By AMELIA OBERHARDT
I’ve never been much good at taking criticism and when criticised I am incredibly defensive. My face flushes, I get hot and sticky and 80 per cent of the time I break out in some strange red, blotchy rash; attractive I know.
Even a friendly email from my amazingly nice boss saying ‘you mispronounced a word’ sees me rocking back and forth, wiping off my palms and stuttering my way through a long winded tale of why I, like any other human made a mistake. He doesn’t care, he just wants it corrected, but in my head I am walking a hypothetical plank and would rather die than say ‘deem-a-tap’ instead of ‘dime-a-tap’ again.
Why can’t I just take it on the chin? A boy would just say, “Yep, will do”, right?”
If a friend pulls me up on something – most commonly my driving style – I’ll arc up and start getting defensive. “Oh what do you know about driving you sit on a bus twice a day,” “I am yet to cause an accident; the two I have had were NOT my fault” and “My tyres are not balding they are just thinning”.
Criticism is like needing to wee. It’s is one thing in life you just can’t avoid. It comes at you from many different angles and it is inevitably a part of everyday life. Without someone to tell you all the ways you have stuffed up this week, this month, this year how do you ever really self progress?
Of course if left to our own devices we would believe we were great friends, lovers, employees and that we could single-handedly cure cancer.
Without the people in our lives to bring us down to earth we could be found floating well above this planet just being in a constant state of awesomeness.
We live in the perfect country for criticism. Aussies are always happy to take you down a peg or two. Don’t get up yourself, God forbid. Don’t carry any ‘airs’ or chips on your shoulder. You suck, you can’t dress, you can’t talk and you can’t drive and DON’T YOU FORGET IT!
Sobbing uncontrollably and feasting on cheezels isn’t particularly helpful. Maybe I’ll get better at hearing it as I get older, or maybe I’ll get worse?
At least I’m not Kim Kardashian – have you ever been on her Instagram? It’s like Hateagram on there… yet she still manages to bag 2 husbands, lucrative business deals and a baby daddy worth a small country. She doesn’t allow herself to become incapacitated. She may cry and complain but still, each day she gets up, gets dressed and gets out there.
Hang on, am I really being inspired by Kim Kardashian?… Either way she has worked out a way of turning destruct into construct and is that really such a bad way to be?
Amelia Oberhardt is a Brisbane born and bred traffic reporter who after 5 years in Brisbane radio made the move to the ‘big smoke’ two and a bit years ago. Other than reporting the daily grind of Sydney traffic she is an avid reader of books, blogs and Facebook and her favourite pastime is creative writing. You can follow her blog here.
Can you take criticism? How do you respond when someone makes a helpful suggestion? Any advice for Amelia?