Learning to accept one’s inadequacies and shortcomings is perhaps one of the most difficult things we can face when evaluating ourselves. Even more daunting a task, listening to our own flaws as they’re brought up to us by others, usually by ones we love, in an effort for us to realize our mistakes and attempt to become better people as a result.
The attribute that perhaps clashes most fiercely with constructive criticism is, of course, pride. In truth, it is perhaps one of the only things that prevents most people from bettering themselves as humans, for they are much too proud to acknowledge their faults or wrongdoings in any way. If we learn to control our pride, or just disregard it entirely, we’ll inevitably commence on the tumultuous trek of learning from ourselves and finally valuing the precious words of wisdom that others have the courage to offer. In fact, it is perhaps much harder for a loved one to bring our imperfections up in conversation than it is for us to hear them, for it is probably an idea they have contemplated far longer than we will be stung by, and one that has left them uneasy for a while.
So, if it becomes evident that constructive criticism doesn’t devolve from or is a product of spite or jealousy, then why don’t we, as conscious humans with choice, make a strong effort to regard those potential words of betterment with more fervency than we would arguing against them? The reaction of rage that may result from such information is not a defense of one’s ideals, rather they reflect more blatantly a sense of immaturity and stubbornness in character which, quite simply, are no more than derivatives of selfish pride.
When we find ourselves in that awkward position of recipient of constructive criticism, we instinctively react in a manner tinged with either anger, hurt, and dismay, or perhaps all three. Yet, before we summon up enough gall to offer an emotionally impaired retort that we may end up regretting later, we must realize that the words that are being offered are not rooted in malevolence, but rather out of wisdom, and that motives for doing so are not out of condescension but, instead, love.
One will find that the more one takes these truths into account, the easier it will be to receive criticism, and that it we’ll no longer look upon it in reproach, but rather in welcome.
It will eventually become become apparent that we are not always right, infallible, or perfect, and the knowledge that’s missing for us to advance on the path to becoming individuals we can someday be proud of must be gained from others. Adhering to these simple considerations can only result in positive outcomes, such as the diminishing of many needless quarrels and a closer bond to the ones we love, or the ones that truly know about us, and hence, the only ones that can see what it is we need to improve on.