The Problem with Criticism, Skepticism, and So-Called "Advice"Dec 07, 2023
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
There are mixed opinions of who actually said the above quote but the meaning is impactful regardless of it’s origin.
As we heal, we become different versions of ourselves which can be disarming for those around us and lead to skepticism, harsh words, and so called "advice".
This can hurt whether it’s coming from family members, friends, partners, coworkers, or trolls on social media. Some of it is valid, helpful, and constructive and some of it is clearly because the person has been triggered by the way we’re growing, the new ideas we’re putting out there, or perceiving ourselves or the world differently.
When it’s the latter, people will try to poke holes in our resolve, project their insecurities on us, and stifle our voices and efforts. This isn’t great but I’ve begun to take it as a sign that I’m doing something that is more true to who I am and less about people pleasing.
I’ve been keeping it simple when it comes to discerning the validity or the helpfulness of the criticism by asking myself, “would I seek advice from this person?”
If not, I recognize the insecurity, self-doubt, and possibly the need to be right that’s fueling their words. This allows me to see them through a more compassionate lens as opposed to a place of hurt feelings and sensitivity.
Want a little homework? Ask yourself the following questions:
- How did it feel the last time someone criticized you? How did you react/respond?
- Is this person someone you would seek advice from?
- If not, how can you look at them through a more compassionate lens and recognize that their criticism is coming from a place of insecurity or projection?
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