Friday Five: Criticism

  1. How well do you receive criticism? It depends on who’s giving it, what it’s about, and how it’s given. If it’s someone I don’t like or someone being hypocritical, not well. If it’s something more along the lines of nitpicking or personal differences, grudges, or bias, not well. If it’s hypocritical, not well. If it’s given in a preachy, rude, condescending, pretentious, or mean-spirited manner, not well. But if it’s rational, thought out, honest, straightforward, a healthy mix of gentle and stern, and especially if its aim is to correct a real problem or benefit others and myself, then I’ll not only be more inclined to listen and take it to heart but I’m also much less likely to get upset or feel attacked. Constructive criticism is always welcome both personally and professionally, but professionally, I’m a little more inclined to not be too hostile if it’s a little more harsh.
  2. When did someone else’s criticism of you result in growth? Writing criticism almost always teachers me something, if nothing else, but often does also result in growth. I can’t think of a personal example specifically, but I know Paul generally does a good job of bringing things to my attention in a constructive manner.
  3. What do you think of film critics? Generally, I don’t trust them and have a tendency to disagree with movies that are panned horribly. However, I adore Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers and I do trust him. In fact, he’s really one of the only movie critics I can cite by name as one I like and will listen to, plus he’s really funny and I love his Scum Bucket segments on the website.
  4. What’s something you’d like to make a critical statement about right now? Paul’s mom. Too many strong opinions based on little to no information, usually about people she doesn’t know well and occasionally has never met. In a way, this includes myself–Paul and I have been together 2 1/2 years, but she actually knows little about me.
  5. Who’s the most critical person you know? Paul’s mom. In addition to her uninformed opinions, though those are my main problem with her at the moment, she always has a problem with someone or something. She’s the kind of person that can’t accept the fact that not everyone was raised the exact same way she was, not everyone thinks the same way or wants the same things, and not everyone makes the same decisions. She’s had problems with me, including everything from me sitting on Paul’s lap once to calling me “bull-headed.” She’s had problems with Paul’s hobbies and simple mistakes. He once lost a hat in Idlewild and even though we found it, he didn’t want her to know it was ever missing because such things turn into lectures about responsible and his inability to function as an adult. She’s criticized Terra’s decisions to the point of telling me her marriage is going to fail, and she’s never met her or Scott. She criticizes Jacob’s girlfriend’s entire family for being too strict yet criticizes the independent decisions I make. She criticized a couple she knows and Paul and I because in both cases, she felt the man in the relationship wasn’t “being the man.” She criticizes her family, her husband’s family, friends, strangers, everyone.

As always, from Friday Five.

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