Life is filled with “instant-save” moments when we have to stop from our wandering ways and question what exactly we are doing. We survive our days doing what we know without having to second-guess ourselves until some wise-guy offers us to examine our lives in their perspective. “Why thank you for your unrequested advice!”
We usually don’t approach a situation of this sort in a friendly fashion. We may shrivel up inside temporarily and cringe with discomfort. I can guarantee you’ve had someone point out something you wish they hadn’t for no apparent reason. I like to get defensive and fire an eye-opener right back at them. “How about we take these next proceeding minutes and talk about [insert insulting comeback here]? I believe that you are the one with the real problems!”
Someone once chose to confront me with the fact that I like to move at the speed of snail with my daily preparations. I already knew this about myself, but to have someone openly criticize me made me furious. I turned around and showed them my unsatisfied glare-of-death. I responded, “You seem to have some sick fascination with watching me get ready for my day. Is it because your life is boring? Or is it just the fact that you would be cooler if I let you borrow my t-shirt?”
If you think that I might have taken it a little too far, you’re probably right. I instantly insulted them. I considered what they had said about me. Although I already knew that I move peculiarly slowly, this helped me love that about myself. I analyzed why it was that I got ready as fast as an infant learning to drive a stick shift.
I realized that I do this because I am busy mental exercising myself for the day at hand. I visualize all the tasks I have to accomplish. I organize my to-do list. I embrace every detail of the day as much I can because when it comes time to perform, I am more than ready.
Although, we generally do not like the fact that someone has aimed their words directly into our unconscious imperfections. We hold on to these moments long enough to let them shape our lives. It’s important that we use this opportunity to mold ourselves the way we would like and not let it break us down into a million more pieces of “where does this one go again?” This is when we need to take the time to start setting things straight for ourselves.
You are not the victim!
I mentioned that it’s almost necessary that we allow ourselves to get defensive when this happens. Someone has noticed something about you that you’ve been oblivious to. Evaluate their perspective and decide whether or not you like this about yourself. If you do, reaffirm to yourself that this makes you unique and you’re proud of it. If it isn’t, you should appreciate the opportunity that you have to better yourself. Whatever you choose, this should not be something to beat yourself up about.
Knowing who we are, what we are capable of, and being aware of our weaknesses and strengths is a powerful thing. Maybe we’re not the person in charge at work, but we can always be in charge of ourselves. We can even learn how to develop a positive self-image from our not so admirable characteristics.
The next time someone wants to call you out on that, “thing you didn’t want to know you did,” pause and say, “Thank you for blessing me with the chance to decide whether or not I value your criticism!”
Featured photo credit: Arguments by Artis Pupins via flickr.com