I have had a recent experience in which I was unhappy with the way someone treated me. It was not really a big deal, but it kind of hurt a little bit. I have been thinking about whether to talk to someone or not.
|1. I would be able to get it off my head and have peace of mind.||1. Someone might not appreciate it.|
|2. I would hopefully help someone to be a better person somehow.||2. Someone might take it the wrong way and get mad at me.|
|3. I would be able to practice constructive criticism.||3. Someone might not care and I will be hurt some more.|
|4. I would definitely feel good about the whole exercise.||4. Our relationship might get strained.|
I must say, with all the good intentions I have, criticizing someone is not one of my favorite things to do. Primarily because of the 4 reasons under the disadvantages column in the table above. It is just so uncomfortable, like how do I even begin right? I believe however that a lot of misunderstandings and a more harmonious relationship can be achieved if only we have the courage to tell someone (in the most loving way we can) what we do not like about him or her and how maybe they caused us pain somehow. Because sometimes, we are not even aware our actions are hurting other people already.
If I want to be constructively criticized (and I do, again will appreciate if I am told gently) also, I know I should master the act of delivering the bad news myself. I just need to make sure my heart is in the right place, to genuinely hope to help the other person see the error/s of his or her way/s and create a more friendly relationship. In addition, when I find myself on the receiving end, I would remind myself of the following:
This can be your personal blueprint for achieving greater self-reliance and autonomy. Here is a list of all the reasons why disapproval is unpleasant but not fatal.
1. Remember that when someone reacts negatively to you, it may be his or her irrational thinking that is at the heart of the disapproval.
2. If the criticism is valid, this need not destroy you. You can pinpoint your error and take steps to correct it. You can learn from your mistakes, and you don’t have to be ashamed of them. If you are human, then you should and must make mistakes at times.
3. If you have goofed up, it does not follow that you are born loser. It is impossible to be wrong all the time or even most of the time. Think about the thousands of things you have done right in your life! Furthermore, you can change and grow.
4. Other people cannot judge your worth as a human being, only the validity or merit of specific things you do or say.
5. Everyone will judge you differently no matter how well you do or how badly you might behave. Disapproval cannot spread like wildfire, and one rejection cannot lead to a never-ending series of rejections. So even if worse comes to worst and you do get rejected by someone, you can’t end up totally alone.
6. Disapproval and criticism are usually uncomfortable, but the discomfort will pass. Stop moping. Get involved in an activity you’ve enjoyed in the past even though you feel certain it’s absolutely pointless to start.
7. Criticism and disapproval can upset you only to the extent that you “buy into” the accusations being brought against you.
8. Disapproval is rarely permanent. It doesn’t follow that your relationship with the person who disapproves of you will necessarily end just because you are being criticized. Arguments are a part of living, and in the majority of cases you can come to a common understanding later on.
9. If you are criticizing someone else, it doesn’t make that person totally bad. Why give another individual the power and right to judge you? We’re all just human beings, not Supreme Court justices. Don’t magnify other people until they are larger than life.
Can you come up with some additional ideas?David D. Burns, M.D. – Feeling Good (The New Mood Therapy)
10. I do not care. This is not to say that I ignore other people’s criticisms. As long as it is not done in a rude and condescending manner, I in fact, appreciate them. It is one of the ways I will grow as a person. Whenever someone criticize me, I always remind myself not to take it personally. Especially if I honestly did not intentionally mean to cause anyone harm.
I remember a couple of years back when a close friend told me off. He did it in a very calm and nice way, with a smile on his face even. His intention was really to let me know how uncomfortable I made him feel in front of my friends and how bored he got, feeling so left out of our conversations about high school memories and everything. On top of that, he told me he did not mind watching and spending time with my daughter, but it was inconsiderate of me to just gossip away with my friends, expecting him to look after my child. I was so engrossed that I did not even notice he took her for a walk around Satay by the Bay because apparently, both of them got bored.
I felt so guilty and ashamed. It helped a lot how the criticism (or more like complaint actually) was delivered in a very pleasant way. I apologized profusely, promised never to do it again, and after several awkward (for me at least) moments, I felt all good again. Better, in fact, because I was humbled by the experience and was reminded that I have got a lot of room for improvement. And the best part was, I did behave in a way that caused unpleasantness to other people, but I was made to feel that my actions did not make me any less of a person. I was still very much loved.
Would you tell someone about how she could have handled the situation better?