Why criticism dominates our focus than appreciation?

The most important thing for a person doing a job(be it art or anything) with his full heart is appreciation. There may be pay for one’s work but to be recognized with praise is a ton of boost for the person’s confidence. Having said so, there are numerous occasions where our mind will start fixating on the one criticism that it received than focusing on the numerous other appreciations. If appreciation is important, why does our mind ignores to focus on the appreciation that we get but choose to concentrate on vile criticism? For example, “You suck”, is quite a common statement that we tend to pass on between our friends and acquaintances. The 2 worded sentence is seemingly simple but it has the potential to break a person’s headspace. What causes this difference of reaction?

Let’s focus on the factors why the brain tends to centralize on the criticisms more than appreciation:

  1. Egoistical need for complete acceptance

2. Value of the critic in your mind

3. Critic’s adeptness in the field

4. Self-doubt over the worth of appreciation

1. Egoistical need for complete acceptance: Whatever we have, our heart aims for perfection. 100% is something the entire humanity is running behind despite knowing that achieving the same is impossible. We want us and our work to be loved by everyone but we forget that different people have different opinions. They are free to have their opinion and if they don’t like your work, it doesn’t make your work any less. There are countless humans in the world, sure there is going to be a difference of opinion over your work among different individuals. Hence it’s only wise to get constructive criticism from those with different opinions and resolve it in your next work.

2. Value of the critic in your mind: Not all the people in our lives hold the same place in our hearts. We value some people more than others due to various reasons. Due to this ‘high position in our heart’, we start to look out for their reactions to our work. Hence their particular criticism of our work would mean more than tons of praises that we might be getting for our work. For instance, I have this one friend with whom I used to share every work of mine, his approval meant a lot to me. Even if I get numerous appreciation from others, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get this guy’s approval. There are crazy times where I have stopped writing just because I had a feud with this guy and I can’t share my work to get his approval. This is too much dependency and off late after realizing I am fairly sure, I have reduced relying on this particular guy. Having insights from people close to us is fine, but we need to make sure we aren’t being too much dependent on their opinion and take their criticism just as a different perspective of our work.

3. Critic’s adeptness in the field: This is closely related to the previous point. The reason we tend to lose heart over a particular person’s negative opinion is that we believe that the particular person has the skillset to validate our work. Though it’s a valid and delicate situation, it’s important that we see the positive comments that we have received from the others as well. Also, another thing while considering the critic’s skillset seriously is the factor called ‘perspective’. There can be countless perspectives on a particular work. Perspective varies from person to person. Hence, while we note the constructive criticism from the critic, it's imminent that we don’t wallow deep on that particular criticism but also consider it as just another perspective.

4. Self-doubt over the worth of appreciation: This is quite a deep and common factor that’s often overlooked. For a person who has never tasted success, a heap of appreciation can cause doubt over the worth. The doubt will make the person focus more on criticisms than the appreciation. Also, it's quite common for those with low self-esteem to take criticism more seriously than appreciation. Doubt in any form is dangerous to our headspace. The faster we clarify it, the better it is. Belief over our skill and the work we have put in is an important thing to resolve this defect(not sure if it's the appropriate word). Everyone evolves over time in their area of work, so trust that we have evolved over the period of time and we are totally worthy of the appreciation we receive.

Appreciation or Criticism, there needs to be a balance in handling the appreciation and criticism. Focusing more on the appreciation is equally vicious and bad as that of concentrating too much on criticisms. The stability in handling the 2 extreme reactions is an assurance to the fact that you are evolving and the success will become a regular customer henceforth.

writes what heart feels!

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