Have you had ‘one of those days’? Where you splash paint on fresh canvas your well thought-out plans? With fuel in your tank? Yes, I mean ‘one of those great … ’
One of those ‘foiled/spoiled – days’ when, without warning or cause– someone pours cold water on your idea, deflates your balloon, offers a backhanded slap disguised as compliments or dismissed your existence without pause?
Sometimes they feel more like ‘average days’, which is not to say all those things happen to me, to any of us, all in one day …
Water, so the cliché goes, rolls off ducks banks. Rolls off us too, because we are all waterproof. We don’t leak. Which is not to say we don’t hurt. Those missives of insult, derision and ignorance are in our world. Sadly social media enables more – jerks insulting people they know, people they don’t know and generally flinging excrement in the direction of any wall where it might stick.
One such ‘flinger’ person entered my pristine morning recently. The kind you ignore, ‘hit delete’ or otherwise dismiss. This was a critic of my publication. Not the first times this person – an obvious practiced expert at rudeness, and not her first ‘visit’ upon my in-box. My first inclination was to fling-back or, as my mentor KT once suggested, $!$!%$#%%% , but I didn’t. I did not waste much time on it – but I did think about it a while. I wondered, why was I feeling so incendiary in that moment? Was there validity to the criticism? Partly. Was there anything familiar about the behavior? Yes, I’d been that person once – that rude and unthinking, that malicious with my tongue. Not often. Not recently, but I have been in my past.
So, you might ask, what is the point of all that?
Maybe I’m not like ‘all of that’ anymore, but maybe ‘some of that’ lingers within me. Maybe I need to take a harsh look, not at that critic, but at me.
Is it possible to live without criticism?
Probably, for those milquetoast mild-mannered centre-lane average mediocre spineless silent folk, but even that definition doesn’t manifest in real life.
Because average is not a place or person – it’s a math construct.
We can’t live any kind of full life avoiding criticism – can’t do anything about it. Except to control (or not) how we react. Self-criticism on the other hand, cannot be prevented or eliminated – it just is.
Thanks, Mark, and belated birthday wishes! Another grand year ahead for you! Stay cool!, FW, Calgary, AB
Sorry I missed wishing you a Happy Birthday. I trust you were spoiled on your day and were surrounded by Family and Friends. I wish for you another successful year of being amazing in life and successful in business. Happy Birthday Mark!, MJ, Calgary, AB
Hope it was a good one!, KK, Calgary, AB
Happy belated birthday. I am sure it was great, DB, Toronto, ON