November 2017
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vulnerable / the right to criticize


feeling vulnerable... like I haven't for a long while. Probably it was a mistake to ask for the negatives right now when I'm not really up to taking them. Plus, I recently had several face-to-face-known people be critical of me when I was being myself (and not asking for criticism), and I haven't really recovered from that yet.

I feel terrible. And misunderstood. And like I don't want to share my growing process because people will think ill of me for being broken. And I'm trying not to think ill of them for thinking less of me than I deserve. We all see through dark wavy glass -- none of us really have a clear view of each other, though some work to see more clearly than others.

--------

And I'm irritated with some people (not you guys) for thinking that they have the right to criticize me just because I exist and they think ill of me. Keep it to yourself unless I ask. I don't go around criticizing you, though goodness knows I could because in a lot of ways I am wiser, but that is exactly the reason I refrain. I know that no one ever learns from criticism unless they are ready for it -- and if they are ready for it they will ask.

Also, not all criticism has value. If you don't know much about science, your criticism of the way a chemist mixes his stuff is nearly worthless. In the same way, if you don't know much about being open, your criticism of someone else's methods of openness are nearly worthless. (I say 'nearly' because I don't believe that any human opinion is totally worthless) A person's opinion (and criticism) should be weighed against her/his experience.

---Those who know less about the subject than you -- there might be a bit of truth in what they say, but don't take them too seriously. Even if you know more, don't criticize unless they ask.
---Those who are your equals -- consider, but remember that your opinion carries the same weight as theirs, so don't let them overwhelm you. Have respect and don't criticize unless they ask.
---Those who are your superiors -- keep your mouth shut and watch them, unless they ask for your opinion. I've never had somone who was superior to me in an area criticize me in that area unless I asked their opinion -- so I tend to think that if they do criticize you without you asking, they are probably not superior, and just think they are. And of course, realize that people who are your superiors in one area may be your peers or inferiors in another area, and treat each person and situation accordingly.

And you know what? I just realized I've been totally wrong, rude, selfish, and inconsiderate with you, Anika. (as I said, I know that no one ever learns from criticism unless they are ready for it -- and if they are ready for it they will ask) I am very sorry. I didn't think of what I said as criticism, but I was suggesting you change your behavior, which is a type of criticism. My aim was to support you and encourage you to be strong, but I think I failed miserably. If you don't read this I will apologise to you later, and I will certainly be more careful from now on.

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I am wounded but not weak.

feelings: determined yet vulnerable
connecting: , ,

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Comments
kevloid ══╣╠══
yeah, criticism for the sake of saying something critical is lame. I catch myself doing that to people sometimes, when I'm in childish mode.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
at least you see it as a negative thing; I can't stand it when people take pride in their ability to make others cringe.
sidheblessed ══╣ponr╠══
I think you should only criticise when that criticism will benefit the other person and help them learn something. Otherwise, why bother?
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
I think the only reason people do bother is because they want to believe that they are right and good, and therefore if someone is different from them, the other person must me wrong and bad.
goleafs87 ══╣╠══
Some people criticize others just to make them self feel better about what they are doing in their own life. I normally take it with only half interest unless it's one of my closest friends since so many people just like trying to make others feel like crap
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
so true. And I think it's not so much that they want others to feel like crap, it's just that they would rather someone else feel badly about themselves than have to think that they might be wrong.
writer_lilies ══╣╠══
Criticism can't be avoided. If you don't get from friends and family, strangers will give it to you. I'm surprised you haven't experienced that in retail. You did work at Evil Mart, didn't you?

I guess what I'm saying is that, yes it sucks, but unless it really riles you up and you can say something to the person and let them know how you feel (whether they critize that or not) it's something you'll have to get used to.

Criticicm bad or good is part of growth. I went through years of it from people I loved and while the relationships aren't as strong as they could be or there is no longer a relationship, what they said helped me become who I am.
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
I'm used to criticism. My point is, people believe that it is OKAY to criticize others, and it usually isn't. Criticism rarely does anyone much good. Yes, you may grow from someone judging you, but that doesn't make the judgement a good thing or something that should be admired.

