Take criticism as a sign of others’ belief in your abilities.
How much more connection could there be if the norm was to engage in tough conversations with engaged listening and less defensiveness?
Something magical yet also extremely uncomfortable has been happening between me and my mom lately.
We’re having an honest and raw dialogue about some incredibly painful truths regarding my childhood, her decisions, and why the family dynamic is the way that it is.
She’s a strong, stubborn, and determined woman. It took a while for the pot to finally boil over and peel away her blinders.
And I think it’s important to note, the only reason why these conversations are happening is that she is finally willing to listen without getting defensive and explaining her actions. She is actively listening to what her children have to say.
Even though she claimed (all my life) to be an open-I-can-talk-about-anything, kinda person, the conversation ended whenever I’d express my own feelings and experiences about what happened throughout my life.
There is no point in having a vulnerable conversation with those who’ve hurt us if they can’t listen without getting defensive and making excuses, who make it about them and disregard your feelings but want you to acknowledge their pain, and/or refuse to engage entirely.
So much healing has happened thanks to my mom finally getting curious that I encourage everyone to get curious about criticism when it comes to relationships we care about.
I practice not getting defensive when my Hubs shares how he’s experiencing me and the same with my teammates. The problem won’t get solved if I don’t try to understand their side of the story. I may not always agree with how they perceived me but it’s a stepping stone for a change.
The last thing I want to do is say, no, that’s not true and shut the conversation down completely. We all want to be heard and I think it’s important to be heard with the relationships that matter in your life.
People hear the word criticism and cringe. I use it because I think many think of others sharing their experiences of ourselves
I wish my dad would get curious because if he doesn’t start engaging, he’s going to lose me, but I don’t think he actually cares. As long as he has my mom.
What can you get curious about?
RamblinRandol is my journey back to loving myself. It’s an open letter on how I’m growing through what I’ve been through. And like Maya Angelou said, “the ache for home lives in all of us…” It’s time for me to feel at home in my own skin.
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