On Criticism – Design for Mankind


{Photo courtesy of Design for Mankind}

Carly here!

I like to think I have pretty thick skin. I have received criticism (haven’t we all?) and my response has been “well, that seems off.” Of course it seems off! If I had thought of it, it wouldn’t be called criticism – it’d be called unanimous agreement!

I found Design for Mankind‘s post title – “How to Have a Thin Skin” – to be intriguing because I agree that thin skin can be a positive. There is no use in disregarding criticism because a lot of the time (most of the time?) it can be founded in legitimate concerns and result in necessary change. After all, Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Criticism, when constructive, should be accepted or it least considered wearing our thinnest of skin. Less “well, that seems off” and more “well maybe that’s right on.”

How to Have a Thin Skin

On criticism, then.

It happens, and while it generally happens in a constructive environment, it can sometimes happen amidst the public masses – shouting, pointing, laughing – and you can sometimes find it when you aren’t looking, and then you cry, at first. You go to the grocery for eggs and it follows, the criticism, the words, the sting. You hear it on the morning radio and you swallow it with your vitamin, and it stays in you, and it lives.

This will go on for a few days, and you’ll be softer, and your skin will be thinner, so you must take great care of yourself. You might declare tonight’s dinner a takeout night, or skip writing and go for a walk with your toddler, or treat yourself to an afternoon matinee.

Get off the computer.

Remind yourself that this is the world, that people hurt people, that we all play a part in the predator, the prey, the circle. We have all hurt. We have all been hurt. Sometimes the hurt is intentional, other times it is not. It will leave a scar either way.

Breathe in.

Realize that we all have limitations, that this is human nature, that we are bound to offend or criticize, and that we all look much stronger than we are.

Breathe out.

Here’s the choice:


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