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Have you ever taken heed of someone's criticism of you and changed as a result?

(46 Posts)
Mintyy Sun 25-Oct-15 23:09:15

You know, those times when you secretly know deep down that someone is speaking the truth about you, no matter how painful it is.

Have you managed to change as a result?

AnnaMarlowe Sun 25-Oct-15 23:11:39

Not change (I'm not convinced anyone does really), but certainly improve.

Mermaidhair Sun 25-Oct-15 23:21:37

Yes I have. I use to be the most judgemental person. I am ashamed when I think back to what I was like. My dh pointed it out to me, and I slowly changed over a few years. My dh has now passed away but I am so grateful that he made me a better person.

winkywinkola Mon 26-Oct-15 00:38:22

Yes. Someone said to me that I always point out the negative.

Now whenever I want to make a comment about the view, the atmosphere, the food, the film etc, I always try to speak of the positive. Unless it was utterly horrendous of course - I'm not a sucker!

But I have learned to try and see the positive and always say something positive. The effect on other people and the general ambience is remarkable.

daisychain01 Mon 26-Oct-15 04:33:33

Yes and interestingly it was through work that I have reshaped my behaviour

I was told that I was too fixed in my views. I didn't realise I came across like that, as I had been encouraged to form an opinion rather than waver and be indecisive. Hey ho! Still it did make me think. Now I consider different view points but make it clear which view I hold. It does apparently make me seem more flexible.

sometimes hearing someone make an observation about us can sting a bit until we realise it may have a grain of truth about it. But also don't forget we are all human so don't be too harsh on yourself x

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Mon 26-Oct-15 04:56:55

Er…yes I think so. Or at least I hope so. If numerous people keep gently/good naturedly mentioning the same annoying character trait about you then it's a sign they find it mildly (or very) irritating in spite of the fact that they love you generally. If this ever happens to me I do try to modify it as best I can, although it's not easy to be anyone but the person you are. I think it's important to be self aware and to be able to be objective about yourself. None of us are perfect.

Silvercatowner Mon 26-Oct-15 06:06:50

Yeah - in my 'yoof' a number of people commented on my cynicism, glass half empty approach to life. Apparently I always looked miserable. I'm not like that anymore (I'm mid 50s) - I'm the person who always has a smile on my face, I'm known for my positivity. In the beginning it was a deliberate choice and sometimes hard work. Now it is how I am and I prefer the way I am now to how I was before.

Icanseeclearly Mon 26-Oct-15 06:15:46

Yes, I agree that it's less an outright change and more an improvement but, over time, it becomes a change. Taking comments and using them for the basis of an honest examination of yourself can be very healthy but any real change takes real time and effort. I have become far more calm as a person, less driven by the needs of others. I also totally changed how I drive after being told off by a white van man blush

There are many other comments that I have looked at and ignored though. Having looked at them I've decided that I like that aspect of myself, even if someone else doesn't. The key is to change only for yourself, never change because someone thinks you should, only because you think you should.

FinallyHere Mon 26-Oct-15 06:55:55

DH mentioned very gently that he valued honesty between us. I had picked up a habit of using lies to hide, even quite trivial things like the cost of a treat which we could afford. He pointed out that it was my money, fairly earned, my choice to spend it. Why lie?

The first couple of times i tried it out, i found myself saying, you know how you value honestly...well, I have just.... Then I got in touch with the impulse to lie in advance of doing/buying/whatever. It's a flag for me, to check whether I really want to do it, given the impulse to 'hide the evidence'.

I'm pretty good now, at standing up for my own decisions, with DH and also with other people, family right down to perfect strangers: I don't lie.

justwondering72 Mon 26-Oct-15 07:46:57

It's always hard to hear criticism. DH has flagged up some times when I've failed to take responsibility for financial matters, and put it all on his shoulders. That was hard to hear, but he was right. I've made myself become much more open to learning and taking responsibility for money matters, and it feels good.

thatone Mon 26-Oct-15 08:00:26

What a great idea for a thread OP.

