Thursday, May 01, 2014

Journal Day #11 - Constructive Criticism

This weeks prompt, courtesy of Sometimes Sweet:

'Sometimes it can be hard to hear criticism from others. I know for me it's something I may always struggle with - being a people pleaser, etc. At the same time though, constructive criticism can be very helpful, and allow us to look at ourselves in a new light and maybe even grow and change. Take a step out of yourself. If you were on the outside looking in, how would you critique yourself? What things do you see that you could change or work on? This isn't about tearing ourselves down; it's about really looking at ourselves and seeing where there's room for growth.'

Warning: This is quite a lengthy post.

On the most part, I welcome constructive criticism. Now let's get straight the definition of constructive criticism to me. To me, constructive criticism is where a person considers thoroughly what they are going to say and makes clear, well presented, non-offensive statements of advice in order to help the other person grow or learn from a specific event.

For me, I feel it takes a while for a person to earn the right to be able to give someone constructive criticism. You need to either be very knowledgable in a certain area in order to be able to give good advice which the person will appreciate, OR you need to be very good friends with the aforementioned person with a creative connection.

Something I deal with personally a fair bit in certain seasons of my life is critiquing myself. As human beings, none of us are perfect. There definitely is a difference between noticing certain things about ourselves in a healthy fashion and tearing ourselves down. But for lot's of people, that line is quite a thin one. There are quite a few things which I have noticed in myself particularly this past month, and they go as follows:

// I'm quick to make judgments //

Something that I've gotten much better at this past month. I used to make my mind up extremely quickly about people, and I used to be quite stubborn with that opinion. I know it's a bad habit. I'm working on it. I promise. Over the last few months, I have gotten much better at not only not being so quick to make my mind up about people, but also allowing people to change my mind about them. Giving more chances.

// I usually shut people out of my life for extended periods of time, because I prefer "ME time" over any events involving socialising. //

In other words... I'm an introvert. I go into seasons of "hermit-like" living and I choose to not see people who may actually wish to see me, even people who I genuinely do care about. I don't do it in order to try and intentionally hurt people, I just don't usually realise how much it may matter to other people. I am trying to branch out more and take at least one or two evenings a week to meet with people and have some social interaction.

// I get easily caught in routine //

I am the kind of person who would be perfectly happy with having a routine of wake up, get coffee, go to work, go home, read, blog, sleep. But that may not always be a good thing because it also means that I may quickly dismiss spontaneity. I also plan very far ahead and if something changes in my plans too close to the day of the event, it has potential to drive me a little mental as my routine will have been disturbed. This is also the reason why I do not do well on vacations, as I often don't quite know what to do with myself.

// I sometimes work far too much //

I tend to drown myself in work. I just like working. Which is a good thing to an extent, but again - everything within limits. This can sometimes get to a point where I overwork myself to the point where my body needs to physically tell me to STOP. Again, this is something that I have really learned to control in the past month. I have learned how to juggle multiple responsibilities and have also learned how to say no when it needs to be said.

What do you struggle with most?

x Veevley

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