We live in a harsh world.
And Life, itself, is very fragile. You have to do everything it takes to get to the top, and that is not easy. Before you get there, you will have to fight a variety of “beasts” (in this case, not wild animals). One of the “beasts”, which attacks many is criticism as a christian. I am very sure that each of us has faced it in their lives. You have come face to face with it not once, not twice, not thrice; for some of us, we face it almost every day.
Criticism is everywhere. In the workplace, you will encounter a boss or an employee who is always making negative comments. Some of us, we face criticism from people around us, and for me, I do not blame anyone when they critique what I do because they have the right to their own opinion.
But is criticism bad?
It can be harmful especially if you do not know the importance of it. On the other hand, it can be beneficial if you can handle it properly.
To me, I think some critics go overboard. Some of them want to see a situation from their point of view. They deny the other party the opportunity to explain themselves.
On the other hand, Critics keep us in check. They are there to ensure that we are steadfast; that we have our facts right; and that we are alert at all times.
If criticism comes from the right attitude and mindset, then it is there to make you better, see further, or stop a particular habit.
According to me, it is okay to shut some critics. Reason being: their reasoning could make you lose focus and waver from your designated path. Some critics, by the way, do not mean what they say. They want to see if you are firm enough to stand the pressure.
Should you allow everyone to criticize you?
The question of who should criticize you is often something you should think about critically. On that note, you should not allow everyone to comment on you.
Some people, when given the opportunity, can kill your morale.
On a personal level, I do not accept criticism from everyone. If you are yet to conquer the demons that I am struggling with, trust me, there is a high chance that I will give your opinion a deaf ear.
Think of it this way: Someone comes and tells me that I should workout yet, from the look of things, he has even more weight and a bigger belly than mine.
Why should I listen to you in the first place? You have bigger problems than mine.
A word of advice to all critics
Primarily, you will notice that people will come with all kinds of theories in the name of “We want to help you.” To make matters even worse, often, these individuals have nothing to prove.
Therefore, before we allow you to become a critique, at least show some level of excellence. It was something I had to learn the hard way.
So who should criticize you?
Always give the number one spot to mentors and people who have a history of success and being prosperous. Let them tell you how much of a spendthrift you are, how lazy you can be, how unsuccessful you are, how much you need to make changes in your life, etc. etc.
Other people who can be kind enough to give you criticism are people that you know. Friends and relatives, people who you open up to, or who you can be vulnerable to without them judging you.
Give them permission to be real with you and to tell you the truth even if it hurts. After that, ask for solutions to your problems. Because a critic should at least have solutions.
By the way, you can also be a good critic to yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and judge yourself. Accepting that you require to change certain things in your life is a significant step.
The confidence to stand in front of the mirror to do this will help you even understand yourself.
By the way, a mirror could be anything from the Bible, reading books, watching something that could change your life, listening to helpful music, or talking to someone who you would want to be in the future.
Some of the tips that can help you overcome criticism are:
1. Allow constructive criticism only
Do not be misguided that everyone you meet has the right to judge you, no. Only allow criticism that builds your life. If you find that it is not that important, leave it.
If several people repeat that you should stop a particular habit, then you should sit back and think about it critically. It could be a sign that that weakness is destructive to your purpose and your being.
Besides listening, be wise to seek further advice on that matter. Do not trust everyone. Some people are just not happy with who you are; that is why they are attacking you.
2. The fight may not be about you
People will attack you even without reason. Let me give you a good biblical example. When the Serpent lied to Adam and Eve, He was not criticizing them because of them. One, he was trying to get power, and two, He was resentful of God.
That means, some people could attack you because they have a history with someone you love. In that situation, it is best that you walk away.
3. Not all criticism needs a reaction
I always fail at this, but it is work in progress.
You do not need to react to a critic immediately. Walk away. It will give room to think about it and to avoid making a rash and stupid decision.
Stick to your lane if it does not make sense. Give that person some time as well. Critics can be wrong and some of them, if they are humble enough, can rethink their statements and apologize by the way.
I, sometimes, allow people to think the way they do just so that I can prove to them how wrong they were, especially if I know how right I was.
What if the criticism results in conflict?
Give it time. You also have to understand that the other person is as human as you are. Remember, some conflicts need time. You cannot solve everything now. Do not argue; allow everyone to have the right to air his or her opinions, freely.