[Loch-Ruadh] Telling someone that what they are doing is not period

Terry Sikes tdsikes at prodigy.net
Wed Sep 13 21:25:50 PDT 2006

Terrence, an armiger of no great rank does send greetings to her Grace Duchess Willow,
  Your Grace can add myself to her estimation of those she has helped with her guidance and advice in the past and I found her Graces' approach both appropriate and well placed in every case.
  Not so long past having been a beginner myself, I feel that I might have somewhat to add to the discussion.
  In the first place, I have been told by management, human resources personnel, teachers, and others of like experience that criticism weighs a good deal heavier on the ear than does compliment.  For that reason it is a common recommendation to first give two compliments before giving one criticism.  This keeps a person from having their self-image totally deflated and lets them know they are at least doing something right.
  Also, if approaching a new person, it might help if the person knows who you are and what qualifications you have, so if you have not met them, please introduce yourself and tell them what kind of things you have done.  I think that some people in the society may forget that new people may not know which coronet is which or what award is what and may not know that a particular piece of advice is coming from someone who has studied the subject.
  Lastly, make sure the person knows you are not trying to ostracize them, instead you are trying to be their friend.  Take them by the arm.  Tell them how happy you are to have them here and participating.  Tell them how much you enjoy working to recreate period and that you love seeing them doing the same.
  One of the things that constantly amazes me is how many extremely intelligent and talented people we have in this society.  In any regular group of people these people have been the "go to" people, the people who are looked up to, the people with the know-how and ability.  In the society with so many intelligent people, the group dynamics change and the way people deal with each other has to change by huge amounts or feelings get hurt.  I, for one, am glad to be able to associate with such people.
  Terrence adte Syke
  "willowjonbardc at juno.com" <willowjonbardc at juno.com> wrote:
  Greetings everyone

I have a special request of you. How can we tell people that what they 
are doing is not correct? That it is not period, but at the same time 
not make them feel bad. Many newer people are telling me that they are 
living in fear because they think their costumes, art, performances or 
behavor are going to be criticized and they are going to be told that 
they are not in period.

Now as a citizen of the SCA I feel it is my duty to inform people 
that their work may be better if they would stay in period. I have 
tried to tell them in a nice way. I have failed many times. Sometimes 
I am too soft. There was the young lady who was planning on beading a 
piece of polyester double knit. I warned her that taking that much 
time on double knit meant it would not get the best scores at the A&S 
competitions. She said she liked the design and she didn't plan on 
entering A&S. Of course 3 years later she did enter it and got points 
knocked because it was double Knit. She left the SCA over it. I failed 
with my own husband. I told him his work was not period and he is 
still mad at me. Sometimes I have helped people. There was a lady who 
in the everyday world won many awards for her needlework, but she was 
getting nowhere in SCA. I suggested she change her designs to 
something period and she received many awards for her work. When I 
told her that her designs were wrong she cried, but a year later when 
she got her Thistle she hugged me. 

We need to tell people the rules of the game, but we need to do it in 
a nice way. Does anyone remember a time when someone set you on the 
right path and did in a way that made you feel good? I would like to 
hear about their techniques. Courtesy is one of the pillars of the 
magic that is Ansteorra. We are smart people. We need to figure out 
how to tell people things without hurting their feelings. 
Duchess Willow de Wisp

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