Dealing with our first proper criticism – properly
…it isn’t always a positive thing, or is it?
When you start writing about your thoughts and experience’s online you open yourself up to attention. People can be interested, they might consider how your learning or experiences relate to them and whether it can be of help which is all very positive. But it can also leave you open to criticism, as we’ve found out the hard way just lately.
When hurt turns into anger
At the World Domination Summit this summer the first speaker, Brene Brown presented in a candid, touching and amusing way about vulnerability. She says that being vulnerable is the place where all emotions begins. The expression of anger often has a root which lies in hurt, so maybe Brene is right. This is certainly where our current annoyance is coming from. But what caused our hater to feel so cross? Did we hurt them, however unwittingly? It’s strange how negative emotion, even from a distance, can feel like someone has shoved you hard from behind, just out of malice.
When the spotlight brings uncomfortable attention
When your intentions are misconstrued and your integrity questioned it’s hurtful. Chris’s point of view is to shake it off, he is pretty confident that those bitter words say far more about the person who wrote them than us. I want to believe that. But another part of me worries- is that what everyone convinces themselves of when they hear something they don’t want to? Or worse, if this one person thinks this about us, are there more out there? It’s a mortifying thought. Do we want to put ourselves in the spotlight if the spotlight can expose flaws as well as aspirations? What if it shines in a way that exposes things that aren’t really there?
Do you avoid feeling vulnerable?
Brene says we avoid feeling vulnerable so we can escape feeling fear. Fear of loss or fear of pain. If there is a benefit to this current vulnerability we are feeling then I wonder what it will be. Sometimes our default position is to toughen up, close off. Stop being open, stop letting anyone in.
Brene makes us think
Doing something is better than nothing
For now we need to try not to let someone else’s judgment, anger and determination to think the worst get the better of us. We know what we are doing comes from a positive place. We can use this writing to let off steam so we can follow Brene’s advice and understand that we will face criticism because we are doing SOMETHING. We may not have the loftiest goals in the world but if we can promote home exchange in a way that means an ordinary family can take a vacation they never would have been able to otherwise afford; if someone can find their own way to embrace the freedom of ‘location independent’ working in another country when they were previously unhappily trapped in one place; if home exchangers and travellers can meet strangers in a new country and find friendships; if cynics can be convinced that most people are kind, generous and incredibly big hearted (and won’t steal your stuff!) then it’s better than nothing at least.
Maybe this is another good time to remind ourselves that not everything is about us!
The whole world is at our fingertips….that’s all we’re trying to say!
How do you deal with criticism?
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