As humans, we tend to relish people who give us compliments and see people who criticize –especially if they do it tactlessly– as haters, naysayers and so on.
I know that you love it more when people praise you and talk about your strengths than when people criticize you. Right?????
It hurts even more when they are people you were seeking to please…
This is very normal. Proverbs 16:24 says that “… kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”.
Apart from the fact that compliments and good vibes make you feel good, it also makes you more confident in yourself and in your work. (Anybody can commend himself but not everybody can be commended by others.)
Praise makes you feel like you are making obvious progress and if you are focused, and not complacent, praise should make you want to do and be more.
While it’s good to receive praise, if you’re surrounded by people who always hype and never criticize you, telling you ‘you’re too good’, ‘you’re perfect’, ‘this is the best you can give’…
You might never expand your capacity and grow!
“What is Wunmi saying?”, you may be asking. Chill. I’ve got you. Let me explain.
Tell me, have you ever seen or heard about a shift that occurred without a change? An advancement without pain? Or a massive invention that happened where the inventor was happy or totally satisfied?
Huh? Speak to me, I’m all ears…
You see…You may never have enjoyed the product of Walt Disney’s imagination if he was never fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because his editor said he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
If you take a close look at the great success stories and inventions, you’ll notice that the people and inventors were either berated by others or unsatisfied with their level of achievement even when the people around them seemed to be.
Now, imagine if they got carried away with their past/current achievement(s) _or even the thunderous claps and flattering remarks from people.
Can you see?
What I’m saying basically is that there’s no gain without pain.Stay in the comfort zone and you’ll never explore other zones.
“How about people who did well when they were praised?”, you may ask.
Well.. The truth is, they all experienced some level of discomfort and if you take time to scrutinize the praises alluded to them, you’ll find that it wasn’t “empty praise”. It was feedback wrapped in positivity; feedback that appreciates past achievements while focusing on the future, enabling the recipient to see more possibilities. It’s what you might want to call constructive criticism.
A friend offered me some constructive criticism when I started this blog. He said, “Wunmi, you are a good writer but you need to pay more attention to the use of English language”. He didn’t stop there, he went as far as sending me screenshots of parts of my article that had errors. Even though I felt unqualified at first, I took that piece of advice to heart and never saw him as a ‘hater’.
I know you believe that people who praise you love you and [may] want the best for you but the fact that they want the best for you doesn’t mean they’d say things or act in ways that are best for you.
Instead of getting carried away by the praises people shower on you, try to know why they’re praising you; ask if you’d need to, and work on the principles behind the praises so that you can apply it to either the same area of your life, or to other areas even.
Fam!!! you need to learn to alienate yourself from people who praise you at all times without pointing your attention to other possibilities or suggesting areas you need to work on.
How do we strike the balance between receiving praises and criticism?
This is where self-evaluation and sincerity to self comes to play a role. The truth is, you’d know if you are not giving in your best even if the people around you keep lauding you and making you feel like you are giving your best: your goals either become monotonous and easy to achieve or you keep getting the same ‘good results’ over a period of time.
“and keep your faith and a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and have made a ruin of their faith.”
1 Timothy 1:19 [GNT]
As much as I love applause, I always look forward to sincere feedback or criticism. This is because praise makes me feel good and in most cases, pushes me to do more but constructive criticism doesn’t just make me strive to do more, it also points my attention to areas I can work on and get better in.
On the flip side, if a person or group of people only talk about your weaknesses and never acknowledge my good works, what do you do?
It depends on how close these people are to you. You can stay focused and positive, give them space and show the image of God through your results and character without bearing any form resentment towards them.
The best thing you can do is:
• to look beyond their weaknesses –yes,
Neuroticism can be a weakness if not identified and/or handled properly. I believe strongly that you can tell someone the truth without touching on their self-esteem!
• to evaluate and work on the areas they criticized. It doesn’t really matter how people give their feedback, what matters most is that you work on them
• to give them space and love them from afar. The truth is, some people are pessimistic because they’ve never rewired their brains to be optimistic or they feel intimidated by what you are doing or you’ll do. In some cases, that’s just the way they were brought up.
• to never forget to stay optimistic and focused!
I hope you found this article helpful and your perspective towards criticism has changed?
Kindly drop your questions or feedbacks in the comment section.
Bless your Friends and relatives with this post by SHARING!
I remain your special friend, Wunmi 😊
see you soon!!!