This is the fourth in our series discussing the second of the five geek social fallacies as initially written about by Michael Suileabhain-Wilson. Each day this week, we’re going to hear a different princess’s (author’s) thoughts on this. We’ve already heard from Alana, Caitlin, and Margaret, and tomorrow we’ll hear from me. ~Ang
I have to admit that Geek Social Fallacy #2 is proving to be a lot more difficult to write about than #1. The first had some clear examples that jumped out at me. The second? Well, it’s a bit more personal, I think, and writing about personal things opens one up to, well, criticism. Plus, it seems a lot more open of a topic. Do I discuss how I handle criticism? How others have? How gentle criticism from friends has helped me to be a better person?
I think maybe I can manage to combine some of these by discussing my 24 hour rule on criticism. I don’t actually know where I learned this, if it was something someone taught me or I read somewhere or just decided to do one day.
Essentially, I always try to give myself 24 hours to respond to criticism, or at least to sleep on it. I know that I can sometimes overreact to things. If by 24 hours later I’ve forgotten it, clearly it wasn’t important. If I realize that maybe the other person has a point, I’m at a much better place (emotionally) to deal with it and maybe grow a bit as a person. If I am still upset about something, I can more easily identify why and have a rational discussion (“I don’t know if you noticed this, but every time we see each other, you criticize how I look, and I am not okay with that,” for example. Okay, it was not really said that gracefully.). That brings it back to offering constructive criticism. While sometimes things have to be said in the moment, there is something to be said for discussing any issues at a neutral time and place.
That said, I am not perfect at it. I can sometimes take things a bit too personally and react passive-aggressively. I generally try to apologize later.
Overall, I think it’s helped a lot. There have been some people who have consistently made me feel like crap, even after I think about what they said later, and I no longer consider those people to be friends. There have been times where someone has pointed out to me something that I hadn’t realized I was doing (for instance, I have a tendency to ramble in real life, and for the love of all things holy please feel free to tell me to shut up because I can never tell when I have rambled too long.) I used to be a lot more of a let-me-tell-you-about-my-character person. I like to think I have improved on that front.
So. There you have it. My personal plan for encouraging growth as an individual, making and keeping friends (and sometimes ditching them when appropriate), and encouraging good sleep-on-it habits.
Note: Thanks to Chris Mann for providing us with some back-stabby art to go along with the series this week.