There will always be haters
It never ceases to amaze me how some people are hellbent on criticising.
How they need to comment on your actions — and often not constructively.
How some are intent on wounding you, reminding you that you’re stupid (in their eyes) or simply that they’re keen on always taking that holier than thou stance.
We grow up with criticism and, as little tykes, we realise very quickly that a critical comment about us is ever waiting in the wings.
As the experts say, the psychology of criticism is primarily concerned with the motivation, purpose or intent of the people who are making the criticisms, either healthy or unhealthy.
Really, you know (clued on to this as I got older) it doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life. Whether you have a profession, have children or choose not to; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym five times a week or sit on the couch every night.
Whatever you do, someone will judge you for it. Sadly there will always be haters.
I have learned there will be always be someone who will find a reason to give you grief and project their own negativity on you.
I remember as a child loving to give my dad little imitations of people because I knew he would always howl with laughter and yell for more. But my mimicry was not taken in good heart by my mum.
She thought I was being wicked — and said so.
One particular mime, when I was probably only 8, got me in serious hot water with her.
As I look back, my small mime was entirely innocent.
My dad was sitting by the fire in the living room and I asked if he knew Geoffrey who was a boarder at a widowed neighbour’s house.
“No,” my father said. “Why?”
“He’s a different kind of man, I think,” I said.
(NB: I didn’t know about gay men then, certainly not overtly gay chaps).
“Is he?”my dad said. “Yes,” I said. “I’ll show you.”
With that I left the room and made a return entrance rocking on the balls of my feet, with a perfect limp wrist action.
My dad — on cue — roared with laughter.
My mum who caught it from the kitchen, screamed her disapproval.
My dad was told to stop encouraging me.
“For goodness sake,” he said. “She’s only a child . . . she’s only copying what she sees.”
“It’s rude and unkind,” my mum said. So learned that copying someone’s mannerisms was a criticism which was mean-spirited.
And through the years, like all of us, I’ve come in for my fair share of being criticised.
Sometimes it is wounding and necessary and simply the negative thoughts of an often ill-tempered and self-hating person.
Or it is the constructive (how to do something better) criticism which one must always be open to.
Winston Churchill likened criticism to pain in the human body. “An unpleasant experience that is necessary for growth and learning.”
He also said that being criticised was good because it meant you have stood up for something.
However, many of us have been deeply wounded because of how it is delivered more than what is delivered.
A critical remark flung at me recently was, in itself, innocuous — but the way it was done was pointed and nasty.
There are people who feel the need to hurt and overpower and there are the rest of us who would do anything for a peaceful life.
But like my old granny did — and many small children through the years — after being verbally sorted, wait until they were behind a wall or a door and poke their tongue out at their accuser.
Sadly, though, our critical masses are here to stay . . . so tune out, I say.
Here’s one way of dealing with criticism.