We've all been there, seeing someone failing to properly care for an animal. Or maybe we've even been the one who fails to give an animal adequate care and is then called out on it. By learning these six simple steps, you can learn a polite yet effective way to confront others and [hopefully] get them to change their ways. This method really does work – I just tried it out on instagram and I was successful! I can't post a real screenshot here because of copyright laws, but you can learn the general method that I used below:
This is one of the most important steps because it helps ensure that the person whose animals you're trying to help stays receptive. Skip this step and you're just some person on the internet yelling at them. Get personal here - tell them your name and maybe even a very short story about your fish-keeping experience. This helps to establish that, like them, you are just another person.
Here's where you tell them about what you think they're doing incorrectly. Are they keeping a goldfish in a bowl? Not using dechlorinator? Tell them now, but do it nicely, please! Being aggressive can cause them to go on the defensive and become unresponsive to well-intentioned help.
What's the point in saying that there's something wrong if you don't offer a way to fix it? Give them a way to fix what you think they've done wrong.
Now that they already know what's wrong and what they can do to fix it, here's your chance to support what you want them to do. Will it help their fish live longer? Be happier?
After finishing with your advice, give them some extra help. Direct them to a place where they can find more information or offer your time – what you offer is really up to you.
Congratulate them! Thank them! Find a way to end things on a positive note. This helps ensure that they don't see you as the enemy – only as someone trying to help them and someone who cares about them and their animals.
For a deeper exploration into fishkeeping, visit AquariumKids.com and connect with us on Facebook (facebook.com/aquariumkids), Google+ (google.com/+aquariumkids), Instagram (instagram.com/aquariumkids), Pinterest (pinterest.com/AquariumKids) Tumblr (aquariumkids.tumblr.com), and Twitter (twitter.com/aquariumkids)! Feel free to contact me at evanb [at] aquariumkids [dot] com with any questions.
Thanks for reading about how to confront someone over improper fish care (published 7/8/16)! For more information, please browse around AquariumKids.com! Feel free to contact me at evanb [at] aquariumkids [dot] com with any questions.
What's your experience in correcting others? Let's start a discussion in the comments section below:
- Evan Baldonado