There will al­ways be haters

Whanganui Midweek - - NEWS - with Mame

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.