I recently became a subscriber of Marie Forleo’s newsletters. This is the first newsletter I received, and I thought it was very fitting.
I am definitely guilty of fearing criticism. Who isn’t? My personal experience in dealing with this fear has taught me that it is best to just go for it. I have a harder time dealing with the regret of not doing something than dealing with criticism. I really do value constructive criticism. But as a woman in the workplace filled with other women, sometimes criticism is just plain bitchy.
I always remember Thumper from Bambi saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” That statement is mostly true. Sometimes things need to be said that hurt. However, if it’s not constructive, then I don’t waste my time hurting other people’s feelings.
Unfortunately, not everybody lives by these rules.
Recently I was involved in a conflict-resolution meeting mediated by my boss. I will say that I asked my boss to schedule this because it had gone too far; I was honestly worried about my job. Well, some very hurtful things were said to me that were not job-related at all. But I did learn a lot about how others may sometimes perceive me. (Trust me, this person was as blunt as possible.) I am proud to say that I didn’t cry during the meeting, but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the conversation (including some tears). I am aware of things I can work on to better accommodate other personalities, but there are also things I learned about myself that I’m very proud of. The point is, I didn’t take all of the criticism to heart because I can’t please every one. And I’ll drive myself crazy trying.
As long as you remain professional and courteous, do not apologize for being yourself.
You will always have people criticizing you.