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Accepting Criticism

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Hi, guys!  I've been struggling with something for a while now, and I've finally found the words the express it.

I can't stand to be corrected.  I constantly feel like I'm wrong about something, and whenever people point out a gap in my logic or that I'm wrong, my self esteem plummets.  I feel like I'm extremely stupid and and that I misunderstand people all the time; I feel like everyone views me as an *****, and that no one will ever agree with me.  I'm terrified of being told when I'm wrong, and I get irrationally upset with myself and other people. Whenever I talk to people, I try to point out that I'm probably wrong or that I probably don't understand so that it won't hurt as much when they offer constructive criticism.   It ruins my mood completely, and I hate it.  What I hate most is that it shows physically; I can't ever manage to hide my grimace and a smile too hard.  My eye start to twitch and a shrink up.

I recently turned in a writing assignment to my class, and my classmates are going to give their critiques to me in a few days.  I don't know how I'm going to react when I get in the classroom; I'm afraid of exploding with a ton of excuses and leaving the room with tears.  

I know that it's irrational, because no one is ever always right and there's always room to be taught.  But I just can't take it, and I don't know why.

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You deal with an irrational emotional reaction - Unfortunately I have no idea how I can help with your emotions since my answer is a more intellectual one. 

I always say it is better to be criticized than ignored, because when you get a constructive criticism, someone cares enough about you (to at least try) to help you. The biggest mistake is to be afraid to make one, you need failure and criticism to grow. When you are afraid to be criticized, you are stressed, and when you are stressed you make unnecessary and avoidable mistakes, and get criticized for those - it's a vicious circle.

Don't apologize or say you could be wrong before your statement. Opening with 'in my opinion' or ' I think' tells your listeners that you are open for a discussion, which includes a constructive criticism. (It's enough when you say it once) Or you end your statement with: what do you think? That puts you in an active position, you ask for opinions, criticism, or help. You are leading the discussion, you are not the 'victim' of criticism and you can always ending strong acknowledging what the other person said, thanking for the new point of view, saying you are thinking about it - you don't have to agree, you don't have to fight.

Practice it with a friend. Change your attitude, don't be afraid to be wrong, see it as a chance to learn from others - or get a confirmation that you had a good idea or thought.

That would be my advice to a person that is shy and lacks self esteem. Since we are mentally/emotionally challenged there might be trigger points in your case that go far beyond shyness and lack of self esteem.

I hope that my post is at least a little bit helpful





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Great topic!

Wish I knew the answer. Well, I think I do but the application of it is not all that it could be.

Let's see....someone offers criticism about anything which is not mired in anything inconvenient like fact. They are NOT wrong. This I believe. 'Til death, probably.

Sometimes I change my mind, depending upon the critic. This might not very enlightened or mature but there can be a warm satisfaction in lacerating someone who richly deserves it.

No-one is wrong and we are not perfect would seem to be the take-home message ;)

Did I say great topic!?

Great topic!


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