Tuesday 10 December 2013

What really hurts ... is not being defended by your peers/friends

As somebody who has a strong opinions and likes to do stuff, I found myself sometimes in situations where I step a little out of line and do offend/hurt others (see also Why do others think that I'm "hard to deal with" and that "I don't listen").

This means that I tend to be on the receiving end of some criticism, which I've learned to accept (and not argue back, even though I could). Sometimes it is better to just accept the mistakes and let the other side have their say, specially if they are right and some of their feelings where hurt.

Occasionally when that I happens, I get the question "Doesn't it hurt to be on the receiving end of that criticism?" (which is a variation of "doesn't it hurt to be so misunderstood on what you are trying to do?" )

In most cases the answer is NO, it doesn't hurt because in a way they are right and I am wrong. If the other side doesn't understand my actions (or mis-interpreted them), then I am part of the problem. It is also important (and helps to make it easier to accept) if whatever I was doing that caused the incident, was something/somewhere where I was trying to help somebody or to make something better (i.e. I was trying to help). Btw, it is also important to apologise (which I do), since apologising is not a sign of weakness, but of respect to the other side.

Because the real friend is the one that tries to reach out, do things and make a difference. Of course that there is a very fine line between criticism and disrespect, and I hope I don't cross that line.

Also important in this situations is the fact that I have at least a couple peers/friends that do get what I am/was trying to do, and defend my actions (publicly or privately).

And this is the really important point, what really hurts is not when you are criticised, what really hurts is when your peers/friends don't put the record strait and help to put those 'negative comments' in perspective.

Because silence is a way of agreeing, and there are times when we need to go on the record (i.e stand up and be counted)

In fact, if your friends/peers agree with the criticism that is being made (hence their silence), then the problem is much bigger, and it is time to start thinking about changing or giving up that particular idea/task (vs trying a different way to help or drive change)