Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How to disagree with research without insulting people?

Honestly I think on a lot of topics it's fine to do whatever works for your family. But is there a better way to disagree when somebody pulls out a complete bull crap of a study that they heard on the internet to back something up? I'm in training to be a community health educator and so I do need to correct information but I just want to know how you would prefer someone went about it?
I really want to know how you would prefer to be corrected because what is a horrible insult to one is just fine to another?

Like I had no idea how to respond in a nice way to a friend who is breastfeeding her older toddler and had to use(and I never commented on her breastfeeding she brought it up) that the worldwide weaning age is 7. It's preposterous since 2/3 of the world's population loses they're ability to digest lactose between the ages of 3-5. But like I said I don't care how long you breastfeed but it's my job to correct information but in this case I walked away because I didn't want to fight over nothing.
But because I'll be speaking basically for the health department on certain somewhat touchy topics including vaccination, HIV, breastfeeding, to a certain extant childbearing in general, contraception, and many more things I can't think of right now.

So since that's a bit long winded to summarize. How would you prefer to have your information corrected?
Please don't just say in a respectful way, I need descriptions.

Answer Question

Asked by lizziebreath at 5:19 PM on Jul. 13, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 19 (6,846 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • to a friend- unless the situation is dangerous i would more than likely keep my trap shut
    in the professional or academic i would ask the person to cite sources.
    Wiki may be a jumping off point to learn where else to look but it is not reputable.

    had this been either professional or academic i would then refer to peer reviewed articles while avoiding anecdotal information

    Answer by feralxat at 5:31 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • There was nothing to correct in the case of your friend. So you say NOTHING on that one.

    You correct MIS-information using the information you were given. Example: SOmeone tells you their mom wants their 4 month old breastfed baby on cereal. "The current recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that baby is breastfed ONLY until six months, and complementary foods can be introduced after that."

    Just the facts, ma'am, as Joe Friday used to say!

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:40 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • I agree with feralxat.

    friend - leave it alone- it's not worth it (unless it is something that is harmful)
    otherwise, use credible sources to back you up

    "But is they're a better way"

    should be "there"

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 5:40 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • Above all, you never never never interject your personal opinions, especially when you're speaking for the health agency. Facts facts facts. If you don't know the facts you look them up.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:42 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • I'd say "well in all my studies I have never heard of "that" & I would be very interested in seeing some data & studies that reflect that. Lets talk later & thank you for your input!" Short & sweet & shut them up quick in a nice way.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 5:51 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • With the friends it just seems like if people don't ask for my opinion then they probably don't want it.

    Usually I do use studies or things from classes I've had to take. The factoid about when lactose intolerance happens is from my nutrition 1010 class.

    But what happens when you get one of those people who say studies must be wrong or thinks that the government is hiding things? Any hope for them or are they lost to reason?

    Comment by lizziebreath (original poster) at 6:43 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • Site your sources, and maybe give them literature that they can use to look up the information at home. Some people are going to be very stubborn about their beliefs, and as unemotionally as you can you are going to have to tell them that their "facts" are not current , and perhaps they would like to read about the latest finding.

    Answer by musicmaker at 6:46 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • Without reading your text, to answer the question in the title line, there is no way to not offend someone. They get offended on their own, you can't control what will offend a person.

    Answer by staciandababy at 6:47 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • I think all you can do is give the correct information and move on. You can't force someone to realize they're wrong and accept what you state as right. So, I would just correct it factually, citing your source and move on.

    Woman: You can get HIV just from looking at someone who has it.
    You: Actually, _______ has proven that the only ways to get it are ______________. Now let's discuss how you can protect yourself against HIV in those situations.

    Either they'll realize that what they thought wasn't correct after all and that you've just taught them something, or they'll continue with their misinformed belief and you can only hope that their misinformation doesn't lead to harm for them or someone interacting with them.

    If they want to try to argue with you, I would simply state "We have limited time, so we need to keep moving. If you'd like to stay after to discuss this further, I'd be happy to discuss it with you then."

    Answer by wendythewriter at 6:51 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • " It's preposterous since 2/3 of the world's population loses they're ability to digest lactose between the ages of 3-5"

    I think that's after weaning, not during breastfeeding, because the body quits producing lactase at that time.

    But I agree with gdiamante in that you have to simply go by the facts facts facts. Make sure that you keep up on your reading and digesting of new information. Also, I suspect the state will have a plethora of information for you to provide to your clients.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 6:55 PM on Jul. 13, 2013

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.