Do you ever wonder what people really think of you? With so much politeness and political correctness, it can be hard to distinguish a genuine and mutual connection versus an average acquaintance sometimes. And while it’s good to hear positive praise from people, I think constructive commentary (not criticism!) can be equally helpful and informative as we try to become better people. It’s hard not to feel too proud or too afraid of what people might say, but I think if it’s presented in the right context and from the right person, we can begin making improvements.
I think we perceive ourselves differently than other people do. They may notice things about us that they absolutely love (or dislike) that we were never really aware of before. Conversely, we may be very aware of our certain characteristics that other people don’t notice.
I’ve heard it said before that what other people think of you is none of your business. And maybe it isn’t. But I think learning about what qualities we can improve in ourselves is a valuable tool. Just asking someone, “What do you think I could improve about myself?” is a character building question. We let our pride down, we open ourselves to change, and we give our friends and family an opportunity to voice how they feel in a peaceful way.
Now this doesn’t mean that you should open yourself up for critique by everyone—I wouldn’t put one of those anonymous tell all boxes on my Facebook page. Sometimes the 10% of people that strongly don’t like you will sadly take pleasure in trying to rip you to shreds. Instead, take your feedback from the 10% of people who sincerely care about you—they will give gentle feedback that can help you rather than hurt you.
I challenge you to challenge yourselves—ask those questions.