Well, another Sunday has rolled around....a day to prepare for another week of work. Sure does roll around quickly. We've had a fairly nice weekend here. Low humidity, bearable heat...but tomorrow, it will be right back up to the 90's. All I can say is...WOW!!!!
"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help".--Abraham Lincoln
For those that don't know, I have a 25 year old stepson who suffers from mental illness. He lived with us for awhile, but it didn't work out. Sadly, it doesn't work out anywhere for this poor boy because as soon as his medication stabilizes him, he thinks he is cured, and he stops taking it. And don't try to make any suggestions; he doesn't want to hear it. He listens to no one. He cannot deal with constructive criticism because he doesn't want to be told what to do. After all, he is cured, isn't he? Sadly, he as deteriorated so badly that he will probably never live a normal life...let alone live on his own. And, up until recently I was following the blog of another young man with mental illness...until he decided he didn't want anyone telling him what to do. Again, the refusal to listen to constructive criticism. So, what he did was privatize his blog and only accept those of his members who totally agreed with his every word....however wrong it may be.
"Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults."--Socrates
At first I was angry. How dare he cut me out of his life! All I wanted to do was help. If I didn't care, I wouldn't be trying to steer him in the right direction. I wouldn't care that his life was about to fall apart....but my friend is not alone in his not wanting to be told what to do. It's hard to listen to criticism...for any of us. If we are not prepared to accept it, it hurts. It can burn a whole right down into our heart. ..no matter how constructive it is. We all want to be praised for what we do, not criticized. Criticism is perceived by many, including myself, as a personal attack...and the truth is, many times it just may be...the one who is criticizing us does not have our best interests at heart. Indeed, their words are MEANT to be unkind, to hurt, to cause us pain.
There are two kinds of criticism-- positive and constructive criticism and negative and destructive criticism. All too often, we have been criticized so much in our lives that we cannot distinguish between the two. So, how does one distinguish between the two. First off, look at the intent behind it. Negative criticism is focused on pointing out what is wrong with you without offering any constructive thoughts. Constructive criticism may point out a fault, but also offers something constructive to aid the individual in finding their way.
Constructive criticism offers offers valid feedback by offering valid suggestions on things that can be improved and issues that can be avoided. It helps one to grow, to avoid those mistakes that could be deadly to one's being. It is done not to ridicule...as negative criticism...but is done because one cares and has a genuine desire to help. But that is not so easy to discern out here in blogland. Here, we are offering our advice to someone who really doesn't know us, doesn't know what are motives are...doesn't know if we are genuinely trying to help or whether we are just trying to tell the individual how to run his/her life. I work in a field of addiction and mental illness, I sometimes forget where one world ends and the other begins.
Losing my blog friend has hurt, but also has also provided a valuable lesson to be learned...don't overstep my boundaries. I think I have done fairly well with that, but something about my friend hit a chord; it hit too close to home, and I couldn't help myself from jumping in. Too many times I have seen a client at my job exhibit the same symptoms as my blog friend so I reached out to help. I meant well, but he didn't know that. I was just another person in his life telling him what to do....and at this point in his life, that was not what he was after.
So, my friends out there in blogland, if I should overstep my boundaries, please do let me know before cutting me out of your lives...and know, that it wasn't done to cause you pain. I was done because I care.
Thanks for letting me share.