After a specific incident once when I over-reacted about something my dh pointed out that i could at times be very over-sensitive and this was linked to low self-esteem and thinking that everything is about me. I realised that I do have a tendency to put myself at the centre of things and now I try to take a step back and remember that sometimes other people have their own issues and they don't always have to consider my feelings.

Linked to this I also have/had a habit of making assumptions about people and again dh pointed out that I waste energy by making up my own version of events and of peoples' motivations.

All of this has helped me alot in my daily life.

Helmetbymidnight Mon 26-Oct-15 08:14:13

I'm trying to become much tidier/cleaner.
It is hard for me blush

Dh is trying, like winky, to be less negative. He's in counselling.

Helmetbymidnight Mon 26-Oct-15 08:17:49

Other changes I've made have not been through comments of others but growing awareness of my behaviour/ or actually through reading mumsnet!

Like finallyhere, I would lie as the easy option. Here I learnt how utterly horrible and pointless it is.

RickJames Mon 26-Oct-15 08:19:36

Oh yes, quite a few things. Some more personal than others. The one I'll mention is the same as the PP who lied about shopping. I was also very secretive about money. DH has taught me that transparency and honesty are nothing to fear and noone will critisise my decisions (unlike stupid parents and a shit ex).

AlmaMartyr Mon 26-Oct-15 08:26:29

Yes. DH advised that I was a bit too needy. It hurt at the time but he was right and I've strived to be more independent since. Now I really am and I like knowing that.

Other things I've gradually learnt. I went through a stage of being too gossipy (largely due to company I was keeping but my choice to join in!). Now I try very hard to keep my mouth shut. Other behaviours I've tried to change as well. It's good to grow!

I used to spend a lot of time on Mumsnet being dismayed at what irritated other people though and thinking it was a wonder anyone ever spoke to me at all. Now, I've come to realise that you cannot please everyone all the time and have become a bit more circumspect.

queenoftheknight Mon 26-Oct-15 08:42:41

Yes, lots and lots of times!

I do believe that people can change, and change quite profoundly actually. I believe this because I have, and continue to do so.

A tiny example: It was pointed out that I could never graciously accept a compliment. This was true, and came from a need of mine to justify anything good about me, due to the dysfunctional messages about my worth I received as a child. I totally took this on board, and made a real effort to simply say, thank you, when someone complimented me.

Just two words. Funny isn't it? The change is easy, in and of itself. The mind set behind it, not so much. And of course it is the change of mind set that is key to real change.

It's all in the mind ya know....

shebefierce Mon 26-Oct-15 10:25:18

I had a dream in which my mother pointed out all my character flaws very bluntly. It wasn't a pleasant dream! She told me I ran away from problems, abdicated responsibility for my life onto everyone else and was generally being lazy. Clearly my subconscious knew every fault I had! And I listened to this dream...and I changed totally over the year or two after it. I still remember how ashamed and embarrassed I felt waking up and realising it was all true...

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Mon 26-Oct-15 10:29:01

Great thread...

I try and pay attention and make little changes. Like so many people I take criticism absolutely to heart... Which whilst annoying and I tend overplay things at least gives me the motivation to develop. Though perhaps I need someone to gently tell me to stop being so bloody sensitive!

Anyhow a couple of things that spring to mind..

An otherwise horrible boss asked me to always make sure I am accurate with information I give. I think I had started telling little lies without even realising it. This person was ordinarily horrible but that was such a jolt and several years on I think of it when I am about to bullshit....

One very dear friend pointed out how horrible I was when I was teasing another friend. I supposedly thought it was banter but when I look back I was actually being a total bitch and trying obviously unsuccessfully to make myself look better than the friend. The reminder really stung and I think I speak more kindly in general now.

