You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when someone calls you out on something you’re doing or have done… that really uncomfortable and kind of slightly claustrophobic feeling like you almost want to jump out of your skin? Its hard to keep looking at them while they’re talking because your fear instantly grows that their critical words might keep being right?
This is very different from times where someone is criticizing you and you genuinely disagree and believe them to be missing the mark – or when someone is using their criticisms to be controlling or manipulative in a calculated way (i.e. people who constantly “blame” or “guilt” you). What I’m talking about are the times where you can feel an uncomfortable spotlight shined onto you and you kind of have an inkling that they might be right. It is a very fine line, actually, and important to know the difference between manipulation and truth – but I think that we often can by the feeling in our body.
That uncomfortable feeling when someone brings up something that we KNOW we have done before and that perhaps many other people before this one, whom we trust, have brought up and shown us this thing before. We’ve already gone over this with other people, and we know that there is a possibility that maybe, just maybe – this person might be right.
Its hard to let go and take responsibility for ourselves – and to change the things that we do that simply are not good.
But in these situations, if we can just let ourselves be wrong, and try to listen to what this person might be telling us – especially if this is someone we love and trust – its a really great segway into really changing some of those character flaws.
The hardest ones, the deepest habits, take a huge willingness to hear criticism, and, if we can identify it as coming from a genuine, concerned and caring place…we should probably listen.
And let those considerations crack us open, stun gun our egos…and really look at ourselves.
We are always improving…but in order to do so, we have to humble up and listen.
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