I have been trying for the past couple of days to try to develop a more positive attitude in the mornings. I still think this is worth the effort and may be helpful to some degree. But, after reading this quote today (from Grace to Survive), I realize that at the same time I must not condemn myself for feeling badly. This is what I was doing. Seeing it as another shortcoming in myself. Seeing it as a sign of weakness. I am not hard on other people; I need to stop being so hard on myself. Compassion is not pity. It is empathy with understanding I think. So, tomorrow morning I will not berate myself. Instead, I will remember that the pain is not my fault and accept it, yet gently invite myself to think upon the good and even wonderful things that life has to offer.
Important thoughts that I needed to be reminded of and perhaps you do too. I know I needed to hear that mental illness is not a character flaw.
If you are looking for some honest feedback from me you will have to request it passionately. As someone who has had enough criticism to last a lifetime from my mother and first husband, I don’t like to dole it out to others. I understand that healthy criticism can be helpful; but, its been rare that I have been on the receiving end of this type. I think healthy criticism should include comments about what someone did right, along with remarks about what could have been better. A spirit of humility should also be present. After all, it is just one fallible human’s opinion.
But how do you withstand criticism from those that are hyper-critical? Those that consistently tear others down rather than build them up? Some you can kick to the curb and get on with your life. But others are a permanent fixture in your life. I think it helps to recognize that the criticism says more about them than you. They have issues. Probably, they do not feel very good about themselves or were subject to a lot of criticism growing up.
But, how do you handle it? Can a certain response decrease the amount of negative feedback you get from the critical ones? I am looking for ideas on how to cope and respond to this dilemma. Please share your ideas if you have any.
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