Over six months ago, a good friend of mine gave me a healthy serving of humble pie. He commented on an aspect of my personality in which I needed to change in order to be a better person. It hurt. I wanted to reply and respond negatively, attack him, comment on his personality, but I couldn't. I knew he cared about me, and that he was trying to help me. I looked deep down inside, I admitted to myself that he was right, and if I ever wanted to be a better person, I needed to seek to improve this area of my life.
So how do we do it? How do we respond to criticism? Here's three things to consider:
1. Listen, don't react. Think about what the person was saying. Talk to someone that really knows who you are about it. You can, and will, discern if the criticism was malicious, or done with good intent.
2. Be honest with yourself. Are you actively dis-engaged from your surroundings? Are you considering that there are aspects of your personality that are great, and some that can be better? Are you limiting yourself because you are afraid to address your weaknesses? Being vulnerable will make you stronger.
3. Be prepared. Take personal inventory on a regular basis. Invest in relationships with people you can relate to, one's you energize and challenge you. You'll get to know yourself better, and be prepared when you are faced with situations that question who you are. You will gain strength amidst the struggle.
Bottom line, I'm no expert, just someone who's experienced some of these things and want you to know that you're not alone when you face personal struggle. We can overcome, we can do it together.
Until next time.