Criticism; Take it Like a Man

When receiving criticism, the correct attitude is:

A. Politely wait until the speaker is finished, then use a quick knee to the groin and a slashing clenched fist to the head to make sure the speaker never dares such impertinence again. Stand over the crumbled body, pump your fists, and bellow to the Gods.

B. Same as A, but don’t wait until the speaker is finished; any inkling that the speaker intends criticism should be preemptively curtailed with a lightening fast body flow; your model here should be the Israeali Air Force pre-empting terrorist threats. Stand tall, and let the UN sanctions fall as they may.

C. Thank the speaker for his/her thoughts, leave quickly, and order that your subordinates firebomb their house, while rounding up their womenfolk for atrocity practice. Spare a few for PR, and harvest organs to sell from the rest.

One of the key differences between the unruly child and the mature gentleman is that the latter knows how to constructively accept, or patiently ignore, criticism:

– As the not really ancient Desiderata says; listen to even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. And, of course, their suggestions for how you could improve.

– If you rise above the threat to your ego, you may realize, perhaps sometime later, that the critique was actually useful, and that you would be better off making some change in response. If the criticism was given in a sincerely constructive spirit, you should thank your critic for giving you the impetus to improve. Otherwise, its fine to ignore the critic while making constructive use of the criticism. The truly sophisticated man knows how to profit from his enemies.

D. If your woman makes a cutting remark intended to insult you, the appropriate response is to look up from the sports page, apologize for the fact that you weren’t paying attention, and ask her to repeat what she said. (Don’t do this, however, if she has immediate access to heavy household items or automatic weapons.)

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