insecurities stand out even more. Our brains can recognize patterns and if we see someone always talking about other people’s bodies, professional abilities, or anything else, it’s safe to assume this topic is on their mind for a reason particularly, when they conflate these things with feedback. Because, as mentioned before, projecting makes them momentarily feel better about themselves, and “giving feedback” is, they think, a good way to do this without unmasking themselves. 


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Source: boredpanda.com

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