A Reminder That Criticism Is Not Your Enemy


Criticism is a fickle thing.

On one hand, it can be issued in a positive context, allowing for recognition of potential improvement in a specific situation. On the other hand, when issued negatively, or in an excessively critical context, it can lead to anger and frustration.

Criticism is somewhat inevitable in our lives. My Dad always reminds me that it is impossible to please everyone and to, therefore, focus my effort towards things that benefit me personally, rather than aiming to please a multitude of people simultaneously.

For a long time, I struggled to comprehend how to devote my efforts to things, or people, that truly mattered to me. I was definitely a people-pleaser and struggled to say no to requests from people. I found that by trying to please everyone around me, I was unhappy as a result, which ultimately defeated the purpose of my efforts. I thought that by pleasing everyone I was benefitting myself, but this simply was not the case.

Hence why I began to become more adept to criticism. Criticism used to be something that that bothered me. I felt that because I was trying so hard to make everyone around me happy, criticism simply wasn’t necessary when directed toward me.

This was obviously completely untrue and rather irrational.

Over time I have learned how to commit myself to pleasing the people in my life that truly benefit me and have relevance, and in doing so I have come to acknowledge the benefits that can exist within the realm of criticism. Constructive criticism, for example, can be used to enhance or improve something you’re affiliated with, and it is important to remind oneself that criticism is not always a bad thing.

Criticism is not the enemy. Failing to recognize constructive criticism is, however, and perceiving positive criticism to be solely negative is what is detrimental.