CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

Somebody has criticised my little blog. It’s the first time that anyone has had the nerve to say anything negative to me about it although I am sure plenty of people will have had similar thoughts.

The criticism came from a close friend whose opinion I value and trust. They are a regular reader and, as far as I know, have read all 70 postings. They criticised one posting which they thought lacked something that the others have. It was done very carefully and gently but without room for misinterpretation.

I have been thinking about this. I completely accept what was said and can understand why the friend said it. I take on board the suggestions in the spirit in which they were offered. But criticism is difficult to deal with. Even though I am an adult, I still crave praise from those around me. Something as simple as a mother complimenting me on my choice of outfit in the playground can put a spring in my step that lasts until lunchtime. When I make dinner it’s lovely if someone says that they enjoyed eating it. It is a natural, human response and like a child I lap up favourable feedback wherever I can find it.

Negative comments are rarely made to me. It’s not that I am perfect. Far from it. But generally people either have too much to lose or simply don’t care enough about something to bother with the truth. We may have opinions about something but rather than share them with the person concerned, we tend to keep them to ourselves and then allow them to colour our view of the person in the future. Whilst it may be unfair to keep these criticisms to ourself and not give the person concerned a right of reply, life is simply easier to deal with if we do just that. Most people run scared of any form of confrontation and thank goodness they do. I dread to think where my self esteem would be if everyone who thought something negative about me told me all about it.

However, my blog is important to me. It symbolises a turning point in my life and despite the fact that is generally very light hearted in content, I take it and what I write in it seriously. My first response was to consider what was said and agree with it. But as the day wore on, I found my mind flitting back. What did I think I was doing writing stuff down and hoping that people would read it? Why did I ever think anyone would be interested? I cringed as I thought about all the people that I have told about my blog, particularly recently as my confidence has grown and wondered whether people were silently smirking at me and my efforts. This is a typically female response which, in my experience, is never very far from the surface. Just a minor scratch will reveal a rich vein in self doubt and poor self confidence. And there was a time not too long ago when I would have packed up my laptop and given up.

But actually, I needed to find some perspective. I asked for constructive criticism. I got it and that is good. In the grand scale of things it is a small issue albeit a thought provoking and interesting one. So if you read this and feel that it could be improved please feel free to leave an anonymous comment. But be gentle with me! I am only a delicate little flower.

What do you think? I'd love to know...