“CRITICISM VERSUS INSULT: How Every Wise Person Should Deal with Both”

I had wanted to write “Every Grown-up” instead of “Every Wise Person” on the subtitle. However, I knew better. There are grown-ups still overly sensitive and egotistical, no matter how ‘real’ they are.

Yes, they are only (considered) ‘real’ grown-ups by age – not maturity nor wisdom. Sadly, there are still a lot of them. (Hopefully, you and I are not included.)

One of the most disturbing things about them is their lack of (or worse, nonexistent) ability to differentiate criticism with insult. They also deal with both like little kids with tantrums.

Oops. Did I just insult them? There. I have just given you an example. It is an insult if you:

  • Call them names.
  • Bully them verbally, like telling them that they are stupid and cannot do their jobs right.
  • Put them down without giving them any solutions to set things right.

Then, what about criticism?

Well, I understand that not everyone makes a great critic. All they do is complain. No solutions are offered.

Yes, I also admit that their frustration can often lead to insulting other people they deem less than their expectations on them. (Personally, I have met people like that and I no longer talk to them. I choose not to put up with those who need to insult others in order to make themselves feel more superior. That kind of drama is a waste of my precious time, heart, and mind.)

Since their criticism is not delivered with any suggestions or solutions to a problem, then they are not really helping, are they? Why should we even listen to them?

What if, despite the suggestions or solutions already offered, the criticised still get angry, take it personally, and in fact decide to ‘teach you a lesson’? Yes, teaching you a lesson for questioning their skills and authority in public. For making them look – and feel – like complete fools in front of everybody. (Well, even if the truth does show them that!)

I admit that I am also sensitive. I sometimes get angry easily. It is not something I would like to deny nor be proud of. It is how I am. If you do not like it or think it is my weakness, then perhaps it is your problem for being so arrogant.

However, that does not mean I will always attack everybody up front and right away. For example: there will always be people who make fun of my weight, as if it will literally hurt their eyes everytime they see me. Do they anger me? Oh, yeah.

Do I really want to do something bad to them? Believe me, that thought has crossed my mind so many times. After all, I am only human.

However, what is the bloody point? Besides, that will be exhausting and a complete waste of time. I have got better things to do than showing them how much they are being jerks to me.

Okay, another example: my work is being criticised. Just like with every decent grown-up in this situation, you have two (2) obvious choices:

  1. Take it with a grain of salt and try to improve your work.
  2. Attack your critics (whether it is your boss or some subordinate) like you are the little child who lashes out at every person you personally dislike.

If the second one is your choice, then you will make yourself an absolute tyrant to anybody around you. If you happen to be a leader (even worse if you work in the government), I hope your subordinates will not go crazy and commit suicide.

I hope they will bring you down soon enough instead, no matter how much of a bully you are.

R.

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