My bff is applying to business school. She's got some essays. She wants some advice. Enter in Pandora's Box.
This just happened with an article I wrote. I showed it to someone after it had been factchecked, changed by my editor to fit the magazine's style (while retaining the most choice lines). I asked someone to check it out, thinking that they would want to hire me for something else.
Wrong. They didn't like the style of the article. But that was the whole point of the article (seriously, I'm the first one to admit when I write crapola--it happens more than I'd like to think).
So, back to the business school essay. Or the person who doesn't have the balls to quit their job, break up with the boy, move to the new city. Do they want to bitch or do they want advice?
Or do they just want you to tell them they're right? Judging from my own experience, I say they want you to tell them they're right. Brilliant. That they can't change a word or a single situation without a whole deck of cards falling. Sad perhaps, but very true.
Now off to tell an essay is brilliant! Because at this point, it's going to be handed in tomorrow. At this point, being the a-hole who has suggestions on changing the entire theme is going to make me the bad guy, not the hero. Because at this point, my friend is a beautiful person, and if her essay doesn't reflect that, hell if I'll be the one to tell her...
Call me a coward all you like...but don't tell me you wouldn't do the same, late in the game? Once the article has been published, once the package is in the mail, once the talk has been had and the email has been sent, what the hell else are you supposed to do? I'll tell you. You say this, "I've done this. I'm sharing it with you because I'm insecure. The only thing, and I repeat, the ONLY thing I want from you is to tell me it's amazing. Cool?"
The world might be a better place if we did these things, don't you think?