MODEL_BEHAVIOR
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taking criticism

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've been watching this season of Project Runway with a strange perspective. Lately I have been thinking about how I'm probably like the contestant Gretchen who is very strong willed and has had a hard time learning to take criticism from host Tim Gunn. She gets very defensive and upset and loses sight of the value of what she's being told. She "gets off her game" as a result.

I think I can be the same way. I think all the women in my family can be the same way, actually.

Last night my boyfriend said something to me before we went to sleep about how we are thinking of adopting a dog (its almost official), but that I should watch out that I don't lose sight of the other work I have to do because I work from home. I was so offended by this. I felt like he was saying I am not capable of taking care of my responsibilities. For various reasons this got right under my skin and pushed some weird buttons.

The thing is, its probably important we talk about this. Why did that thought coming from my partner's mouth hurt me so much? Should I take it as criticism, learn from it, or just get angry at the way I think he perceives what I do all day long? I feel like I am taking more offense than he meant and I'm having a stronger reaction than is necessary. I can't figure this out by writing a blog and not talking to him about it, obviously, but I wanted to write down that I think my ability to gracefully take criticism in stride has hindered me in a few areas of my life. I don't have time to sit and dwell and wonder about it. I'm simply recognizing that this caused me some fear and pain -- more than it should have.

Maybe its like paying attention to an injury you didn't know you had. What can I to avoid making more pain but to allow that to heal properly?

I'm sure we all have buttons that get pushed that lead us to destructive behaviors. I just feel like if I'm going to conquer weight loss, I have to learn to take outside opinions in stride a little better, and not jump to such an emotional state.

I'll write more about the dog in another blog post because she deserves her own words. :D If all goes well, I'll have a walking partner at the end of the week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MODEL_BEHAVIOR
    Yes. Yes! Yes!! I think we are a good match and that we constantly work on communication in that same way. It feels great afterward, doesn't it? You feel such relief.

    This ties into my own emotional eating struggle in a way. In the past I would have shoved these feelings down, kept them to myself, and sought comfort elsewhere instead of confronting the bad feelings I got and figuring out how to get past them (key: together).

    The first step I had to take to learn to be okay with this process is to first acknowledge that we disagree, and my viewpoint is valid. I come from a large family and have a lot of siblings. Fighting can easily escalate to ridiculous emotional levels for all of us and I'm proud to say I have really grown up while I have been dating my R. He's taught me how to fight more gracefully and he's always coming from such a loving place even when he's stubborn. I'm lucky lucky lucky to have him.
    2832 days ago
  • THEREALDINANE
    Communication is a constant learning experience in a relationship. My husband and I have occasional yelling matches that after an hour or two of reflection can all go back to one misinterpreted word or phrase.

    I'm so glad you have already talked to your boyfriend about it. The longer things like that simmer the hotter your head can get. We try to keep the rule to no argument lasts more than a day. We have stayed up late trying to figure out why we are SO mad, and despite a lack of sleep, we always feel better about it in the morning. Love doesn't mean everything is going to be perfect all the time; it means you care about each other enough to want to figure out what went wrong so it can be prevented it in the future.
    2832 days ago
  • MODEL_BEHAVIOR
    Thank you for this comment! How true: "Sometimes, we hold ourselves to such a high standard that critism hurts us."

    Thank you... we talked it out over the phone and I chose to say that my feelings are hurt by the words that you chose... I understand why you said this but I need to hear also that you are excited about getting the dog and that you are proud of me for all that I do well. It felt really great. I'm lucky I also called my Mommy first and she helped me see a neutral perspective as well.

    Criticism can come from a loving place, I guess we know that. You're absolutely right--we're holding ourselves to a high standard, perhaps unachievable. We can't let that become what hurts us or holds us back.
    2833 days ago
  • EDWINA172
    I have the same problem with any critism. I just confessed this to my husband over the weekend. We've been married for 19 years and I just told him about my fears now!
    Anyway, try to dig deeper into why the critism hurts you. In my case, I dug deep and realized that critism hurts my fragile ego. I feel that I look less in his eyes when he gives me critism. That feeling makes me scared that he'll leave me. He is nothing but supportive and encouraging! Sometimes, we hold ourselves to such a high standard that critism hurts us. I feel like I don't want to do anything unless its perfect. So, if I don't find fault with what I've done, then how could he? Silly and irrational, huh?
    You were very brave to post this. I hope you have a great day.
    2833 days ago
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