Dearest Darling Friends, 

I used to see criticism as a personal attack. When I was criticised, my response used to be deny, defend or counter-attack. This often led to arguments, aloofness, disgust, anger and many more ugly emotions!

 

I was wrong.

 

– When my wife Bharathi once told me I am moody, my curt response was, “Who? Me? Not at all!” I was upset why she sees negatives where none exist?

 

– Whenever my daughter Jo said, “Popy, you are driving too fast.” I would respond cryptly, “But I am in total control.” I would be silently upset, why she interferes in things I do, or the way I do?

 

– When someone would suggest an alternative to my methods, I would be indignant, harsh too and go on to justify why my methods are better. I would be upset – can’t they see the results I have produced?

 

– When someone would point to my dress sense and its color combinations, I would comment people should like me for what I am and not for what I wear. I would be upset why people think about my clothes and not about their own development (as I am a Life Coach. Ironical, isn’t it)?

 

I got along very well with people who told me good things about me. I subconsciously started staying away from people whose comments went against what I was!!!

 

When I observed a few good friends uncomfortable and not being as open in discussions as they used to be, I enquired. All of them denied such a thing except one of them, my daughter, Jo. She said I am not open to FEEDBACKS. I was stunned.

 

Till now I was thinking I am an open person who loves feedbacks. My spontaneous response was denial. But before I could convert my thoughts of denial into words of denial, I saw the anguish in her eyes.

 

I realised yes, my first response was DENIAL. I decided to understand the truth by observing my behaviour.

 

The person who learns from ‘criticism’, rules the world and wins the hearts of people. The wonderful truth is, Criticism has elements of truth that otherwise escapes our scrutiny.

 

I was humbled. She was right. I thought I was open but I was not as much as I believed. I was indeed speeding unnecessarily and felt stupid about it. I realised some alternative methods were awesomely brilliant. I felt more comfortable by dressing better. I found to my amusement, people are appreciating my thoughts more when I am dressed better.

 

There have also been times when my well-wishers and my critics were not right. However, whenever people criticise me (softly or harshly) I give them the benefit of doubt. This means I assume they ‘might’ be RIGHT. Then I analyse. I do not DEFEND straightaway. I do not JUSTIFY straight away. I analyze.

 

When they are right, I improve. When they are wrong in certain assumptions, I find what led them to think this way. I invariably find some corrections can be done at my end and correct them.

 

Some times, they are closed to inputs from me. So I accept this reality and continue on my path confidently. I am learning so much by this approach. It is fascinating.

 

Experientially, I have realized the person who knows how to handle criticism and grow out of it, develops exponentially. I have!!!

 

I think I will make a Loud T-Shirt that says, “Criticisms Welcome”.

 

 

If you have a point to make about Life School Messages (LSM), please do so. They are welcome! However uncomfortable the truth is…I am ready to face them.

 

After all they will help me and our readers. And yes, words of appreciation are also welcome! Lets “KEEP MOVING”.

 

With love, prayers and best wishes,

Change your thoughts. Change your life.

 

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