The other day I wrote about tough love, which can come in the form of discipline or correction. Correction to most of us is not so easy to swallow, it is like being given a plate of boiled liver, tough and not tasty, nonetheless it is a necessary part of life because if there is no one there to help correct us in order to insure that things are done properly, we will go on through life making the same mistakes.
Today I wanted to share a point concerning the killer of communication and this is sensitivity. There is a good sensitivity when you are sensitive towards the needs of others or their feelings. When you are able to empathize with others and learn to walk in their shoes so as to avoid causing unnecessary hurt feelings or pain. The other is not that positive, it is when you are overly sensitive to other’s words or situations and are easily offended, this is the sensitivity that I am addressing.
Some might defend themselves and say. “I have to be myself and let others know how I feel otherwise I am just being a wimp.” Yes, while this to a certain extent is true, it is important the be able to express ourselves so that our position is understood, but when it comes to being overly defensive when our boss, friend or co-worker is trying to point something out about us that may need to be fine tuned or changed, it is best to keep our emotions toned down a few notches.
As time goes on, should we react continually in a defensive manner, we will find ourselves very lonely! The fact of the matter is, on the work place, amongst real friends etc., should our reaction to any suggestion that we may be wrong be sensitive or offended, sooner or later our colleagues, or friends will simply stop attempting to communicate with us! It becomes too much work to have to “pick up the pieces” when others fall apart each time we have to mention something that they may need to work on. So, human nature tells us to avoid the situation and pass on by.
By being overly sensitive we begin closing the door to any hope of growth or even social life. The fact is, we all could use some fine tuning, and not that we are all always “wrong”, but we do need to co-exist with the rest of the world, and this is why we need to be open to change and willing to adapt to our surroundings.
In a marriage or relationship this problem, although initially may not exist, tends to surface after you have been together for some time. After growing familiar with one another, for one it is difficult to take criticism ever, and two you wonder why after such a long time your partner is getting “picky” over something that they used to seem to be fine with before. You feel, “what is the big deal, this is how I am, just live with it” while the fact is, you have been doing something that has always been a little bothersome but it was overlooked through your “in-love” stage. But if you cannot learn to communicate honestly with your partner, you are soon to run into some pretty big problems.
Communication is absolutely essential in life! Not all communication is done “the right way”, so we need to learn to listen in order to respond in such a way that will leave the door open to others. If we don’t, within time we will find that everyone will be side stepping us everywhere we go, and the world will become a very lonely place!
How do you handle correction or criticism? Do you take in stride or do you tend to make it hard to deliver?