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Critism is a Kill-joy

    Criticism is a kill-joy, even when it’s not personally directed at us. As a kid, I remember feeling slightly wounded when my mother criticized our neighbors for buying a house they couldn’t afford to furnish. They had a big house with indefinitely empty rooms. I understood my mom (she worked awfully hard to beautify our home on a budget), but it was a downer to hear her diss the neighbors. Children just want everyone to get along and criticism tends to divide. Adults actually want the same thing, but we forget.
    I grew up to be not exactly critical, but opinionated. Highly opinionated. Passionately opinionated. Yesterday, when I started telling an acquaintance how I dislike the sound-effects-on-steroids in movie theaters today, my daughter rolled her eyes.
    “Why do you roll your eyes whenever I start talking to other adults?” I asked her.
   “Because you come on so strong,” she answered, “and sometimes it sounds like you are criticizing people.”
    Wow. This is a clear sign from my twelve-year-old who often answers with “I don’t know.”
    The more I think about it, the more I see the importance—and challenge—of sharing one’s viewpoint with grace. I will always have opinions, but I need to learn how to deliver them gently, trying very hard to keep my words from sounding critical.
    As an aside, this didn’t seem so necessary when I was a petite twenty-something single living in New York City. If I was feisty, it was considered harmless, maybe even cute. But now in my forties in suburbia, if I express ideas too intensely, I can scare people, if not offend and distance them.
    Someone once told me, “You should never offer unsolicited advice to another adult. If you want to give your opinion, ask first if the other person wants to hear it and then proceed with caution.” This is great (and ironically unsolicited) advice about advice, but with zero success implementing it, I’m beginning to doubt it is humanly possible.
    Presently, I have two strategies for being a fully opinionated person with grace:
    First, be a blogger. Blogging is the perfect solution for people who want to let their thoughts be known without running at the mouth. Some bloggers don’t do this of course, but I’m advocating blogging where words are composed with care, as in any good writing. The unique factor with this venue is that the blogger has the impression that he or she is sharing with the world. Whether or not anyone actually reads the thing, the potential is there: a blogger can touch an individual or a nation with a multitude of opinions. What’s more, bloggers know that if readers don’t like something, they can close the window any time. Bloggers are free to offer unsolicited viewpoints; people are free to engage in them or not.
    Secondly—and this is the harder one—be sensitive. Sensitivity is something that needs to be learned and nurtured, and is never entirely obtained, at least for people on my side of the personality spectrum who are drivers and extroverts. I need to slow down and continually think about how I phrase something and who is listening. I need to intentionally solicit the other person’s opinion so I’m not talking “at” but with someone. I need to notice others in ear shot and consider how they might be affected. Basically, I need to never be sloppy when it comes to talking. Whether I’m with colleagues, friends, or my spouse, I need to pay attention and realize the enormous impact words can have. “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18, NIV)   
    Thinking back at my mother’s slight criticism of the neighbors, it’s ironic that I’ve been living in an unfinished house for twelve years now. Furniture aside, we are missing light fixtures, baseboard, and bathroom sinks. One of our rooms still has  plywood on the floor and our landscaping is packed dirt. My mother, who is actually quite a graceful lady, has kindly held her tongue.

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Offering Unsolicited Viewpoints

Enjoyed reading your Blog..... Engagingly.

Here is another plus to blogging - Cross-pollination!

Ten minutes ago I knew nothing about you except that we are all part of the same Whole. But now that I know we both found :"Insatlling Wife" by Michelle hillarious, here is an equal-opportunity blog to narrow the the gap between those of us from Mars and those from Venus...

Dear Tech Support:

Recently I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0.

I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources.

In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity.

Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Hockey 5.0 , Hunting and Fishing 7.5 , and Golfing 3.6.

I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favourite applications.

I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn't work on Wife 1.0 . Please help!

Thanks,

Troubled User.....

____________ _________ _________ _______
REPLY:

Dear Troubled User:

This is a very common complaint from men.

Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program.

Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING!

It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0.

It is impossible to uninstall or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed not to allow this.

Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Alimony/ Child Support.

I recommend that you keep Wife 1.0 and work on improving the situation.

I suggest installing the background application "Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be high maintenance.

Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5 and Pay Bills 4.2

However, be careful how you use these programs.

Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag 9.5.

Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software.

I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

WARNING! DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3

This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system!

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This is hilarious too.

This is hilarious too. Thanks!