Finally and I guess this is the one I am really embarrassed about is that a couple of people, have pointed out that I can change my story very quickly and it doesn't add up...often with opinions... Nothing massive. I like London ...10 minutes later I hate London. Never done on purpose and I think it's about agreeing with whoever I am talking to sad sad now it has been pointed out I can occasionally hear myself though not always in time to stop sad

JessicaTreuhaft Mon 26-Oct-15 10:44:44

Yes, I was overly aggressive at asserting myself. I think generally people were scared of having to spend time with me. In my case it was not said to my face but I had gone to bed early at a party with a window open and I heard two of my friends say it about me. I was pregnant at the time and it made me think hard about where I had got that behaviour from (my mums attitude of her way or highway was law ) and why I employed it myself ( not liking myself and not being able to outlet it differently) and how much I did not want to have that relationship with my dd. It was so so hard to hear but I am a much nicer person now because of it. In fact just yesterday one of the people I overheard said to my other half that having dd had 'really mellowed me'. It still hurt me a bit, but I can channel it better now.

PoundingTheStreets Mon 26-Oct-15 11:03:47

Yes. In my late teens/early 20s I was horribly judgemental. I prided myself on being the sort who didn't 'suffer fools' as I (mistakenly) thought this reflected my high intelligence.

I had a few hard knocks before learning the value of humility and walking a mile in someone else's shoes. I am a far, far nicer person now, and the value I hold most important about myself and others I meet is kindness. It's far more important than intelligence or wealth.

I was also told I couldn't take criticism. I denied this angrily (oh the irony) before realising it was true. Funnily enough, in one of my latest work-related assessments, I was told that my ability to take on board feedback was one of my strengths.

People can and do change. The fact that most don't is purely a reflection of the fact that it is hard - it requires a lot of self awareness and a strong desire to change.

chrome100 Mon 26-Oct-15 12:26:14

I think I am a naturally negative person. It isn't that I think life is shit, on the contrary, but I do whinge a lot and quite often as a means of making conversation as I am very bad at small talk.

I am trying to say more positive things and keeping quiet when my shoes hurt/I'm cold/hungry etc.

HoggleHoggle Mon 26-Oct-15 12:41:41

Like pp I haven't received direct criticism but have found that MN has changed me a lot. Reading various threads and seeing similarities to things I do/think, and the feedback to that, has profoundly altered me before I realised it.

Also when I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm actually being a dick about something, I sometimes mentally compose an AIBU on it...by thinking of it that way I usually realise that I am in fact being a dick. I wouldn't have had that self awareness before.

PotOfYoghurt Mon 26-Oct-15 13:17:11

What a great thread, I've enjoyed reading it.

Several years ago I realised there were several aspects of my personality/attitude that I didn't like- I was constantly finding the negative in life, bitching about things or people and joining in when people unnecessarily bitched about others.

Like a lot of pps it was a conscious effort at first to break the habit and change my way of thinking, but it eventually became natural. Fake it 'til you make it, I guess.

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Mon 26-Oct-15 15:56:37

Lotsof my DS does that! He is very opinionated and intense and ridiculously black and white about everything but he veers to the point of gross exaggeration and he goes off on these great long rants. Nothing's ever a bit crap, it's the biggest pile of crap ever, and nothing's ever one of the best films/bands it's THE best. And then the following week he's totally changed his mind and denies ever saying it. Drives me bonkers. grin

I try to cajole him about this gently (which he takes enormous offence to) because i'd rather he heard it from me than allowed it to continue to the point where everyone else thinks he's a ranty know-it-all twat.

I'm hoping he'll grow out of it and he's just in an 'angry young man' phase. confused

Seriouslyffs Mon 26-Oct-15 16:03:14

My Mum said I was quite 'careless' with boyfriends. TBH I think teenage girls should be! I've definitely became more thoughtful as I've matured.
And not something that someone said but I've noticed people flinch when I talk sometimes blush so I'm trying to moderate my dulcet tones.

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