Monday, April 13, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Know When to Re-Assess Yourself

In continuing thoughts on criticism, a friend once gave me invaluable advice:

When one person says something, ask yourself, "What's wrong with them?"

When everyone says something, ask yourself, "What's wrong with me?"

Regardless of whether criticism is delivered in a constructive or destructive manner, the point is that some are spot-on, and some are way off. 

This really helped me in learning to deal with her mother. I started to realize that just because she gave me some criticism doesn't mean she was right. It was her opinion, but that didn't mean anything was really wrong with me. 

Other times, when more than one person gave the same criticism, I knew that there must be something there if multiple people were seeing it. 

Think about it: if one person calls you rude, defensive, insensitive, etc., it's easy to say they don't know you, they're misreading the situation, they have their own hang-ups. But if many people are saying it, if it's coming from all different places and situations, then there's probably something to it.

This is what taught me what to do with the criticisms I got-- to file them away as not a problem, or to really think about the issue, the kind of person I am, how I'm coming off to other people.

My Tip For You Today: Consider the criticisms you've gotten from multiple places. Maybe your family and friends always complain that you're late or forgetful. Maybe just about every message forum you go on ends up with you at the center of the drama and people telling you that you need to chill out or be more respectful.

Start listening to the criticism that seems to be coming from multiple sources-- chances are, there is something to it. Instead of taking it as an insult, think about it as advice. Try to remove the emotion and examine it objectively. Think about what you can do about that to better yourself-- not for other people, but for your own benefit.

Are you able to use criticism to your own benefit?

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