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Sigh.....You can only show a horse where the water is.....

Discussion in 'Archived Blogs' started by lff, Aug 1, 2010.
  1. hollabackitsobi
    Why so much condemnation of the customers by people in this thread? If it were you spending your money, would you take the advice of a random stranger over the experience of family and close friends, or a store employee? Furthermore, it isn't as if LFF demonstrated any type of advanced credentials that could have helped his case. "Oh, I write about headphones on an internet forum for audiophiles! Believe me!" Sure they might do well to at least entertain your opinion and believe that you truly knew what you were talking about and were indeed helping them out out of good will, but I don't think they should be condemned for not bending over and instantly accepting your "superior knowledge". 
    I also like how you worded the dialogue of everyone else in decidedly less sophisticated language, while yours was in slightly better -- albeit not perfect -- English, to make us perceive them as foolish or stupid.
  2. ford2
    There is no need to lead a horse to water,it is quite capable of finding it itself.
  3. LFF


    See below....


    This is the new approach I have adopted. With the current events surrounding my life in general I have decided to simply take a step back and watch the entire world go to hell if it so chooses. I'll simply stand, observe and smile. [​IMG]
    I have never felt superior to anyone. You can ask my friends or people who know me about that. I just reached the point that my old professor used to call a "Nonmenefregista". I just don't care anymore.
  4. OrionPax
    It is in my own personal opinion that people, at least think, that everyone is inherently evil. They have this feeling that everyone is out to get them or at least make their life worse in some respect. I work in computer retail, and it's very hard to enlighten people on which product is better than another, when they have a preconceived notion of "the best product for their needs". Whether that idea comes from a family member, close friend or someone whose job it is to write articles for consumer magazines, it is near impossible to have someone trust a complete stranger's opinions. A lot of customers that come into my store think that I am only there to get them to spend money, not help them purchase the most relevant product for their needs. There is nothing that I know of that can help change someone's mind to follow your beliefs after only a few minutes talking to them. Some people just need to fall flat on their face a few times before they open up to a stranger and listen to someone elses opinions. 
  5. Centigonal
    Hello there! I was reading through your blog, and this post inspired me to wax a little bit! Sorry for a six-month-old reply!
    People have their own opinions and convictions, and if it were easy to sway people's minds through genuine information, there would be a lot fewer creationists, et al, on this planet. 
    The thing is, human beings need a sense of superiority and/or control. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and is a tendency that's present in almost every person. When people are deprived of this sense, we feel insecurity or emasculation. Most people experience these feelings during their adolescence, in the process through which they eventually form their adult identity. A sense of control is generally established in either of two ways. The first, more common method is to simply maintain one's beliefs and not tolerate/listen to criticism regarding oneself or one's decisions. The second is to acknowledge the fact that perfection is impossible and that some criticisms about oneself are valid. In this case, a person will remain open to criticism, taking what others see as insults as opportunities to improve themselves and allowing one's identity to possible change over time as they work to fix their own flaws.The second path is especially difficult, simply because it's painful for a person to admit that they are flawed and will never achieve perfection.
    So what does all of this have to do with the topic?
    When you provide advice, LFF, you are asking the person you're talking to to allow your judgement to decide an aspect of their life for them. In essence, you're asking them to relax their control over the situation. In this case, most people, seeing you as a stranger, will give you no mind at all, because to accept your advice would mean to admit that you are a better judge of headphones for them than they themselves are. This may not be the point you are insinuating, but that is what the subconscious mind takes it as, especially since you are a stranger to the person(s) being advised. 
    I have personally found that the best way to give advice that will be followed, or even to convince most people to do anything, is to attempt to get your subject to reach the same conclusion you did via their own thought process. People instinctively recoil at things that are foreign. Ideas are no exception. Conversely, human beings automatically give more value to their own ideas. You can use this to your advantage; by having the person you are advising follow your thought process and arrive at the same conclusion you did. That way, you don't suddenly confront them with a foreign new idea ("Buy this. It's the best choice."), avoid making them feel insecure ("Those headphones that you chose are junk. These ones are better."), and allow them to reach your conclusion themselves, thus making it "their idea" and giving it more value in their head. 
    So how do you do this?
    A person is looking for headphones. He picks up some Dr. Dre Studios. Cue Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
    First of all, (obviously,) don't just butt in and start offering advice. If they didn't ask for help, there's not much you can do by force-feeding it to them. Obviously, you already know this, but I had to include it for completeness.
    So he says aloud, "I wonder if these are really worth the money" 
    It's tempting to reply with a slick "They're not," but it would be much more effective if you were to say something like:
    "Oh! Yeah! You know, most real DJs actually avoid Beats like the plague."
    You could even stick an "I heard" in there to make yourself sound more unsure -- If you want a stranger to follow your advice, it's usually more helpful to appear to be closer to their knowledge level than to show off your awesome understanding of sound (which they won't really trust anyway, because there are no such things as "audiophile credentials." A shame, really). Anyway, let's continue:
    "They do?"
    "Yeah. Apparently, they break a whole lot, and you can get a lot nicer sound for the price if you're not paying for the Dr. Dre designer label."
    Now we've given the guy some reasons that make sense to him about why Beats might not be the best choice. Let's see what happens when he responds with some justification:
    "But-but Dr. Dre uses them! He's a professional and everything!"
    "Well, Dr. Dre actually uses the Beats Pro, which are $500 headphones. They're made of metal, and people say they're okay studio headphones, but they're too heavy to use for listening to music and stuff. They sound a lot better than the plastic Beats."
    At this point, we've finally pulled the "Beats suck" card, but we've given our subject a scapegoat! It's no longer "This guy's criticizing my decision to buy Beats," but "Dre's pulling the wool over our eyes with his fancy schmancy metal headphones!" Now, you can go ahead and show him some nicer cans, and he can make an informed decision. He may pick the Beats -- some people truly are intractable -- but at this point, you've provided your advice, and done so in a way such that he can't dismiss your information for being critical.
    I hope that helped. I look forward to a reply. [​IMG]
  6. LFF


