We seem to be masters at pointing out the flaws, even if it is in something we know very little about. Or in the people around us, our friends, partners, band mates. We take the good stuff for granted, we almost assume it to be there. We do this almost automatically. Are we so fixated in seeing the flaws that we can’t enjoy the beauty anymore? Has our society become so “airbrushed” and “auto-tuned” that nothing but the “perfection” will do? Have we forgotten how to see the art in the imperfection?
But what about if we started from the positive things? What if we complimented them before we criticised? What if we spent more time explaining what is good about something someone has done, before we give in to the urge to point out the flaws?
Why do we spend so much time criticising someone, whether they are someone complete stranger, or someone we love dearly? Unfortunately most of the time, I believe this comes from our own self-doubt. If we point out others flaws, maybe no one will notice ours. Attack is not always the best defence, especially in a relationships. And sometimes we feel empowered by being able to find the flaws. But if you were not asked to find those flaws in the first place, it is very much a false sense of empowerment.
And here is what I think. That first reaction to criticise is almost always much harsher than what we really mean to say. So if we make the effort to find several positive things to mention first, maybe by the time we get to the criticism we might even rethink if it is worth mentioning. Now if we feel it is important to mention, make sure the balance between the good and bad stuff is much more on the side of the good. This way your criticism wont feel as much like an attack.
Sure thing we need to hear the criticism to know what we are doing wrong and how we can grow. And it takes strength and maturity to be able to take the criticism on board, understand it and learn from it. But even so it has become harder these days. You see as soon as you make something whether it is art, music or even something practical, you will get criticised. You will get criticised so much that to survive you build up a fence. This is simple self-preservation that mother nature has taught us to do.
The world has become so competitive, that we feel the need to gear up our children from a very young age. And we try to encourage them the best we can. Or do we? Do we spend more time pointing out what they have done right, or do we always point out what they have done wrong?
Did you say yes more times in the past week than no? Did you compliment people more than pointed out their flaws? These are small changes we all can make with in our selves to make this world of ours a better place. The fact is, no one is perfect.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE