Take Your Criticism and Shove It

I am a reasonably self-aware person. I have flaws. For instance, I often like to win more than I like to listen, I urgently resist doing things if people insist I do them (passive aggression), I rarely defend myself even when I’m right, I get hyper irritated and impatient with people who can’t comprehend what I’m saying, and I procrastinate like crazy.

I also know that I have limitations. I am woefully incomIncredipetent at doing impressions, remembering song lyrics, and recognizing celebrities (Incredipete “Is that Tom Cruise” “No, that’s Eva Mendes”). I am much better at ENJOYING singing than I am at actually singing. I am a legend at playing drums… a legend in my own mind. I cannot under any circumstances play honkytonk on the piano. I only know the first two positions of the blues scale on guitar. I have no idea how to make a sales call.

Both of those lists go on and on. I’m not going to keep going because if you know me well, you probably already know these things.

Being self aware and enjoying criticism are two different things. I am my own toughest critic. I don’t need to be told that I can’t play drums well. I know this already. So if for some reason I’m forced into playing drums because no one else will do it, I don’t want to hear how much I suck. You suck.

If you ask me to make sales calls, I’m going to do a piss poor job and I’m not going to make any sales. In fact, I might even alienate long-term customers. It’s not my fault you insist on making me do something I suck at. I TOLD YOU that I suck at it.

People love to criticize. It’s fun because you can make someone feel bad about not being able to do something, and you can do it even if YOU don’t know how to do it, either. It’s the best of both worlds!

But much of life is subjective. If I think your art stinks, chances are you think mine stinks as well. Some people might hear me play drums and think I’m awesome. To some extent, their opinion is affected by their own knowledge and their current mood. When I’m in a bad mood, everything seems to suck a little bit more.

Basically what I’m saying is that if you think I am bad at something, please do me a favor and stick it where the sun don’t shine.