I wrote this almost two weeks ago. I wanted to be sure I wouldn't say something I will later regret and I also wanted to let my feeling calm down.
Just read the part about "So, where am I going with that?".
For an IPS user, I tend to ask a lot of questions. Some of them are received very nicely, some others... aren't.
I'm not talking here about people thinking that my questions should be closed, this is just fine - I have nothing against respecting the site's scope and if I missed it, I'm glad to hear it from other users so that I can improve in the future. I'm also not talking about people downvoting my questions, there is nothing I can do about personal taste. I'm talking about people answering my questions.
More specifically, I'm talking about people frame-challenging a question while being as delicate as a punch in the face.
Let's take one of my most recent question: Tactfully telling my cousin that she might do too many of the chores in her household (but, if you want more, just look at a question about veganism, autism, lgbt+, etc...).
How did I felt when reading the answers there?
For answer A, I really dislike the fact that they took for granted that this was none of my business. They have no idea what my actual relationship with my cousin is (none of you does because that's not something one can describe in so little words) and I really dislike people presenting things as facts when they are just opinions. But the rest of the answer was good enough (IMO) so I didn't downvote it.
I like answer B because they didn't make any judgment. They didn't say "don't do it, it's not your job to", they just took for granted that I knew what was my place or not, and they helped me find a way to carefully bring the subject.
For the same reason, I like answer C. They warned me about the fact that my judgment could be flown by several things and presented me with a technic I can use.
Answer D is the one that I found the most problematic. Like for answer A, they took for granted that it was none of my business but they also used a harsher language and made assumptions about me in which I absolutely don't recognize myself (no, I have no intentions of telling my cousin that her relationship with her husband is set up wrong, I just want to talk about this without infantilizing anyone).
Comparing to this previous answer, Answer E is much better. They did assume that I don't know my cousin well enough but they used a much softer language.
So, where am I going with that?
What I want to say is: if, when OP read an answer to their question, they feel angry and hurt, your answer is harmful and should really be edited to be nicer.
If, when reading an answer to your question, you get negative feelings, you will probably hesitate to ask other questions in the future.
This is not what we want.
We want people here to participate and ask more questions, not less! We want people here to feel welcome and safe, not scared by the answers they might get!
These problems create a climate of insecurity, on a site which very purpose is to help people the best we can. Right now, I'm seriously thinking about adding a note under all of my questions: "I don't care about your opinion, I only want facts". I'm also considering adding "Please trust me when I believe that the other person won't take this as an intrusion in their life". And the mear fact that I am seriously considering this tells a lot.
You know what else is problematic? The fact that, when someone answers my question, I fear what the answer will be and I always check who wrote the answer so I know if I have reasons to be afraid or not.
I talked about this with other users and I know that I'm not the only one tempted to add such note as a footer on their posts.
But, in my opinion what's written on those footers should be obvious the default, not the exception!
Also, I honestly think that some answers are written in such a harch way that they directly violate your "be nice" policy. Especially for the answers I listed at the end of my post.
So, what do you think? Do you think this is a problem? What do you suggest we do about it?
Here is a list of some other examples:
"one doesn't go around giving unsolicited advice to family members" -> https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/13372/21067
"how hard would it have been to just let them" -> https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/17881/21067
A lot of opinions in answer to this question, but very little real answers -> I have a crush on a coworker but won't act on it, how can I tell my boyfriend about it and that I'll remain faithful?
I'd like to introduce you to our new friend - the Controversial Topic Post Notice
Note: I was hoping to write this post in a neutral way, using answers from various questions (not all posted by me) because this is a problem I have noticed too frequently (but almost always on controversial, NQH worth, questions). But it seems that I'm unable to remain neutral; emotions are at stake here. So, please, if you have other examples where you have noticed this problem, add it here (in comments or by editing the post).