An Antidote to Criticism

My friend and I have made a deal. 

If something wonderful happens to one of us, we'll share it and celebrate it with each other. 

The wonderful we share is when a person recognizes something about us that we really value. It's the kind of recognition that says, in so many words, I see what you're doing and it matters. Keep on doing it. 

We're taught to keep this kind of recognition to ourselves. It's immodest to talk about it, right? So perhaps we enjoy it for a sec, then go on to the next thing. 

And that recognition lives a short life. It's little more than the moment we get it. 

But with my friend, we add years to the life of recognition. We really take it in. Let the sweetness of it fill us up. And counterbalance the criticism that so easily grabs our headspace. 

I got these lovely notes from a group about how my workshop helped them, I tell my friend. She goes wild for me. Asks me to read the notes, share the details of the workshop. 

My friend tells me about these incredible admiring words a woman gave her a few weeks back. And we pour over the details of the moment, relish the beauty of it. 

We humans internalize criticism so well. The recognitions can be harder to take in, though. Harder to fill up our headspace with. 

But if we can find ourselves a partner in celebration, it can be one impactful antidote to criticism.  

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Courage BoostsCaitie Whelan