    Thanks for your post.
    I have since stopped giving advice at stores - especially since the beats came out. Even if asked I now just shrug my shoulders, smile and walk away. My reasoning is that if they were really interested in opinions, they would have used google. If they really cared about sound quality, the would obviously hear the beats and want to break them. If they really wanted a good deal, they would shop online. [​IMG]
  7. Confispect
    Funny story especially when the female doofus caught a attitude.
  8. jashanjeet

  9. jackmccabe
    My friends always come to me for headphone suggestions when they are looking to buy a pair, but one of my friends came to me and asked me to help find him some iem's I found him a great deal on a pair of meelectronics, but it turns out he had already found a pair of sony's and even though he had sked my advice he had basically decided he was going to get them. I attempted to explain to him that they would sound worse and were also more expensive, yet despite having not a single reason to do it he still purchased them.
  10. Magedark
    This happened to me with my roommate regarding NC headphones, Beats, and "looking cool." I'm going to stop giving advice unless people make some attempts to believe what I say is probably more valid than what they believe.

    Oh well, that's how people are sometimes.
  11. Long813
    The same happens to me in respect to beer/guitars and weight lifting form. There is nothing you can do - a random person has 0 input to a decision that will be made.
    But if that person has 0 knowledge, but not random, well you know..
  12. Centigonal


    This is because when people ask for help, they usually really mean "give me a couple suggestions --- point me in the right direction." They want to make the actual decision-making themselves (even if others are better at it). It makes them feel happier that way. [​IMG]
  13. Permagrin

    Or you could look at this situation like this: People readily accept "facts/knowledge" on the basis of authority (quite a prevalent concept unfortunately). I watch TV and see an ad for some product which I was unaware that will forever change my life for the better. Of course I immediately drive to the store and attempt to buy the product when I'm accosted by someone who says that that product is actually an inferior. I'm shocked! How could this person be telling the truth?!? I've never seen them on TV and I'm pretty sure they don't have a best-selling book so I really doubt they are an authority on this product. I'm just gonna give them the evil eye and hope they sod off.
  14. Wexed

    See, this is ultimately flawed. Most people are incapable of making right decisions and thus should never ask for advice unless they truly intend to listen to it. If you ask me for advice in the hopes that I will lie to you and tell you what you want to hear then you're in for a sad surprise... Don't bother me and just go ahead with your uneducated guess. It is impolite, immature and right down stupid not to believe the advice from someone you just asked it from, after all you're the one who bothered them and then you tell them you believe you know more than they do... Well if you're just going to rub it in that you're smarter than I why don't you just get the heck out of my sight and let me go on with my business!
    So there you go most people are stupid and impolite and so I hold back from having too much contact with them. Frankly I don't see why I should try making people who make unhappy by their very existance happy...
    As George Carlin put it

  15. donunus
    It seems to me that those people wouldn't really come back to the store to buy other cans anyway unlike us nutjobs over here so it doesn't really matter much for them if they spend more for crap. If I were the one at the store and they asked me, I would just tell them that all of the ones they were looking at was bad and that they should just go for their gut feeling and try to pick what they thought was the best among that pile of dung hehehe. I've actually already tried that and the dark humor actually works to make them more curious to ask why :)

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