Avoiding All Criticism
September 18, 2017 12:19pm CST
This is a quote from Elbert Hubbard from his book titled, John North Willys, "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing, and you'll never be criticized." This quote has special meaning for me. I used to believe every word that people spoke to me, but only if it was negative. The positive words that people said to me were quickly dismissed, not because I thought they were lying, but because I felt they were misguided or they didn't see things clearly. I almost became paralyzed with fear worrying about what other people thought of me, but then I realized that no one is perfect. No one will escape criticism in their lives. As we interact with peers, family, friends, teachers, or even strangers, our self esteem is slowly developed over time. We have a choice to allow criticism to help us or hurt us. We can use it constructively to better ourselves, which in turn improves our self-respect, or we can allow it to deflate us. The choice is ours. I have been criticized so many times in my life, but if I allowed the negative words to hurt me all the time instead of using it to better myself, I would probably have no self-worth, but the irony is that everyone on this planet has worth. If I say nothing, do nothing, or be nothing for the rest of my life, then I haven't lived at all. I use criticism as a chance to improve myself. Sometimes, though, people may say things that have no basis in fact. They may say something that's hurtful, but I have to discern whether it's true or not. If it isn't, then I quickly dismiss it as meaningless. Sometimes, the problem isn't with me, but it may be with the other person. Maybe the person had a bad day at work, or had an argument with someone they're close to. Deciding whether or not the criticism has merit is very important in determining what should be done about it. Again, we have a choice to use criticism to our advantage, or we can allow it to tear us down. If we use criticism to better ourselves, our self-respect and self-worth will skyrocket. My Questions: How do you deal with criticism? Does it overtake your self worth, or do you use it to your advantage? How can you tell if criticism is unjustifiable? What steps do you take to improve yourself?
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Faye, I've had my share of criticism, by I have learned how to deal with it much more positively. You're right about some people saying harsh things, that it's sometimes their problem. Being able to distinguish between constructive and destructive criticism is a great skill to learn.