I get pissed off at 'well-meaning' people who criticize thinking they are doing someone good, when it is highly unlikely that teaching through criticism is going to help anyone, and if it does help, it will have a microscopic effect compared to the effect that example or plain discussion of thoughts would have had.

I've gotten to the point where I can recognize worthy opinions and get something from them, and I can also recognise worthless criticism and throw it away.
writer_lilies ══╣╠══
juansrx ══╣*mtl╠══
answer
Remember, whe you´re good you don´t have to show it to anybody, if someone criticizes you, just answer: "take care of your own business budy!".
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Re: answer
thanks!
juansrx ══╣╠══
Re: answer
oblyvia ══╣╠══
I don't handle unwelcome criticism well either. It's rude and uncalled for, and it hurts. I would love to offer up good advice, but I'm the type to stew for days....

All I can say is, you are a beautiful person, and those criticizing you are probably doing it to make themselves feel better by picking on someone they know is vulnerable. Pretty lame.
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
I get pissed off at 'well-meaning' people who criticize thinking they are doing someone good, when it is highly unlikely that teaching through criticism is going to help anyone, and if it does help, it will have a microscopic effect compared to the effect that example or plain discussion of thoughts would have had.

I think that the main reason people like to criticize is because they want to see themselves as a worthy person, so they define worthiness as themselves, and then anyone who isn't just like them is by definition unworthy. And to make sure that everyone else sees them as the worthy person, they explain how others are unworthy. Was that coherent?

Thanks for the support, it's encouraging. ;-)
faetal ══╣╠══
this is a bit off topic.
I have some hesitation writing this comment. Especially since its here, naked in the view of all of your very adoring friends. I'm very afraid of getting close to you in any sort of form. I personally micromanage my life and the people very close to me to create the least drama, the least conflict because I dont want to disrupt the little bit of sanity that I've aquired over the last few years. I've fought too hard, and gone through too much pain and feeling to lose it all.
I have trouble saying this, as you've just stated that you arent looking for criticism, and I'm trying my hardest to keep it the farthest from that as possible. I have trouble drawing exactly what critisim is, I think giving your opinion can be very helpful, even without someone asking.
I wouldnt ever want to cause you the sort of pain that you feel from interacting with people you care for. I know this is presumptuous, as we've interacted very little, and on only a digital level.
Belenen you are such a hurricane of passion and feeling, and being ravaged by you would tear me to shreds. I fear you because you feel more than anyone I know right now. I am not afraid of feeling, but I'm afraid of hurting your feelings.
Please forgive my honesty, and also, please forgive me if I hold back, but I just could not handle hurting you, as it would hurt me as well.
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
Re: this is a bit off topic.
I'm not sure I understand you... what I think you are saying is that you'd prefer not to be lj-friends right now? I can definitely respect that, I know that I tend to be a bit of a catalyst in people's lives.

As for criticism, I define it as saying, "What you are doing is wrong/bad/negative, you should be different ((usually) like me)." You certainly haven't done that. I love having people tell me their opinion -- "I think this is the best way to act" as long as they don't cross the line to telling me that I am wrong. I think that the only reason you should ever tell someone that they are wrong is if they ask your opinion on whether they are right or wrong.

Your honesty doesn't need forgiving, I love it, and your holding back doesn't need forgiving either, because you haven't done me any harm. I'd like to get to know you better, but it is entirely up to you, whatever you are comfortable with is fine with me, even if that is nothing for a while. And please let me know if I cross any boundaries or am in danger of crossing them, and I will be happy to respect them.
faetal ══╣╠══
Re: this is a bit off topic.
belenen ══╣╠══
Re: this is a bit off topic.
rangoth ══╣╠══
I dont think anyone is 'broken' for that imples a defect of some kind. We all just have troubles that we must figure out how to deal with. Myself for example, I have had troubles with my self-esteem and self-destructive tendency. >shrug< Just my demons but it does not mean I'm broken, I learned how to deal with them and I am a better person for it. You should not feel bad, if people have a problem with you and anything about you tell them to go suck an egg!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I am broken, but I am healing. My brokenness is not permanent, it just means that right now I can't function quite like a healed person. Like having a broken leg, even if you have been a dancer all of your life, you can't dance (very well) until you are healed.

hee hee hee, thank you for the support!
rangoth ══╣╠══
abstractfish ══╣╠══
you've done it again. I need to accept that I do have superiors, and I need to treat them as such. so wise... how old are you again?
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
heh, thank you! I'm flattered. (and I'm 22)
ex_alariya46 ══╣╠══
*BIG* hug.

