Saturday, February 04, 2012
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Accepting Criticism
I am reminded of this as the first round of feedback from the Critique-my-blog blogfest rolls in. All of it has been wonderfully helpful, especially since this whole blogging world is so alien to me. Unfortunately, four-year-old Cindy has been causing me a lot of trouble, pouting in the other room and saying nasty things about blogging, cyberspace and the digital age in general, not to mention my own efforts to get anywhere with my writing. I'm trying to ignore her until she tires herself out. I suggest you do the same if she starts any commotion during this post.
Over time, I've managed to tame the little wild thing version of myself. I ask her to wait in the other room while my calmer, saner self nods at the poor soul critiquing me, dutifully takes notes, and says things like, "Good point" or "Let me fiddle with that." But four-year-old Cindy doesn't like to stay still for long. She's always trying to assert herself, no matter how much she promised to behave when she first sat down.
The thing is, I really like the wild thing. She's got spunk, and, unlike Lou Grant, I love spunk. So, I don't want to squash her spirit. Sometimes, I need that power to keep from crumpling up in a sad little ball of whimpiness. She only throws fits because she cares passionately about stuff, and that's something I never want to lose.
Maybe I need to approach her the way I do so many of my more challenging students. Help her get used to this whole criticism thing. Give her a replacement behavior, a safe place to take a break and manage her big feelings without disrupting the group. Maybe it's enough just to personify this side of me. Am I the only one who does this? Somehow, I doubt it. Anyone else out there have a name, personality, perhaps even an image for this side of yourself?
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