Criticism and cynicism seem related. Sarcasm and nastiness get into the game too.
When we ask for critique, for feedback – depending on tone or intent, criticism and its cousins provide value-added lessons. Informing us.
I had some ‘unsolicited critique’ sprayed my way recently. Someone I don’t know read something I published wrote criticizing my piece. I’ve had far worse – many times, attacks on character, motives and intelligence.
Over time one becomes used to this reality: no matter how well you do what you do, no matter how well intentioned one has been – sometimes mistakes happen, we don’t catch them, we don’t proof-read enough or crazy people get set off …
As to the ignorant behavior of any particular critic I find myself divided – not on the accuracy of the error(s) pointed out but with regard to what possible motives of meanness sent with their missive were all about. In the moment, anger. But then, as immediate reactions subside, I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes to ponder whether I might have done the same at some point in the past. I usually scoff and move on. But if I pause to realize I’ve done far worse in my past, why get upset? What entitlement to kid-glove treatment do I deserve?
In a more gentile world, a more gentile time, perhaps. With ‘no boundaries’ social media free-for-all out there, people spew critique without regard to any sense of decorum or good manners – they just let flow …
I used to grit my teeth. Mentor/friend KT gave me advise on ignore v. blast back. I don’t blast back very often but I’ll never forget the line she gave me …
Tom Peters wisely explains, sometimes its’ best to: THE SIN OF ‘SEND’ (5 minute bit starts 4 minutes in …)
Except all worker bees are female. The drones stay at home to ahem "service" the queen ;), CJ, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Hi Mark, Thanks for letting me share your post from yesterday. It was very well received. Keep up the good writing. I am amazed that you are able to do this every day, IT, Calgary, AB
I always wonder about the premise you propose today...it will be a bliss to be focused in one specific task and being able to achieve it! However I wonder...what would it be a sufficient retribution in your opinion?, AG, Cancun, Mexico
Hi Mark, I've recently been taking more time to read and focus on your columns, and I've appreciate the variety of food for thought. This one reminded me of something I read about relationships recently. It spoke about a successful relationship being possible only when both partners are always working as hard as they can at it. It seems to me we both have to be worker bees all the time (gender is not the point)!, MS, Calgary