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Accepting Criticism

Accepting Criticism

If you’re a perfectionist, you’re probably your own biggest critic. I know I am.

That said, I still get uncomfortable when someone brings something to my attention that could use tweaking or improving. It’s almost as if I think, “If no one else notices it, maybe they don’t see that I struggle in this area.” And so when that moment comes that I haven’t been as good as I thought at hiding some of my flaws, I get defensive. I’ll even have “reasons” (excuses) as to why I am the way that I am that I feel I must explain.

Maybe it’s the same for you. And in many ways it’s a natural reaction; it’s human nature to protect ourselves. Admitting that we have room for improvement means admitting to a weakness… which can leave us feeling exposed and uncomfortable. But it’s in our vulnerability  that we can actually grow. Instead of being defensive, try slowing down and using that information to your advantage. Constructive criticism doesn’t have to be destructive if we acknowledge it instead of making excuses.

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Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at http://www.erikaoglesby.com.

7 comments

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12:05AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Thank-you for the post. I used to be a perfectionist, was very hard on myself, & set goals & accomplishments that just about no one would be able to do. I don't know when but while I now strive for perfection, no one, absolutely no one is perfect! Many may think they are which could tend to make those around them have a harder time than necessary, but that's part of life. Sometimes you also just need to consider the source. A friend will tell you what you need to hear much differently than a foe will & the latter will maybe telling you what they want you to hear regardless. All the prior comments have vital points & I imagine we all have stories we could share that were positive & that were not. We can also not forget about how in many situations one just has to be 'politically correct'. While I personally am not into politics, there were many times when I worked as a RN I just did what I had to do especially when in the long run it was making my life easier. I thank-you for reading this.

12:04AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Thank-you for the post. I used to be a perfectionist, was very hard on myself, & set goals & accomplishments that just about no one would be able to do. I don't know when but while I now strive for perfection, no one, absolutely no one is perfect! Many may think they are which could tend to make those around them have a harder time than necessary, but that's part of life. Sometimes you also just need to consider the source. A friend will tell you what you need to hear much differently than a foe will & the latter will maybe telling you what they want you to hear regardless. All the prior comments have vital points & I imagine we all have stories we could share that were positive & that were not. We can also not forget about how in many situations one just has to be 'politically correct'. While I personally am not into politics, there were many times when I worked as a RN I just did what I had to do especially when in the long run it was making my life easier. I thank-you for reading this.

2:18AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Constructive criticism said in a kind, warm way without the character assassination and degradation is the key b/c with good constructive criticism you can take it away and build on it and hopefully improve. Many a time I have had the latter and its like spewing out all this vitriol and yet at other times the constructive criticism is sensational and as an Artist, you need it like Ernie said. The other is deflating to a point where you can and will be feeling totally inert.

1:59PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

True, thanks.

7:45AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

As an artest, writer and in general I crave critism. both negative and positive thoughts and ideas inspire me to be and do more. If I do not know what is working in the minds of others I can not push myself to be free and different in positive ways. If you are so insecure in yourself that you can not except the honest critism from a peer, you need to step back and realize no one is perfect.

6:05PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Easier said than done, even in the best scenarios!

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