Accepting Criticism

If we think that life is growth and that we should strive to grow—not only intellectually but emotionally as well—we accept comments by others (oftentimes called criticism) as being in our own best interest.

Accepting such comments with a positive spirit depends on two criteria: (1) we trust the person and understand that what the person is sharing with us is in our own best interests and (2) the comments are specific to the situation. Certain terms are avoided, such as ALWAYS, as in, “You always….” or you NEVER, as in, “You never….”

Think of a physician giving you a diagnosis. You don’t react negatively. You accept it because you have faith that what the physician is sharing with you is in your own best interest and you know that the purpose is to help you, not hurt you.

To give you another example, can you list any of your idiosyncrasies? If you are like I am, you would be hard pressed to do so. But ask anyone who sees you on a regular basis, and that person would have no problem listing one, two, or three.

Of course, accepting any suggestion for improvement is a choice. But I find that listening to someone else’s perspective is often in my best interest.