Dealing With Criticism

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. -Aristotle

In the span of about 15 minutes, and all before 8 o’clock in the morning, I was given the following feedback today:

1. My post yesterday rambled a bit much
2. I allowed old thinking to creep in, and, as a result, I interacted with my family in a negative way
3. I look odd… and, as a follow-up, some helpful advice: perhaps I should apply make-up before I go into the outside world

(To be fair, #3 came from a 10-year old boy)

In the spirit of comparing self to self, here’s how the “old me” would have handled the feedback: I would have been self-righteously indignant about the first, would have self-righteously dismissed the second, and would have self-righteously retaliated against the third for the rest of the day.

Here’s how the “new me” can, and will, handle this feedback. First, I will not lump them all together and decide that the day is doomed. Instead, I will look at them as individual pieces of information, and decide what to do with each. I will recognize that I regularly ask for feedback with my writing, and I will genuinely take the advice in the spirit in which it was given, and use it to improve my blog going forward.

With the second, I will consider the information, and whether or not I agree with the conclusion, I will accept that we are all entitled to our opinion, and I will respect it for that reason alone.

With the third, I will laugh my ass off, because he is absolutely correct!

Most important, I will see that when a chain of events is happening, they are happening for a reason, and I need to look inward and figure out what is going with my thoughts, feelings and behaviors, since they are the only thing I can control. As I may have mentioned once or twice, there are no coincidences, so I believe that God wants me to figure something out, and, if I choose to ignore this suggestion, the events will continue to happen until I do.

Now I need to go upstairs and put on some make-up!

Today’s Miracle:

The candor and perspective of a 10-year old boy (and the fact that I can laugh at it) qualifies as a miracle.

Posted on February 21, 2013, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Victoria Holland

    I think you look pretty w/out make up! Don’t listen to that kid! J

    Miss you!

    Victoria Holland

    Materials Manager

    Philip Rosenau Company

    215-956-1980 x120

    fax- 215-956-0864


  2. I can so much identify with what you’re saying here – both the “old you” and the you that you’re trying to be. I am definitely guilty of grouping things together, and I appreciate that you say you will *not* group those three criticisms together and let it snowball. Thank you for this post and these gentle reminders! – Caitlin.


  3. Well said! I loved it. It’s amazing how a simple (well, simple to us *now*) yet powerful shift in our perception sets us up for a learning experience rather than a trip on the resentment train. As alcoholics, selfishness and self-centeredness ruled us, and our ego ran the show. So any sort of criticism was a set up for lashing out, accusations and defense mechanisms to flare up. I know I would have done a lot of damage to myself, shredding my self-esteem (what little there was) to bits to prove that those people were *right*. Then drink *at* them (“I’ll show them…” blah blah blah).

    What a way to live now…with a pause to reflect, tuck away ego, and see where God is leading us.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.



  4. i’ve often said: Coincidence is the language of God.


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