What to do with Criticism

Normally, when someone (let’s call them person A) says something about someone else (we’ll call this person B), our tedency is to believe it without questioning it. But this isn’t always the right thing to do.

The people listening need to examine the situation and the people involved to decide what is really going on. It is possible that what person A said has nothing to do with truth. But how does one determine this?

The formula for examining and evaluating such statements is that there are several things that could be the truth concerning what person A said about person B:

a. It could be a true and honest communication from A about B.

b. It could be person A’s misperceptions or misunderstandings based on any number of things: Just not looking at what is really going on, problems in person A’s communication ability (including problems in hearing what was really said), different beliefs about reality (“if you do that, that’s a sin!”), and so on.

c. It could be person A’s agenda, conscious or unconscious, getting in the way of person A’s ability to truly see or at least honestly state what is there, so that what is communicated has everything to do with the agenda and nothing to do with the truth, or has so little truth in it that it will take some digging to get to it. (An agenda is where a person has an ulterior motive for saying or doing something, such as to make themselves feel better by putting down or discrediting a person who threatens them. People with agendas are seldom utterly truthful; at the very best, what they say is incomplete and biased in favor of their agenda, and at worst is a complete lie)

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