Many of us have found ourselves in the awkward and sometimes frustrating situation of being called out on something, whether that be a bad habit, your demeanor, or even something as small as a slight disturbance. Sometimes, we may even find ourselves doing the calling out. Regardless of the position you’re in, calling people out point blank is harmful.
This concept is obvious when looking at the perspective of the one being called out; It sucks to be put on the spot when it comes to your flaws. It can oftentimes be demotivating and detrimental. What many often don’t think about is why people choose to call others out.
The surface level reason is usually because of personal pleasure. Calling someone out can feel like winning a game. People sometimes feel like they were able to “spot” something, and thus feel good about calling that something out. Calling out others’ habits can also function as an emotional release. It feels good to get something off your chest, regardless of where that may be targeted.
There are many other discrete psychological factors behind “call out” culture as well. A few studies done by William Brady, Ana Gantman, and Jay Van Bavel show that moral and emotional content in specific tends to capture the interest of social media users. The act of calling out what we deem “issues” is inherently more interesting to us.
Regardless of the immediate pleasure response of calling someone out, it’s important to know that it can lead to harmful side effects. For example, call out culture has turned into a massive issue in the weight loss world. Many people have resorted to calling people overweight quite bleakly under the guise of “it’s important to alert people of their health”. While it is important to consider other peoples’ wellbeing, blatantly targeting others when it comes to their weight or lifestyle almost always comes from a place of ego or reaction. There are always healthier ways to handle situations that benefit both parties. If you think that you see a problem, think first. Evaluate what would be the best and most reasonable response to a situation, and always be open for discussion. With just a bit more care and less impulse, we can make it a big difference in the dynamic of the weight loss community.
ConscienHealth. (2019, November 17). Why Calling People Out Feels So Good. Retrieved from ConscienHealth: https://conscienhealth.org/2019/11/why-calling-people-out-feels-so-good/
Giesea, J. (2014, October 24). Stop Calling People Out. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review : https://hbr.org/2014/10/stop-calling-people-out