But when it comes to criticism, that’s where most of us shut the door and hang up the “closed” sign. After all, who wants to hear the sentences that begin with, “You want to know what your problem is?” or “If only you would just change (fill in the blank) about yourself”?
Few people learn how to accept (or give) criticism gracefully as they are growing up. Many may have been criticized harshly or told things for their “own good” that were hurtful rather than helpful. We learn to dread anything that seems judgmental or critical.
Yet, if we can learn to truly listen to criticism about ourselves, we open the door to possibility. Learning to accept and use criticism can be one of the most constructive and profound tools to change ourselves and improve our relationships with others. Not only can we learn more about who we are and how others see us, but we may also learn that it’s okay not to be perfect. And, as a bonus, we may learn that people will love us anyway, warts and all.
Think about the strongest, most recent criticism you received, and ask yourself the following:
- Where is the truth in the criticism?
- In what way can I use this criticism to improve myself and my relationship with others?
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications