Fishing for Salmon in a Croc Infested Bog | Handling Criticism

4 min read

You must know that guy who acts and speaks like an expert on every fucking thing in the world and even thinking about his face makes you want to slap on four rings on each of your fingers and strike a blow so hard, it entirely disfigures his already disfigured face.

Yes, everyone has him in their lives. And then there are people who hate only your guts, you wish you’d never again see them again but there they are, waiting at every corner you turn, to pounce at you with the “just kidding” at the worst thing you wanted to hear in the moment, accompanied by a subtle remark that triggers your deepest insecurities and successfully enrages the demon inside of you who wants to snap his neck and as soon as he is dead, you mentally watch him simmer in a giant pot of hot oil, you meanwhile poking him with your trident repeatedly.

Okay, maybe I went too far with the vivid imagery of murderous tendencies in humans and hell (trust me, I am not a psychopath, I am only a writer), but I’m sure one or two of you reading this right now have felt exactly like this about someone at least once in your lives.

These people can make life difficult with their big mouths and nosy behaviour. But believe it or not, we need those people in our lives more than we think we do. Criticism sometimes can be difficult to accept – but all of that depends on your reaction. 

We can either react to criticism constructively to improve, or in a negative way that can lower our self-esteem and cause stress, anger or even depression and anxiety in severe cases (when you’re surrounded with too many morons to deal with in everyday life).

The way we emotionally and mentally react to criticism is often directly manifested into our reaction in the physical world (these scenarios mostly end with broken teeth and bruised knuckles) and the nature of the reaction depends on the nature of the comments made, which we interpret as scathing remarks most of the time, often leading to bad moments and disfigured faces.

These prickly remarks can be subjectively categorised into two types: constructive and destructive criticism.

Keeping a cool head and not giving a fuck what people say about you and your work is one effective hack to avoid the matter altogether, but interpreting the most dire, spiteful, hurtful remarks from others through a chain of micro-processes meditating upon its nature so profoundly that your observations convert the remark into a source of insight – can bring about drastic changes in your character and sound mental health within a period of very little time and also changes your perspective of the world and people in general.

One thing is for sure, transforming that dark sentiment through the chain of micro-processes aforementioned (deriving insights about oneself and people’s psychology in general after considerable time invested into observation and rational interpretation of what people say and do and why) which was only and only created to prick you, to sway you off from your cool state of mind will not only bring about changes in you, but possibly in the person who could not keep their loathsome mouth shut at the presence of your awesomeness.

And it’s mostly them who fuck up, not you.

Just kidding.

Or am I?

As homo sapiens are creatures of habit and one of our habits which make up the core of our neurology is observation of other peoples’ behaviour, although some of us are good at it and some of us totally suck at it, if the person who criticised you is an average observer of people’s reactions, they might feel blown away by the hurricane of your cool, rational approach to even the meanest remarks about your character or your work.

I would like to conclude this rant of mine by saying that people have 4 inch mouths and brains weighing well over a kilogram and every one of us is wired a little differently as a result of out thoughts, experiences, blah blah.

My point is, people soak themselves in bullshit and they spit out bullshit along a vast range of topics, backed by individual psychological wirings and emotional impulses.

What’s funny is that pseudo-intelligence is abnormally common. And yes, we all do it. I have caught myself trying to impress that curvy chick or that total 10 who reads like five books a week, subtly placing scientific facts in between my sentences even though I don’t understand 50% of the words there.

In short, even though we are gifted with almost divine intellect, our animalistic instincts are always there by our side to remind us that we are made of flesh and bone and anything made out of flesh and bone can act and speak stupidly.

I’m sure you’ve talked shit about other people too. Don’t feel like Buddha.

So never mind if Paul called you a hypocrite or if Paula called you an asshole or your art instructor thinks your new illustration is hideous.

Take that remark into the brightest room of your mind and clean it, baptise it with the holiest fluids so that only good remains in the remark. Use that knowledge to bring about changes in your habits and practices, which will eventually shape your character and identity.

Then react in a way that sets ablaze a (metaphorical) wildfire in the forest of your creative mental faculties, project that energy out into the world and amaze people with your superior sense of self and tremendous awareness of inside and outside environment.

Have a good one. Stay tuned for more articles.

Greetings, Team Red.

Your thoughts?