It's about my answer to this question with currently -4 Score.

How can I ask my parents to stop calling me when I'm out or ask me where I'm going?

I can and maybe will delete it but I would like to understand why this is considered a bad answer as I stated personal experience and an IPS related solution.

It is my goal to understand it to be able to give better answers in the future.

  • Good of you @MansNotHot to want to learn why. I looked at your answer and found its net score has climbed up to -2! It might reach a 'respectable' zero soon, so please don't delete. It's a honest answer from your direct experience. None of your other answers has a negative score and some are highly upvoted and also accepted by OP. So you are doing well here and it might be worth reading the recent meta about how to pick questions to answer. The expert answers to your this meta question will show you where to improve. I hope to see many more good posts from you so you keep up the good work! Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 5:42
  • 1
    You have to write honest and experienced answers (and questions) like this anyway, because those are the best kind of answers: but just take care to focus on the 'interpersonal' aspects. If some posts get downvoted, so be it. It just reflects ongoing quality-control efforts here. The recent meta about how to pick questions to answer: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2068/… Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 5:44
  • @EnglishStudent I appreciate that thanks and i will take a look! :)
    – MansNotHot
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


I will attempt to answer based on a third party observer perspective. I did not answer, comment or vote on the original question, and only viewed it to get a better idea of the basis and context for your current question.

I think a key point to consider before diving into the specific question you reference is the purpose of this site and the kinds of dilemmas we try to tackle. I recently read a thread about on and off topic questions, and it was enlightening to me at least, I think it may help you get an idea of how to understand the reasons why the voting system works as it does within this site, (not just for your answer but for any answer) and I encourage you to read it when you have a moment:

Differentiating on and off topic - How?

At any rate, now for specifics. In this case the OP was asking for solutions on how to deal with the interpersonal interactions between his parents and himself. Notably that he feels his parents are overbearing and that he should be given more freedom in his life given his age. This question, at its core, was asked to gain insight into different ways of handling that situation from an interpersonal skills perspective, the OP was not looking for ways in which he could avoid the situation altogether. In your defense, if the OP was looking for ways to avoid the situation, then perhaps the question itself should have been marked as off-topic and not under the purview of Interpersonal Skills; however, I did not get this impression after reading the OP's question.

It is sometimes difficult to separate yourself from your opinions and focus on the question, especially when you have experience in the topic at hand, but that is often required in this site. I myself have a hard time taking a step back and accessing what the question really is, and most importantly how to provide an answer that focuses on just the IPS part, while ignoring contemplation of actions that could be taken to eliminate the situation altogether. In this case, your answer effectively gave your background and then recommended moving out. The OP may have this plan, or may not, but in either case moving out or not does not address the original question of "How to deal with overbearing parents as an adult". If you compare your answer to those with better ratings, you may find that even if you dont personally agree with the solutions, the higher rated answers tend to focus more on the deliberate communications between the OP and his parents, how to implement them, and also specific tenets of that conversation that need to be verbalized in order to achieve the OP's goal.

The beauty of IPS is that there are infinite ways of applying it to different situations, and no one way is definitively correct. This community evaluates answers based on their adherence to the purpose of the site, not necessarily based on their absolute effectiveness. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, especially when you have first hand experience in the situation, but it pays to always revert back to and remember what this site does. In short, just look at the voting system as a tool for you to shape your answers into guidance that aligns with the core of the site, not as a personal attack on your specific answer. If you do this and can see through the specifics, it will better help you to not only provide better answers of your own, but also you will be able to shape and mold this community towards a powerful forum that really focuses on and tackles those hard questions and situations using IPS solutions!

  • Thank you this was very insightful!
    – MansNotHot
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 22:33
  • No problem! Thank you for asking!
    – Valiant
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 0:31

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