Wednesday, January 18, 2017

why I'm good at constructive criticism

So I was the girl who cried whenever anybody told me something about myself that I didn't like. It hurt so much.  Definitely struggled with all or nothing thinking (if you say 1 thing bad about me, I must be all bad -- silly really).

I was a walking contradiction: certain I was right and horrified when I was wrong; always worried people didn't like me, yet I was unwilling to change.  Sounds like the perfect recipe to becoming a crazy cat lady on welfare without friends (although cats can count as friends).  While I have crazy cat lady tendencies (I have previously had up to 9 cats, but am down to only 2 now), I have come far on this journey of understanding.  A journey I owe in part to an "argument" a friend of mine had with her husband.

Maddy & Matt wanted a new bed.  Well, Matt wanted a new bed, but he wasn't quite ready to fork out the cash for a new bed so he was kind of stalling.  Maddy wanted the new bed and was pushing.  Typical marital discussion.  Maddy is a typical chick, battling the ever encroaching pounds on a regular basis so Matt figures (well, I'm assuming he thought about it, but one could easily argue he didn't think at all) he has the perfect way to put off the discussion of a new bed.  

"I don't want to buy a new bed until you've lost your weight.  We don't want to ruin it."

(This is where you take a breath and calm down -- unlike my reaction honestly.  
Better?  OK, read on before you seek to hurt Matt.)

My response to this discussion was OUTRAGE!
Maddy's response was laughter.
Then, she explained and began a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for.

Maddy:  I laugh because it's not true.  I'm not so overweight that I'm going to hurt a bed. Matt just doesn't know how to articulate not wanting to buy a bed right now.  He doesn't think I'm overweight to that degree and even if he did think that, it's not true.  If it's not true, I don't need to worry about it.  I just talk to God about the truth and allow Him to guide me and focus on His plans.

I'll be honest, it took a long time for that to fully sink in.  Years later, I've fully embraced this truth and it's amazing!!  

News flash, we aren't perfect!  I'm not perfect, I mess up stuff on a daily basis!  If someone needs to call me on that (and they often do), that's OK.  I can work on the things I need to change and talk with God regularly about what is on the agenda.  It's powerful.

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