Criticism is a bitter pill in the mouth and seldom easy to swallow. We prefer false praise to the blatant truth about yourselves. Parents never fail to give constructive criticism to their charge_ they wouldn’t hesitate to tell how sloppy, how stupid; or even how lazy you have become. With such a foundation of constructive criticism from childhood many still find it difficult to take such helpful whipping from other people.
Many adults have long past the vortex of destruction because they put up this hard crust of “know it all” and feel whatever they do or say is never wrong. Some may never speak to you again because you corrected them and personal pride couldn’t handle such constructive criticism. Gambler’s hate to be told they are losing a fortune, cheating partners couldn’t stand being told the destructive nature of such action.
There’s also something called malicious criticism that is used as a dart to poke a hole at self confidence and reduce self-esteem, but we all know when something originates from malice. Malicious criticism should be tossed away for they are not realistic but ill intended, insecure persons will have a try around self confident and assured persons. In such a case assert displeasure and dismiss the loser!
Constructive criticism on the other hand is very handy because we all possess blind spots. It takes courage and humility to accept criticism that are real. For example, people may think they have got things together but in reality they haven’t. Many parents believe they have well behaved children_ who only put up acts when they are around; so next time a neighbor comments on a bad behavior of your child don’t be defensive_ look into it.
We should also learn to criticize ourselves which can bring about change. You can start by accepting you don’t like the way you are treated, and the cause of it being lack of self assertion; how you wimp about in self defeat. You can also tell yourself how you procrastinate in serious matters but spend tremendous amount of time on entertainment and other trifles. When it comes from within_ you may not need to hear it from someone else.
The world is not always kind and we come across all sort of comment, advice, instruction, we only need to weigh in on them and see what we can learn. Without anger, defensiveness and spite we all should learn to take constructive criticism and see how they benefit us. When you are told something about yourself which you don’t like, build self awareness to find out if the other person was right.
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Constructive feedback is difficult because of the reasons you write about. People can be sensitive. If you find that feedback is not coming from a good place, then throw it away. If it is coming from respect and care, then take it into consideration.
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