Joyce Meyer wrote that if we don’t handle criticism well, it’s insecurity on our part (Straight Talk). I do want to please people. I was thinking about this recently. And it surprised me to discover this about myself.
Those who know me would say I’m more of a who cares? kind of person, but it isn’t really true. The truth is that I agonize over whether most people approve of me and I am very easily offended by intended or perceived slights.
My husband often tells me that he doesn’t know how to talk to me about something I do that bothers him, or something that I’ve done wrong, because no matter how he approaches it, I get angry.
Yeah, so?? Who doesn’t get angry most of the time when someone calls them out? I can’t think of one single person. Proverbs 28:23 — In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.
That’s true to me for sure. I am not so desperate for approval that I can’t see bs flattery a mile away. I can see it and I absolutely despise it. No one will win points from me for that.
No, the truth is that criticism, said just right, will usually fall on hearing ears. How to do it? Calmly. Truly calmly, because we can pretty much all spot fake calm and it makes me crazy. Kindly. Truly kindly. Like you really care if that person overcomes a sin or a mistake and you have their best intentions at heart.Firmly. You don’t have to curse or raise your voice. And if you have a loud voice like me, you need to lower it.
For example – if my husband and I are out at dinner and I do something wrong, like cause a scene, he needs to pull me aside in private and say something like this:
“I understand why you’re angry. That waiter was completely disrespectful to you and I will speak to his manager before we leave this restaurant. But you cannot call out a waiter like that. The kids saw it! That’s not good. You’re being unreasonable, despite your rightful anger. You have to apologize to the waiter and to the kids for making a scene.”
Now, I have never caused a scene in a restaurant by telling off a server, but if I ever did, knowing me, it would be a doozy. I’d probably embarrass people I love who weren’t even there. This, to me, is a good way to get my attention, calmly point out my pertinent, timely mistake, and convince me to do the right thing.