Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sweetney Is My Soul Sister

Sweetney posted today about her particular "weakness." According to her husband, she has a problem with criticism. As in, she gets all prickly and defensive.

Believe me, I know how this works. I have a terrible time with any kind of criticism. Because, of course, criticism is never constructive in my world. Oh no. That might be reasonable. No, every critical thing that is uttered in my direction is a direct attack on my worth as a human being and a thinly veiled assessment that I am either stupid, or evil, or both. Because, there couldn't possibly be a better way to do anything than the way I am already doing it, could there?

(The story you are about to read is true. The names and facts have been changed to protect everyone else in the world.)

Mr. Sweetie: Hey, honey. Would you like me to take your car in to the carwash today?

Me: (overreacting) Why? Do you think that my car is full of crap? Do you think I can't clean out my own car? Are you implying that the accumulation of kid detritus is becoming a health hazard and needs to be listed as a Superfund site and sterilized before the kids can ride in it again? Is that what you're saying?

Mr. Sweetie: (nursing side of head where I have bitten his ear off) Um. No?

Poor guy. I am like a Porcupine Wife--as soon as I feel the least bit threatened, the quills go up. Sometimes I even can launch them across the room! How dare you...ffffoooom!!!

Sweetney says it really well:

Honestly though, I'm trying to work on these things. To accept criticism gracefully and to not immediately go into defensive-I'm-being-attacked-mode when approached with a less than completely praiseful (that's a word, right?) evaluation of myself or something I do. Its difficult -- particularly when you SO know that you're 100% perfect and flawless, as I do -- but one must listen to others perspectives (or so I'm told). Even when those perspectives are so wrong that, when verbalized, the words sear your eardrums and make you want to gouge your own eyeballs out with rusty nails. Which, you know, is oftentimes the case.

So, she's going to work on it. Which is (one place) where she is a better person than I am. She's going to work on taking criticism better. Whereas I've decided to work on taking compliments better.

You know, looking on the bright side of things.

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