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Handling Criticism

05 / 08 / 2016

Even the strongest people on the outside can have the softest interiors, that even the slightest off-hand comment at their expense can leave then troubled inside for weeks. I get a few emails where people are concerned about the whole sharing online thing, and how they can work up the courage to do so. We all feel self-conscious in different areas of our lives. Some find putting their creative stuff out there no biggy, and other people find a comment about their teeth possibly the worst thing in the world. It's all a result of nature and nurture and all the experiences in between. But let's look at how to handle criticism and how on earth it can become a simple decision of either discard or, take on board and move on.

The first thing to realise is that there is a category of completely unnecessary off-hand comments that just shouldn't exist in this world. But we're not all perfect and these things bubble over the surface and are said anyways due to hormones, shitty situations, drugs and alcohol and many problems people are facing. Plus the unfortunate downside to social media is that people can hide behind a facade of their choosing and splutter crap in people's faces. Not nice. But that's just that. Crap - and really doesn't need to be paid attention to. So don't give it a second thought if it comes your way because it's really just the mould of the earth. Popping up in annoying places and servicing no one.

So moving onto the criticism that might have some truth behind it. Enough truth that it plays on your mind and bugs you at the edges. Well, the most important thing to know is that usually what someone says/types/projects says more about themselves than the person they are going off at. So by all means, if there is anything to take away or change for the better from a serving of criticism, then take that and continue swimming. But just don't let it force you to stop, make you stagnant and settle down. That's when anxiety and depression set in, which really REALLY sucks. So keep moving fishy.

Through typing this post I've kind of realised something major about myself and receiving criticism. I'm particularly sensitive to it when it comes to certain aspects of my appearance or behaviour, but in the past, I've been more a disher-outer-er. When going through the "classic teenage years" I could be particularly nasty to my mum and brother. My mum kind of learnt to take it in the end and my brother never did so, and so that would be the source of all arguments and "silent treatments" between us. I hope I'd be right in saying I've moved on from that now, but I do remember the conscious effort it took to turn it off. Sometimes it would appear out of nowhere and I wouldn't be able to put the breaks on before the damage had already been done. While it was only to these two people, never to friends, or anyone else I knew or didn't know - I think it was just a way for me to project and deflect my own insecurities. You know, snap at them and then scurry away so I wasn't then under fire. I don't know, it's silly and doesn't make any sense, but I think I just had a big realisation writing that.

I'm not an unkind person. I hope you don't now have that impression. I can be brutally honest, rather sassy and then just plain old weird sometimes, but that is the general gist of the origins and projection of the criticism I have dished out in my lifetime.

I can distinctly remember all the times I have been told off by my parents, teachers or friends from as young as grade one. It makes me freeze up and my heart to run like an electrical storm, and unsurprisingly, it really works.

Anyhoos, there is my two piece about criticism.