1. These are merely suggestions. Take them or leave them, do with this advice as you wish. We are here to help.
2. No hard feelings after group is over. Everything is done in love. As iron sharpens iron, we are there to refine and make each other stronger. While some of the instruction offered may be uncomfortable, ultimately it is there to make us better.
And most importantly:
3. We critique, we do not criticize. There is a big difference. Critiques are suggestions, not commands. They are meant to lift up, not to tear down. My writer's group has grown very close. One's success is everyone's success. One person's pain hurts us all.
I have come to apply these same ideals to my personal life. I joined this group because I know my writing is not perfect- because I am not perfect. Life is hard most days, People tend to be very harsh and critical. It is especially hurtful when it comes from family or close friends. These are the people who are supposed to love you the most, but often are the ones that strike the most deadly blows. My old boss used to say "My mother knows just how to push my buttons, because she put them there."
So how do we turn this around? Focus on the positive. Recognize that even in their own screwed-up way, the other person is often trying to help. Ask them questions. Remember, the advice given to you by others are merely suggestions meant to make you stronger. It should be done in love. If it is not, then take it or leave it. Let them know how they make you feel when they are harsh. Try to get them to listen and hear your side.
Assess where the other person is in their life, and in their walk with God (if they are walking with Him). What is their motive for offering this advice?
When their "advice" is hurtful, confront the situation. Tell them how damaging their remarks have been.
Make a boundary. Are certain topics off limits for discussion? This appears to be the case for me. The more success I have, the more attacks I get, and they all come from one single individual. There is nothing uplifting or helpful about what I get from them. So, for the sake of my own health, I had to set a boundary. Either this person treats me with respect and courtesy, the same way they treat everyone else, or they cannot be around me. Jesus said when you get attacked, turn the other cheek. He never said to willingly allow this person to continue the attack time and again without responding.
Sometimes life is hard, There is no need to allow others to make it harder for their own gain.
Until next time:
Peace to you and yours,
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Re-Inventing the Impossible
Jesus is my Life Coach!