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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Growing Pains

I really hate getting told.
And I hate that I hate it, because when someone points out what I need to tune up on, it's not like I didn't already know. So, I get automatically irritated that someone said it out loud when my conscience has already been yelling at me.

The other thing that happens is that a light gets thrown on one of my most basic fears.
The fear of getting found out. And isn't that why we humans naturally respond to criticism with defensiveness? Don't we want to create a buffer zone between ourself and the possibility that we are just a bundle of hypocritical good intention? That given enough stress, or disappointment, or thwarted goals, we would actually just be bitter, angry, nasty people?

One of the great challenges of being human is learning to hear criticism. Really hear it; take it in and sort it out, discard what is not true; and learn from what is. And I think that the people who actually practise that sort of humility continue to grow instead of folding down into themselves, hardened and defensive. I guess its a case of not fighting against something. Sort of like when a woman is labouring a baby and is encouraged to relax her muscles into the contraction instead of fighting against it.

I never was much good at that either.
But good did come out of it eventually.


Heather said...

Yeah, I suck at accepting criticism too.

jb said...

the only person i know that's really good at accepting criticism is my father-in-law.
i wish i could be like him in that way.

it's a gong show... said...

i say go with the epidural and you'll feel nothing at all :P

Judy said...

Oh! Are they doing epidurals now for critisism?

I need me some of that!

(my first thought is that i want to smack anyone who would ever say a bad word against you. if it is someone who would hit me back, i'll take an epidural for that too, please.)

Roo said...

i know

joyce said...

Heather- I bet you get more than me, in your line of work?

jb- I was lop-sided grinny to read your comment. It was he who I thought of when I described a person able to take criticism well. He takes it really, really well. I sometimes wonder if he has an olive tree at home that he yells and curses at sometimes...

We do form epidurals, don't we? Cocktails, nicotine, denial.... But none of them work as well as that epidural. That was the oNLY way I could get through 453453489572348573904 hours of hard labour.

Judy- do you come in the mail?
Then again, you'd meet me in the flesh and you'd think.... "Boy, have I got a thing or two to teach that gal..... I think I'll tell her what to imprve on....."

No, you wouldn't. You're sweet, thank you Judy.

roo- who would criticize YOU?

Anonymous said...

Depends who's doing the criticizing...if it's someone I love and respect I will hear it, if it's not, then I let it go right over my head...L

Anonymous said...

When I am old I want to be good at accepting criticism...I bet that means I have to start no later than now because I'm already 57. Thanks for the reminder. Roselle

Anonymous said...

I agree with L - if it is coming from a loving source, you take it to heed. If it is coming from a person that barely knows you - in one ear and out the other.....MK

Linda said...

You are so right. I needed that reminder.


The so & so's who thrive on Negative-Attention are so lucky.

No, really, people who concentrate 24/7 on nurturing and improving upon the seven deadlies; lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy,and pride, have got it made on easy street!

If I had their problems I'd burn mine.

Judy said...

Something reminded me of this post today.

A pastor friend once told me to beware of the critics who ENJOY giving criticism. If the giver seems pained in doing so, it's usually something one needed to know. Apparently, he had been hit several times by someone who felt their spiritual 'gift' was criticism.

Cherrypie said...

Five times, five flipping hard times you did it, and that's just counting the kids( did I count right?) -

Once again you are sending me just the message I need at exactly the time I need to hear it. I'm voting 'Joyce forPresident, Messiah, Everything'.

Love you X

joyce said...

cp- I certainly should have gotten at least five out of all that straining and pushing and sweating and bleeding and bawling and stretching...
But at last count, we had around four. Feels like 50 sometimes..