Have you seen the movie Little Shop of Horrors? It’s an excellent musical comedy that makes some very important points about accepting others as they are… and the dangers of feeding carnivorous plants. And don’t forget about the dentist. This dentist:
But really, isn’t the job of any dentist to inflict pain? All I had this morning was a cleaning and my mouth and ego are still sore! My mouth because of all the scrippity scraping (ugh, hate that part) my ego because despite brushing, flossing, and mouthwashing religiously (more than religiously even– I only go to church once a week, after all) I still get chastised for not doing well enough. Do you think a dentist has ever said to anyone, “great job! keep up the good work, pearly whites!”?
And please don’t tell me that your dentist does. I can’t handle the jealousy right now.
But seriously, criticism always kind of hurts and for a long, long time, I have had a notoriously thin skin.
Last week I reached a major blog milestone: first criticism! (Out loud and to me, anyway, who knows what else has been floating around out there?)
A friend of mine (and really, a friend, I’m not being sarcastic this time) gave me my first dose of criticism.
He had two issues with my blog: 1) tapestries are for women and 2) I am spending far too much time writing far too many words when there are clearly better things I could do with my time.
Fortunately, my response to the two-fold critique was a pleasant surprise, especially to me! Let me demonstrate.
My response circa 2005 (assuming I would have screwed up the courage to start a blog in 2005– ha!): Dang it! I picked such a lady name! Tapestries are totally for women and I turned off half the population by making it something so girly! And all of my posts are way too girly too… who wants to hear about women’s issues anymore? What is wrong with me?! And why am I spending so much time on this thing?! No one reads it, no one likes it, no one likes me, and I should just give up.
Sigh… that person was annoying.
My response circa 2013 (because I did screw up the courage to start a blog in 2013– ha ha!): Really? Tapestries are for women?! What does that even mean??? And perhaps I should mention the fact that it was a man who brought the under the tapestry analogy to my attention in the first place! And don’t even get me started on the fact that the things that are “women’s issues” are really just issues that affect women and should matter to everyone. And the choice to spend time writing this blog is just that– a choice made by me, for me, on how to spend my time. I enjoy it, it’s cathartic, and it’s fun for me and my friends! Don’t like it? Don’t read it.
Granted, what I actually said to my critic was a bit more toned down. I talk a big game here, not so much in real life. Also, all that may have been considered unprofessional 😉
Notice the difference in the tone?! Ahhhh… that. feels. good.
The things is, what other people think of me is really none of my business. And although it’s cliche, the negative things that other people say to me, or about me, really say a lot more about them than they do about me. Perhaps my critic has misconceptions about gender roles and related insecurities. Perhaps he also has some very strict ideas about how time outside of work is best spent. Whatever it is– those things are not my problems. What a relief!
So, congrats to me on surviving… and THRIVING… despite the criticism!
Although, I have to admit, I am a good flosser, and my feelings do still hurt a bit about that…