This I Believe

Faith - 13210, Connecticut
Entered on January 23, 2008

I believe that people should never take negative comments as just personal attacks because such mentality just holds you back in life. Of course when it comes to negative criticism, almost always they are meant to be personal attacks. People make them either because they envy you but want to prove to themselves that you don’t have it all or just plainly because it makes them feel better that there is something wrong with you too. But as a forward thinking professional person, this is your opportunity to improve yourself.

I began believing this theory, if you will, when I began having problems with one of my senior managers at my job over the summer. Because of her cold attitude, I never said more than a “hello” to her on a given day. When we would walk by each other in the hallway, she’d always give me a fake smile and when we had presentations, she’d critic me very harshly and in a very demeaning manor.

At first I was bothered by this but I thought about it and decided to take time to evaluate her comments and see whether I could do anything about them. Soon I realized that if I Improved upon whatever it was she critiqued me on the previous week she could no longer critique me on it again and so I started doing just that. By the end of the summer I looked back at my projects and actually realized that I had improved the quality of work I was producing partly because her negative criticisms motivated me to prove to her that I could do better and secondly, by not taking her comments as just plainly personal attacks on me, I was able to find a grain of truth in them and improve upon those faults.

I’ve applied this theory to my personal, academic and professional life and it has always turned out to be a great decision. I’m a bit of a perfectionist by nature and the realization that others’ negative criticisms of me helps me do just that , now makes me look forward to them, so to speak. My thinking is that, I cannot notice all my faults and if others have time in their day to point them out to me, then God bless them.

By turning negative criticisms into personal improvement opportunities, I believe we give ourselves a chance to reach a better level of who we are…this is why I believe we should never take negative comments as just plainly personal attacks.