The other day my husband and I were discussing some issues in our communication and he stated that it seemed like I can’t be corrected. He found himself wary of pointing things out or giving me constructive criticism because I would get defensive or upset. I know I can be stubborn at times, but I thought his perspective was interesting.
My response: It’s because I’m usually right so there’s no room for correction. (Lol jk)
My response in real life: Hmm, how?
He was able to provide examples and I had some self-reflection and thinking to do.
I grew up in an invulnerable household and learned how to guard myself and control/conceal my emotions. I think I became so used to being guarded that if he – or anyone – said something about me that I didn’t like, I would shut down and shut him out.
This is not the way to handle criticism, especially in a marriage.
We basically concluded that he is not out to make me look bad and we are on the same team. Yeah he sees my flaws, but he’s just trying to help me be better. Instead of assuming that he’s judging me, I had to shift my mindset to he’s helping me.
I’m learning that it’s okay to fail sometimes or not be the best. I’m learning that constructive criticism is necessary for improvement. I’m learning to be more vocal about my feelings and thoughts, even if they aren’t pretty.
I remind myself that I’m not perfect and that’s totally cool. I also remind myself that my loved ones are not just judging, but just helping. What I decide to do with their comments is completely up to me.
How do you handle criticism? Have you ever known someone too guarded to receive constructive criticism? How do you increase vulnerability? I really want to know.