Everybody is a f**** critic
Everybody is a f**** critic
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How to handle criticism?
Yesterday, I was going through some of the feedback I had for my articles. Most of it was good but some was harsh.
Nothing too serious though and yet it affected me. We all think that we are detached and immune till it happens to us.
It reminds me of the first time I started boxing. We all think we can handle punches, we can counteract and punch back.
That’s what you tell yourself but you don’t how you will react until you really get punches in the face.
You’ll turn your back. Freeze. Give up. Get out of the ring, etc... Nothing prepares you for getting punched in the head.
That’s how I felt yesterday. I thought I was immune and detached and yet I was virtually punched by words. I turned my back and let it affect me.
The difference is that when I got punched, I felt the fists of an another man on my body. But those words did not touched my body and yet they left an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
Why criticism is such a hard pill to swallow?
No matter how much we deny it, we all want to be loved and do not want to be rejected. We do not want to be rejected by our peers, by the group. We do not want to be ostracised. Maybe it has something to do with the good old tribal days when you were rejected, you were pretty much dead. Left alone to your own demise.
Nowadays, it’s not that obvious and rejection is felt more as a feeling of guilt and shame, of not being worthy of the group.
Criticism makes us think that maybe we are not all that cool after all. Maybe we are as bad as they say we are and it hurts.
What can we do about criticism ?
First, we have to understand that everybody is a critic and that includes you as well. Perhaps you don’t knowingly criticise something, but when you comment on it frequently, you are criticising. We all do that sometimes and it is only human.
Everybody has an opinion and everybody criticise. We can’t live a life under a rock and avoid it. It’s just part of life.
What we fear most and dread is that our critics might be right. And that keeps us awake at night .... wondering and pondering.
Are they right about me ?
And if they are right, you need to accept it even if it is a hard pill to swallow.
You need to take it with a grain of salt and see if those criticisms can actually be beneficial in a way. Although it may hurt, the grass might be greener on the other side.
No man is completely praised or completely blamed.
The Buddha said this more than two thousand years ago and we should ponder on His words for a minute.
“No matter who you are and no matter what you do. You’ll always have critics. Some people will hate just to hate. Some people might be justified in their criticisms of you. Some might be completely wrong about you. Some might be completely right about you’ .
It’s all part of the complex experience of being a human being. It’s unavoidable but it needs to be bearable.
You need to embrace or at least accept it. This is especially true for those including myself who have a voice that they want to share.
If you are doing something somewhat creative you’ll have critics at every corner.
‘Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame’.
That’s the levelling up part. Let’s dwell on those beautiful words.
We can’t escape any criticisms because it’s all part of the game.
We can choose not to let it affect our life. Be it praise or blame, we can be detached but not callous or in denial but detached.
I will leave you with this poem by Rudyard Kipling that says it all
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
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