Monday, 14 April 2014

Thoughts on criticism

There's a story that Buddah was happily walking into the city centre one day, and as he approached the entrance, an old man on a box, upon seeing Buddah, stood up and started to yell at him, cursing him and calling him pretentious and worthless. 

Buddah simply smiled and carried on to the market.

Every day of that week, Buddah would walk into the city centre, smiling away, happy as anything and every day, without fail, the old man would repeat his abuse but Buddah would carry on smiling as he went to market.

One day, curiosity took hold of the old man and he said to Buddah ''Every day you come here and every day I shout at you and curse you but you still enter the city with a smile despite knowing that I await you with my harsh tongue, and everyday you leave with the same smile you arrived with. Why do you keep smiling, even now, while I do nothing but scream at you?''

Buddah, with his continual smile, answered the old man ''If I were to bring you a gift tomorrow morning all wrapped up beautifully with a box and a bow, would you accept it?''

The old man scoffed, saying ''absolutely not, I would take nothing from the likes of you.''

Buddah replied ''ah ha, well, if I were to offer you such a gift and you refused it, whom would the gift belong to?''

The Old man answered ''You, of course.''

And so Buddah said ''And the same goes with your anger. When I choose not to accept your gift of anger, does it not then remain your own?''

I have been thinking about this story for some time today. I have been going through a rough patch and consequently my self esteem hasn't been all that great. Because of this, I've allowed for peoples words to get the better of me: when I shouldn't have. You see, criticism is a gift in a way. If you choose not to accept that gift, it is the givers problem until a receiver decides to accept it.

You have the choice to not be offended.Criticism can be very very good, if it is meant constructively and with good intention. Constructive criticism can even help us to improve aspects of ourselves and grow as people. However, if the criticism or the context it is given in is not meant with good intention, you have the power to not let that negativity influence you.

I'm not saying don't stand up for yourself- that's almost a seperate issue. What I'm saying is, don't let people project their opinion of you onto you. You should not let what other people say become more important to you than your own inner voice. You know yourself best.

You're called stupid.

It doesn't make you stupid

You're called ugly

It doesn't make you ugly

What counts is you being comfortable with who you are and what you stand for. 
Have the courage to say no I am not what you say I am.

If I were to present you with a box of maggots, would you accept it?

Unless you're really into natural fishing bait, probably not.

So, If I were to present to you an angry array of colourful language... you don't have to accept it as truth.

You see?

I just feel like I've been doing myself a disservice lately by accepting the labels that a few people have put on to me, forgetting that I have my own voice and my own mind and my own free will to choose whether to accept their words or not.

There is a big difference between constructive criticism and downright nasty name calling.

So, I'm going to finish this post with a small plea to you: remember your voice.
                                                                                                And remember your choice.

Have a happy week
and don't let anyone bring you down.



  1. What A lovely post. Something to think about eh?
    Renee x

    1. definitely!
      thank you for your kind words :)
      have a happy week

  2. That was such a lovely story, and another way of thinking about criticism! I definitely need to keep this in mind x

    Yet Another Makeup Blog.

    1. I'm so glad you like it and were able to take something from it,
      hope you're having a lovely week :)

  3. Great post, Lizzie. We have to try and remember stories like this when times get tough! I hope you have a lovely weekend. xxx
    The Jolly Fashionista


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