I had an interesting email exchange today with a person who was protesting a statement I made elsewhere. She had very reasonable points, is considerably more knowledgable in that field than I am and I was happy to hear her input. So I wrote back, thanked her, discussed my views a bit more, took hers on board and all was good and happy.
But what really struck me was that she responded to my response with a thank you for being gracious. Which made me think - do we really expect all answers to our critiques to be rude? Did she really think I was going to snap at her for daring to point out that I may be wrong?
Actually, yes she did. The internet and it's supposed anonymity has allowed people to be rude and snide and nasty. But it's perhaps unfair to blame it entirely on the internet. Most of us have trouble accepting when we're wrong, or when we've been heavily criticised. But even if it's tough to swallow, sometimes you've gotta take it, and take it well. I would have thought that was part of being a grown-up.