Thanks to Cassie from Mommy, RN for suggesting suggesting today’s topic: Quick to Judge.
If you are low on confidence, every single thing that comes your way is going to feel like an attack. If you jump on that initial reaction too quickly, chaos ensues.
Perhaps this topic is similar to – or a reinforcement of – the criticism post. When someone hits a topic close to home with us, it’s our first reaction to assume the comment is targeted to us; and worse, that it was specifically meant to hurt.
Some of the people I admire most are the kinds of people who can get into really deep political or religious arguments, or talk about very difficult, very important topics, and come out of the conversation with a smile on their faces. They know the person they were “debating” with wasn’t coming after them. There was no “hate” or “hurt” involved, they just liked to talk deeply about topics that had great meaning to them.
They were able to separate the message from the messenger (to paraphrase one of my favorite authors).
One of the difficult times for me was when I was just learning to become a programmer. I’d make junior, silly mistakes, and when those mistakes got pointed out, I’d immediately wonder if they thought I was stupid. The reason really didn’t have much to do with the words they were using – it had to do with my own confidence level. I was new to programming. I had no idea if I truly stunk, or if this was a learning pain that all new developers went through. And at 4 am, after you’ve been deploying all night and can’t get it to work, your mentor may not have the “bedside manner” they normally would to reassure you that you’re doing fine.
Over time, my frame of reference built up. I started to be able to “place myself” within the generic realm of programmers. I knew I was better than some, worse than others, but good with what I specialized in. I started learning that when a piece of advice came my way, I couldn’t immediately judge the advice as a personal attack. The advice was meant to help me get better in the long run. Some people have better “bedside manner” than others, but they were all just trying to help.
Now, as a new writer, I’m facing similar challenges in how to “take” advice. Luckily, my experience up through the ranks as a programmer is a great guide, so I’m trying to take criticism a bit more objectively. And what’s most amazing about it, is when I succeed in taking the “hurt” out of the advice (any phantom hurt I myself may have attached to it), I end up with some pretty amazing advice.
Credit: Cassie from Mommy, RN.
Do you know someone who jumps on you every time you try to offer advice? Do you do that? What do you think about the idea that it’s directly related to the confidence level of the person?
Featured Image – Goddess of Justice again (I like this one)
Copyright: NejroN / 123RF Stock Photo