Responding to Criticism

Responding to Criticism

I think I’ve made a seemingly obvious discovery. Some people don’t like critical analysis. Some people take it well but lots of people don’t. In the last 4 months I’ve seen both. My desire to please everyone and constructively criticize is combining to put me in a really bad position. One of those two aspects of my personality is going to have to go or I’ll end up mentally ill. Needless to say I haven’t always been well received.

There are several really good ways to avoid the truth in a criticism.

1. Label the critic as tactless, insensitive or inappropriate

2. Silence the critic because criticism makes people uncomfortable

3. React emotionally and view all criticism as a personal attack

4. Attack the criticism while avoiding the issues presented in the criticism

5. Pool ignorance: Avoid talking to anyone with a different perspective

6. Claim divine inspiration

7. Tenaciously hold on to every assumption

8. Convince yourself that because everyone in your group agrees you must be right

I have a few rules about the criticism in my life

1. Go beyond the emotional reaction and look for truth in the criticism

2. Truth is truth regardless of the source

3. Look past a poor delivery

4. Seek to understand fully before responding

5. Remember that opinion is far less important than truth

6. Keep wise counsellors that are brave enough to be honest with you

7. One flaw doesn’t invalidate the entire criticism

8. Dialogue with people from various perspectives

9. Be willing to re-examine your assumptions

10. Seek divine guidance

11. Understand the context of the critic

12. Just because I’m wrong it doesn’t mean I’m a failure

13. God loves me

14. Seek constructive criticism

The pivotal issue in criticism is not the delivery, but in the response.

Proverbs 1:23-26

Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, and you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you,

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