I love you, Bel. I admire you for apologizing to Anika when you believed yourself to have been in the wrong for something. It's really hard to swallow enough pride to apologize to people sometimes... I know this from personal experience. I hope I am an encouragement to you as well. :)
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
of course you are. ;-) Thank you.

I don't remember exactly how it happened, but through my marriage to Ben I have gotten to the point where it's pretty easy for me to admit when I'm wrong and apologise, and if I realize I'm wrong, I don't usually care who knows it.
mimimandy ══╣╠══
I don't think you're broken and if you are then so is everyone else in this flippin world.
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
I am broken, but I am healing. My brokenness is not permanent, it just means that right now I can't function quite like a healed person. Like having a broken leg, even if you have been a dancer all of your life, you can't dance (very well) until you are healed.

Thank you for the support, sweetie!
carodus ══╣╠══
vulnerability
I agree with what Rangoth said - about people not being broken -- I think we can be badly bruised, hurt (both physically, mentally and spiritually), criticised, ignored etc-- but from personal experience - the bad things that have happened to me in my life- have after a process of healing - made me fundamentally stronger.
It has made me more independent (that sometimes worries those close to me), strong-willed, accepting of the things I can't change(but will still give it a damn good try before admitting defeat *grin*), accepting of help when my friends genuinely offer it. There is more :) but these are aspects I see in your life too.

Even though you are vulnerable and hurting -- you are still fundamentally strong in yourself. The bad aspects of your life have made you an incredibly compassionate person. And if you are still trying to heal from some of the hurts inflicted on you, you have to remember to take your time. Healing does not always happen overnight (as you know *HUG*).

On another note: As you can see I back from Italy -- exhausted!! LOL but it was sooo great -- will post about it all tomorrow :)
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
Re: vulnerability
I am broken, but I am healing. My brokenness is not permanent, it just means that right now I can't function quite like a healed person. Like having a broken leg, even if you have been a dancer all of your life, you can't dance (very well) until you are healed. I think there are parts of me that never broke, but when I was raped, my core broke into pieces and I'm just now going through the process of picking out the nasty gick and putting the pieces together again.

And thank you so much for what you said about me healing and learning compassion, I really appreciate it. It was very encouraging to read.
eternitywaiting ══╣me╠══
Sweetie, you only need to appologize when you do something wrong.

I often don't take criticism well, and I'm the first to admit it (and I'm especially awful about it when it's from those I care about - I tend to see criticism as a way of saying "here's what I think is wrong with you," even though I consciously know that's not true). But that's my awful little problem, and certainly not something anyone else should have to tiptoe around. I have to learn how to deal with the fact that not everyone shares my opinions, and that not everyone always thinks I make the right decisions. So if I ever lash out at you for offering an opinion (which I can't really call "criticising me," by the way), it's not because I don't think you have the right to think it, or that I think you were awful for saying it - it's just because I'm an unreasonable jackass who likes to have absolutely everything my way 100% of the time. (Not that that's asking too much or anything. :-P) I want and need to hear what the people I care about think - just sometimes I also don't want to hear it. My mind is usually split between two very different opinions and trains of thought when it comes to my own life, and sometimes one of me won't like hearing what others say. Tell that me to shut up. The other me is happy that you care enough to have an opinion. :-)
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
I only do apologize when I am certain that I did something wrong. ;-) I essentially told you that you were wrong in the way you handle things with your mom, and even if I think that, it is rude and arrogant for me to say so. I think it would have been okay for me to neutrally state my opinion, but to say, "Don't do that, do this" is crossing the line... and I'm pretty sure I did that.

So, in the future, I will still state my opinion, but I won't be all "bad Anika, you need to do this, not that!" ;-)

Of course I care enough to have an opinion, I love you! Mean it!
belenen ══╣╠══
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.