Seth Godin recently posted this concise analysis:
There are only three reasons to really chew someone out for something they did, only three reasons to have an emotional tantrum, to use cutting language and generally make them feel lousy:
1. You want them to never do it again.
2. You want them to stop doing it right now.
3. You feel upset about the change and taking it out on the person who took action makes you feel better. First clue, “he deserved it!”
Can we agree that the third reason is selfish and there are almost certainly better responses if your goal is one or two?
Next time I need or want to impress on Scouts that I’d never want to see a particular behavior repeated, or that I want them to stop doing something right now, I’ll do my best to avoid reason number three.