I love this list of questions from the Friday Five. They are hard for me to answer. I'm going to have to ponder them all day and come back tonight and give some kind of cohesive response, because with criticism I go immediately on the defensive. It's a negative trait that I'm hyper aware of, and its usually when close friends or loved ones give me critique that I respond most defensively. I hate being wrong. I hate making mistakes. I'm my own worst critic. And yet, I've always learned the most from my failures. So here we go...
How well do you receive criticism?
Initially not well. I turn red, I feel self conscious and like I need to defend and explain myself. But I take a deep breath, I push down that initial reflex response and I try to listen. It certainly depends on the method and tone of the critique as well. If it's a personal attack or not well communicated, then I'm probably going to ignore it. And if you get nasty with me, conversation's over.
When did someone else’s criticism of you result in growth?
God, lots of times. Any decent boss I've ever had, my best teachers, any good friend, or carefully judgemental loved one, constructive criticism from these folks has been life changing. If the critique comes from a place of concern or love or desire to help me improve my writing or work, then it promotes growth. It might be hard to swallow, but it's usually worth it. Yeah, but I'm still going to turn bright red.
What do you think of film critics?
One of my favorite websites is Pajiba. Film and tv and book critics who are witty and erudite and hilarious and usually spot on. I might disagree with their reviews now and then, but they're usually pretty right. I like to make up my own mind, but again Pajiba is usually right.
What’s something you’d like to make a critical statement about right now?
I'm going to be critical of the whole fertility treatment process today. It sucks. You have very little control over any of it and it's deeply frustrating. That is all
Who’s the most critical person you know?
I think my father is one of the most critical people I know, but in a positive way. He can analyze and assess a business or process or personal situation and immediately decide how it could be managed more efficiently or productively, or give thoughtful, insightful advice. But he's a critic. A lovable critic.