Taking Criticism

December 6, 2012 at 9:56 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment

It’s performance review season in my office and you can just feel the tension. Who likes to be reviewed? Who doesn’t fear the process, afraid to hear their weaknesses vocalized? All the good that is said just doesn’t matter. There’s an art in taking criticism one must learn, because naturally it’s damn near impossible not to take it personally. Because it’s the one negative thing said that you will fixate on.The same goes for one’s personal relationships. Since we were little we have teased each other, picked on each other, pointed out each other’s flaws, because we were friends, we had crushes, we were frenemies, rivals. We offend purposely and accidentally. But instinct is always to show we are hurt and automatically accuse the person of malintent. When you react too quick, too emotional, fights happen, and friendships can be severely damaged. But if you take a step back, assume positive intent, you are able to calm down, collect your thoughts and decide what you want the outcome of the situation to be before just jumping on people.

I’m not one to hide my feelings. I have very few secrets. Through reading this blog you know I tend to speak my mind, bare my soul. But I’m learning how to think before I speak, to listen to what is being said to me and the context to which is being said. What is the environment in which this conversation is happening? Are there outside influences or other reasons for language to come out the way it does, or does this person really not know better? If you think before you react, you can find clarity.

A piece of advice often given to newlyweds is to never go to sleep angry. It’s a piece of advice I do not agree with. Most of the time my exhaustion plays a role in my anger which leads to easy fighting grounds. Because if I’m angry, I can’t just calm down. I will be clearer the next day when the hormones have run through my system. I am less likely to say something I’ll regret.

It all comes down to a little consideration, putting yourself in one’s shoes. How do you want to be treated? If you can successfully treat others the way you want to be treated all the time, I’m sure there is a special place in the afterlife for you.

Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, but they won’t all the time, and it’s our responsibility as fellow human beings to compliment our friends and to be kind to strangers. As for the incessant meanies, ignore them!

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