Monday, January 30, 2017

31. A Connoisseur of Criticism

The next day I presented “When Even the Voices are Hungover,” the first in a series of ten trainings on helping people deal with both mental illness and addiction.  Some people came to that training because they were interested in the topic.  A few people came to all my trainings. They were like old friends and I looked forward to seeing them. Others attended because they needed the credits to maintain a license. 

The woman sitting in the back, arms crossed, scowl on her face, angry before I even spoke, was part of a fourth group.  She was required to take the training, resented it, and had decided to vent her anger on me.

Early in my career I would have worked hard to make her happy.  Instead I smiled at her and went on with my training.

Over the years I had become a connoisseur of criticism.  There was the truly constructive criticism from people who wanted to help me do better.  I was grateful for them. Other criticism was competitive, a desire to be ‘one up’ on the trainer.  This criticism I put to good use, knowing competitive criticism was often accurate.   The last thing the competitive critic wanted was to be proven wrong.

Any criticism I might get from the scowling lady would be more about her issues than mine.  I would read her evaluation, but not take it to heart.  

Today I will be a connoisseur of criticism.

Needles Not For Knitting is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Needles Not For Knitting (c) 2017 by Ken Montrose

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