blogging gobbledygook and such

Am one of the most sensitive person self know. No matter how objective or well-meant your critiques are, will take it personally, despite being aware of the benevolent intentions of the critic.Am trying hard to not let it get to self personally. Guess it’s difficult when you’re a critical person yourself. It also doesn’t help when you have a relative who constantly criticises you, highlights your flaws until it seems that you are only full of flaws, and makes you feel so unworthy of yourself. It doesn’t help at all when some people around you offer criticism for the sake of criticising, without offering solutions or helping you get past your flaw or giving a fuck’s thought about how their offhand criticism affects self long after they forget the poisonous words they spewed. It doesn’t help even more when people in your life leave you, telling you it’s because you have this attitude problem or that, or even worse, not telling you what was your problem that drove them away, leaving you to wonder what the hell you did wrong. Maybe everything about you is wrong.

How do you offer criticism without getting people offended? How do you tell them, you want to say this because you care about them, without sounding like it’s just a placating line uttered to sound sincere because you’re actually not? How do you show, you want to say this because you love them, and you still love them despite this? And how do you handle it, when they flinch at your criticism and hate you for it? How can you love them, when you discover these flaws? How do you continue loving them, when they drive you away for knowing their flaws and hating themselves for it? How do you do that?

How do you accept criticism for its message, and not its motive?

Comments on: "How to accept and offer criticism?" (8)

  1. see my response to your other post. People are just full of shit when they criticize under the disguise of “advice.”

    What do I do? I point out the hypocracy that usually exists in whatever they are trying to suggest, or I hit them back with something they are sensitive about.

    Never let ’em see you sweat, Sulz.

    sulz: yeap. i’m just afraid when i point out their hypocrisy, my own hypocrisy gets revealed in the process! which i think i do have, because i’m only human. 🙂

    see, that’s something i can never do because of my sleeve-heart. i can’t quarrel without getting teary, can you believe it??

  2. haha.. criticism is pretty much part of academia. every time i submit a paper or give a presentation, surely kena hantam. but it’s expected.

    one of the ways i try to mitigate its impact on my ego is to consider myself as unwise and unknowledgeable. if i put up a defence in a bigotry way, i’ll never improve.

    and also, to criticise, always try to be as objective and polite as possible.

    sulz: yeah, i’m very afraid of my work being criticised. if i expect an a for a paper, i feel much insulted if i didn’t get. 😛 i just can’t help being defensive, though i do consider myself naive most of the time, if that helps!

    yes, i love diplomacy! i take to constructive criticism better that way.

  3. lovelyloey said:

    I try to first tell them how much I value their initial action/idea/etc before going into what I didn’t like about it. I use phrases like “but that’s just what I think” to try to show that whatever comments I had was purely due to my own prejudices, etc. Face-saving Tactics, I suppose.
    I wouldn’t really go straight into criticising unless that’s the only thing I’m try to achieve – to hurt someone’s ego I suppose.

    sulz: i’d do that, except that i’d probably be so upset that i’d cry half-way, haha! 😳 i’m kinda useless in that sense. (that’s why i choose my battles very wisely!)

  4. sulz, sweetie, sounds like you’re going through some things. I’m glad you trust your blog friends enough to tell us about it.
    I will answer your questions from my own perspective.
    First of all, I don’t like to receive criticism either. So, I’m a “golden rule” believer enough to therefore not wish to offer it to others. Where I come from, there is no need. If someone does something I don’t care for, I ask myself why it upsets me, and look at my own issues about it. It nearly always helps the other person to be one I like better 🙂 , or else they go away, which is ok, too. I have to be willing to take that risk.
    A while back I wrote a post about a book title I like: “What You Think of Me is None of My Business”. I have actually said that to people on a couple of occasions. They don’t always know quite what to do with that remark.
    That being said, I’m also perfectly willing to put my fingers in my ears and sing “lalala’ (either literally or figuratively) if someone decides to “criticise” me. This rarely happens, though, because I’d rather choose not to play.
    I’m going on too long, but I just must add, in answer to your first paragraph, that I really don’t believe in any “benevolent intent” by someone who criticises me.
    “I’m only telling you this for your own good.”—bullcrackers! I’m not buying it. People say what they say because they see something in you which either unnnerves or delights them about themselves, IM(H)O.
    OK. I’m off to the sidebar to HUG you.

    sulz: oh, thanks for the comforting hug! *hugs* i am having some troubles, but nothing like the kind you’d imagine from this post. 😉 i shall of course relate to that soon in another post.

    in some ways, i shouldn’t care about what people think of me. but what about my loved ones? that’s the one i’m torn about. i don’t know if it’s truly done out of care or if it’s done out of care for their ownselves. i mean, if my friend’s about to make a mistake, i can’t just let her go at it blindly. even if my criticism is unwelcome, maybe at the very least i could offer her an informed decision; showing her what consequences may happen as a result of her decision.

    that said, i must adopt your approach about why i feel irritated by some people – whether it is indeed an issue of them or it’s an issue i have with them.

  5. muse, that’s a great line! I have to remember that.

    I always say “they don’t pay to PUBLISH me, they pay to EDIT me.” When you start charging them for the right to criticize your work, they shut up real fast.

    PS: forum thread go bye-bye.

    sulz: haha, i don’t think i’m quite where you are yet! 😉 maybe some day.

  6. Sultz I think you hit the nail on the head with your question

    How do you accept criticism for its message, and not its motive?

    If you feel the motive behind personal criticism is to better you and not the other person [unless it is something you have done to them to upset them…….but then that would not be criticism as much as addressing a problem] then it should be acceptable. Having said that I try not to offer criticism unless it is asked as I have always preferred praise as a reward and an incentive, much better to my mind, even for adults.

    sulz: i do like praises, but sometimes i get quite embarrassed by them, especially when i don’t think what is said about me is entirely true! or even if it is, i just feel very self-conscious. i like them best when praises are done in private, and not public. 😛

    i guess i’m trying to learn to take criticism better, because we can’t get it nicely wrapped with a bow tie all the time, can we? 😉

  7. Sorry about spelling your name wrong, I actually had it right and changed it for some reason. I had a situation this week where I asked a friend to stop sending me vitriolic political and religious emails. She responded by offering to take me to the holocaust museum, among other things, as not perpetuating chain memorial emails in her mind is akin to not standing up against the holocaust in Germany!. There was no point in trying to criticize her behaviour as she would not be capable of change and it was obviously right not to as imagine what she would have said if I did! So my point I guess is to be aware of the possibility of things escalating if you do offer criticism.
    Obviously I have ended that friendship!!!!!

    sulz: hey, no worries, we all have had typos! oh dear, did you? yeah, which is why i’m very reluctant to ever confront anybody if i have problems with them because i’m afraid of losing a friendship or worse, creating a negative atmosphere at where we work/study/live. instead, i get all worked up because i’m too chicken to say what’s on my mind. 😕

  8. Sulz: Just an observation, in the last 2 posts (may be more) you have dropped the use of the first person singular to refer to yourself. It is not my motive to analyse but in the light of your new year ‘resolutions’, and the content of the last few posts, don’t let it get to you, whatever criticism is coming your way.

    sulz: i was, but i think i’m feeling better after reading everybody’s perspectives. thanks so much for your concern. 😀 *hugs*

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