*You may be wondering why I’m suggesting to take others’ criticism with a side of fries? Because I’m pregnant and aside from strawberries, french fries are my #1 craving. 😀 For the purposes of this post, you may choose your own side. 😉
If put into a visual aid, the world’s current definition of criticism would look something like Cruela deVil evilly waggling her fingers together as she asks, “How many people can I tear down today?” She says it in her disgustingly drippy voice and does so with her chai latte sitting next to her keyboard, because she’s about to tear her victims down via the internet.
A friend of mine posted this today from “A Mighty Girl”. P!nk was body-shamed for having a squishy middle. The story went viral, so you likely saw it somewhere else. This was her Twitter pic in response to the criticism:
The way P!nk responded to her critics was absolutely perfect. She didn’t get angry. She didn’t try to run down her criticizers. She thanked them for their concern and moved the heck on. I saw this on a day when I needed to be reminded of how to deal with inappropriate criticism. Whether it’s been online or in person, you’ve likely been in at least one situation where your choices, attitude, actions, etc. have been questioned, mocked, and/or criticized. Maybe once in awhile, we all need a reality check. But I will maintain to my dying day that most of the criticism currently circulating the world is unnecessary, unhealthy, and inappropriate.
So how to deal? Shove ourselves in a dark closet until the feeling of shame goes away? Lash out in anger, ruining relationships and burning bridges? Passively accepting the criticism and promising to do better next time? Here’s my suggestion:
If you have examined your situation – your role, your motives, your choices, attitudes, and actions – and you are okay with it; if you know you haven’t hurt anyone or yourself; and if you’ve stayed true to yourself, your core values, and the set of moral/ethical standards to which you hold yourself, then take the criticism with a side of fries and move the heck on. We will never – ever, ever, ever in 100 million years – be able to live up to the standards some of our mankind peers set for us. I decided long ago that since I couldn’t be ‘pretty enough’ for everyone, I would be pretty enough for myself. I decided long ago that since I couldn’t be ‘strong enough’ in someone else’s eyes due to their own definition, I would be strong enough for myself and my family. I decided long ago that since I couldn’t be ‘good enough’ in someone else’s eyes, I would relish in being more than good enough for myself, my family, and my friends. I take the opinions of people who know and love me and put them to work. I can take criticism when I know I could’ve done better. But I will not accept criticism when I have been true to who I am, what I stand for, and who I want to be. I encourage you to do the same. Nobody else should have the privilege of stealing your joy. Your spirit is not up for grabs. It is yours only. Treat it well, and protect it from those who are determined to tear it down.
You tell me:
How do you deal with others’ unnecessary, unhealthy, unwarranted, and inappropriate criticism?