Keep them close but not too close
Life is simply not complete without the critics. Imagine a world full of back-patters and well-wishers. It just couldn’t be. We would continue to revolve in misguided bliss and feel-good overload. We’ll keep looking at the greener other side and see our glasses half full.
Enter the critics. They have all the good intentions in making you see what they see. Chaos, flaws, and imperfections. Welcome to the human world.
Most of us tend to hate them, naysayers. They do nothing but drain the life out of us. I remember getting into a verbal fight with one of them in my younger days. I won but I’ve never been so doubtful of myself. Maybe I didn’t win after all.
In the course of time, it is just impossible to live life without them. They are an integral part of the cosmos. They are a vital link to our survival. Yes, our survival. Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.
For some reason, if we allow them to, critics can grow on us. They can serve as good nourishment to our perspectives and self-worth.
What is good about having critics is the perspective they bring out. People tend to give in to their narcissistic sides and relish on the feats they have done. We focus on our beauty and keep our skeletons in our closets. Critics make you see the things you hide. Whatever the intention is, if you put it into a productive light, criticisms will work well if you hear them right.
Backseat drivers have the knack for emphasizing the things you don’t want to pay attention to. Whether it is a minor detail that you could have easily perfected or an unnecessary factor you could have avoided without trouble, they smell stuff like these miles away—plus the exponential power of magnification they could put on them.
Martial arts masters put weight on having rivals. They revel on the idea that a person could only improve as much as their rivals. Critics challenge you. Even if you do not deem them as equals, they have this uncanny ability to get on your nerves.
Keeping a critic in close proximity will help you keep check on yourself. You strengthen your strengths and improve your weaknesses. You keep your guard on—even on your blind sides.
In the corporate world, it is not enough to go on your own. To be able to really succeed, you need people to protect you, to watch your back. You can go to your family or workmate buddy for help. You can go your way to earn your boss’s respect and gain his protective shadow in return.
But no one can protect you better than a critic. They may have all the will in the world to put you down, however, you can turn all those efforts as a protective wall for you.