Disagreement can feel bleak. Especially disagreement with family or with someone you love.
Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling like it didn’t go the way you wanted it to? Perhaps the person you were speaking with reacted badly to something you said. Perhaps in the heat of the moment you snapped, and you wish you hadn’t.
I want to highlight something we talk about in the Eggshells episode called ‘Identity Part 2: Woke + Cancel Culture’. At the time of writing this post, this episode has noticeably fewer downloads than our previous episodes; I am wondering if some people are just done with hearing those two terms? If that’s you, never fear. I’m here today to talk about Callout Culture instead.
“Isn’t callout culture just cancel culture with a different name though?”
No, no it is not. Thank you for asking.
When a person or organisation is called out, this means they've received feedback that something they've said or done marginalises or harms an individual or group. They are given the opportunity to reflect on and ideally rectify their behaviour, and it's up to them to do that.
When a person or organisation is cancelled they might be publicly humiliated, or denied access to certain support, services or environments, based on something they've said or done that marginalises or harms an individual or group.
This very helpful article explains it well.
We at Eggshells think, especially at the individual level, that callout culture is more useful. This is for two reasons. The first is that sympathy for or outrage by the cancelled "victim" may distract from the conversation, and the second is that the "threat of being cancelled" may make people scared to do or say the "wrong" thing, despite the fact that making mistakes is the only way to learn.
For sure it feels horrible if you say something wrong, or upset someone, or if you are the upset party. Disagreement is hard – if it wasn’t, we’d have no podcast. But it’s possible to navigate disagreement with more cooperation, more grace, and more learning.
So here it is straight, from Eggshells to you:
If you are called out for saying the wrong thing, reflect on that. Does the way you expressed yourself accurately represent your values? Did you cause hurt in a way you didn't intend? It's totally fine to get something wrong and be corrected. Literally 100% of human beings get things wrong, so do not sweat it if someone is letting you know that today, it was your turn. Tomorrow, it'll be someone else.
If you believe you are in a position to call someone out, put yourself in their shoes. This is really important - and yes, really hard if they're saying something you perceive to be hateful. But many people aren't trying to be dicks (many are but that's for another time), they're just making their way through the world as best they can, and we ALL need to learn. So if today, you're hoping to help someone learn, present your feedback in a way someone might actually be able to absorb. It's what you'd want someone to do for you, right?
Disagreement is a lot about identity, so you must acknowledge the human you're speaking with - especially if you want to develop the relationship.
If that got you thinking, go to the podcast page and tune into a few of our episodes – I’d especially recommend the ones on Identity in disagreement. Also, you can follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest news, and to easily let us know what you think in the comments or DMs!