To the best of my ability (since there was not already much meat to this post), I have edited the information in this question to not sound as biased and updated the question away from being "how do I tell someone they're wrong".

I feel like it now stands as a more appropriate IPS question, and the original close reason of "off topic for IPS" isn't as valid.

However, are there pieces of information this question is still lacking that must be addressed before we reopen?

  • 1
    In general, I think "How can I persuade people that I'm right and they're wrong" questions should be off-topic, regardless of the opinion (including if it's an opinion I like). Addressable concerns are more along the lines of "how can I have a conversation about this without having it spiral into an argument" or "what are some techniques to negotiate a mutually-agreeable approach to ants in the kitchen".
    – 1006a
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:20
  • @1006a I agree that blatant "persuade someone they're wrong" isn't on topic. But I feel like "how can I express my opinion that what they're doing is wrong" can still be important. Maybe it just takes some more rephrasing, as in your examples. I've tried to update the question again with different phrasing.
    – Jess K.
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


It sounds too much like a Humans are the real monsters rant.

I think your latest edit brings it to being relatable and answerable.

  • Even though I've edited to make it "it's my opinion that we undervalue these creatures"? I don't really share OP's sentiment about bugs, but I've assumed that anyone could come here claiming to believe anything and we'd still attempt to help them find a way to resolve their question.
    – Jess K.
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:11
  • For example, if the post were "I've always thought killing animals to eat is disgusting. How can I tell my family that I think it's wrong?" wouldn't we try to provide answers for this common phenomena "vegetarianism"? (Really just trying to learn at this point, not prod)
    – Jess K.
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:13
  • 2
    @JessK. but what he wants is for his MIL to stop killing ants, not how to communicate his displeasure. Getting someone to do something isn't a personal skill, how to communicate it is.
    – user4548
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:21
  • @JessK. again, the "Killing animals is disgusting" is a rant, and not relative to any interpersonal skill, and communicating that something is wrong is just expressing your opinion. HOW to express your opinion is an IPS
    – user4548
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:24
  • I've updated the question phrasing again and I'd be curious what your opinion is now. On our other discussion note though, I feel like saying "I believe that X is wrong" is just informative on the OP's background... Although I will admit, the original phrasing of the post had a very blatant "It is wrong. Humans are ignorant" vibe that I was trying to work out with some of the additions of "I believe, I feel".
    – Jess K.
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:28
  • @JessK. we have a winner!
    – user4548
    Jan 23, 2018 at 21:00

As I said in a comment, I think that "How can I persuade people that I'm right and they're wrong" questions should be off-topic, regardless of the opinion.

Your edit in its current form is much closer to an IPS question, but I still would not have voted to re-open. The question, shorn of rantiness, that you have boiled down is

How can I tell [my mother], and anyone else I see doing it, that it's upsetting for me to see them kill these creatures?

The trouble with this question is that without more context, the answer is going to be essentially

You say "it's upsetting for me to see you kill these creatures."

That's not particularly helpful, because we don't have any context about whether the OP has already tried that approach, what else they might have tried, what the response has been to whatever they've attempted, or what their goals might be besides stopping the ant-killing. For example:

  • Is being heard and understood enough, or does the hearer need to make some concession for the OP to feel satisfied?
    • How significant does the concession need to be? Would it be OK if Mom waits until the OP has left the room to deal with the ants, or is that still horribly upsetting?
    • Would it be enough if Mom agrees to work hard to avoid attracting ants to the kitchen?
  • How important is it to the OP to preserve the interpersonal relationship, relative to the importance of stopping the insect killing?
  • Besides Mom in the kitchen, does the OP also want/need to have this conversation with their teacher/boss/friends/coworkers? What about strangers on the street who aren't watching out for ants when they walk?

And so forth. Without this kind of information, answers are likely to be either very general, incredibly long in order to allow for all the various possibilities, or else hit-or-miss in terms of how helpful they are to the OP.

Having said all that, it seems that many questions here leave out what I would consider important context of this sort*, and I have pretty much given up on expecting it, so I'm not going to VTC now that it's been reopened.

*How to tell people I'm not their tech support? is a recent example of a question that does a very good job of including this kind of context. There's some factual background, and then an enumerated list of goals:

My targets are these:

1. Tell those people, who expect me to help them with their totally random problems, that I'm not their personal technical support for their printer or whatever

2. Do 1) without hurting their feelings a lot, I'd rather tell them that I'm just not competent enough to fix their problems, however, this is not an option due to my field of study. (Note: I already tried this and it was ignored, because "I know that, because I study computer science")

3. Still have them feel like I'm a helpful person, but not a magician

  • Valid concerns - as we ask the same things of all posts we have on site. These are things the OP would need to clarify (beyond our ability to edit in or rephrase), and maybe it's worth casting a 'too broad' vote on the now re-opened post... maybe not though. shrug thanks for all of your effort and this info!
    – Jess K.
    Jan 23, 2018 at 22:19

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