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Friday, February 10, 2012

Compliments and Criticism

Day 41
Compliments and Criticism

Both compliments and criticism can be hard to accept. Many of us gals are conditioned to brush compliments away so as to appear demure. I find that compliments are often showered out of politeness. This is delicious! You look nice! New dress? How pretty! Compliments sometimes feel less than genuine. Criticism, on the other hand, is rarely easy to take. My least favorite: the “constructive criticism” which actually means, “I am going to criticize you but you can’t be offended because I am calling it constructive, which it probably is not, but you can’t be mad anyway.” Both compliments and criticism can become diluted.

Occasionally we find people in our lives who are (excuse the expression) brutally honest. Those people who don’t waste the time or words to tell you anything other than their unequivocal opinion. And this is a gift. I am writing about this because we recently lost a family member who could always be counted on to give his uninhibited opinion. If he said, “delicious dinner,” I believed it really was. When he complimented my shoes, I knew I had some pretty special shoes. When he told me how valuable a family member I was, I believed it. The opinions and criticism were always genuine.

Our nephew dedicated himself to teaching and counseling. He valued family. We’ll miss him for many reasons. I will miss him because I could always count on having an honest opinion.

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