So recently in an undisclosed form and at a classified time, I had another one of those messages from someone who literally:
1. only contacts me to criticize
2. doesn’t reshare or promote my work, but asks me to promote theirs; and
3. requests free stuff and free time from me
As if this wasn’t already a difficult person to deal with, they definitely felt it was time to write me a lengthy message about something they thought I was doing wrong. Not even a check-in first.
Reader when I tell you, I exercised so much restraint in my response. I am getting better – at a glacial pace – at handling criticism. As my friend Kevin has told me before – and I paraphrase – when I receive criticism I need to ask myself:
One, is it true? (or is there a kernel of truth therein); and
Two, did the person use the appropriate means and method to tell me?
Honestly Kevin’s wisdom has helped me an awful lot this last year. I’m as defensive as the next person when it comes to people just barging into my space to tell me what to do different (or hint, or make “helpfuL” suggestions. If people can’t even greet me first and ask if now’s a good time to check in – honestly, they’re being a dick.
That said some of our critics – implicit or direct, sensitive or boorish – provide us with that little grist for the mill that ultimately leads to positive change. I can’t tell you how many times someone got on my dick about something and as I fumed and processed and thought it over, I came to realize there was something valuable in what they said. It might even be something entirely unrelated to their unwelcome fuckery – but nevertheless, the interaction led somewhere productive. This is mostly down to my own dogged determination to learn and grow, and I deserve mad props for that! But without their needling remark… maybe it would have taken me longer to get there.
But here’s the thing.
If someone repeatedly demonstrates they are not kind, they are not sensitive, they see themselves as the only human person in the transaction – with no regard to my feelings –
then I am going to let that relationship go.
I can take their criticism, say, “Thank you for telling me,” (as long as they weren’t blatantly disrespectful) – and then – if they really haven’t demonstrated any consideration for me as a human being –
I can Unfollow, Restrict, Block –
Or just move them into the “civil acquaintanceship” category, if I can stand that thought.
I have lots, lots of relationships. As a person in the public eye – if only a little – there are always going to be those people who just want to barge in.
I choose my words with care. I think very hard before I confront someone.
I deserve the same respect from the people I call Friend (or Family)!
I spoke a bit more on what to do next – how to respond and how to bolster yourself for this kind of thing – on my Instagram Live today. Give me a listen!
And finally: this will be a new type of blog post I put together: Dispatches From Clown Patrol. Do send me your own Clown Posse stories. I’ll post ’em. And if you want advice – just tell me!
I’ll keep it anonymous, and I’ll offer my suggestions.
Good luck! I’ll see you next week.