The Power of Criticism

Priyanka called me up on a Saturday morning, she was desperate to meet me. She was specific on the phone that she wanted sometime and would only book an appointment if she was given enough of the same. I presumed that she might have visited other emotional health consultants who hadn't been able to give her the time she wanted.

She was punctual for her 7.30pm appointment. At 5ft 3inches, slim, dressed very neatly in a kurti and jeans, she was the typical Maharashtrain girl who could easily be confused with the millions of youngsters enjoying life at the coffee shops, movie theaters and malls of Mumbai City.
At first glance even I wondered what many of you might be wondering now, Why the desperation to meet an emotional and behavioral consultant? What secret is she carrying in her heart?

A hour later the answer hovered around a single word - Criticism.
Born to middle class parents in sub-urban Mumbai, she very simply described herself as a "normal happy-go-lucky gal". She had always sailed with the flow and never been too rebellious about anything. She was a decent student, had a group of friends who formed the heart of her life, she was loved and supported by her parents and had a secret crush on a classmate of hers.

Her problem started a two years ago when she finished her post-graduation in commerce. Her hunt for job exposed her to a side of life she wasn't prepared for. The first few rejections worked as a morale booster. She believed that god had something better in store for her, so a few negative responses was good for the long run. The first 3 months of job hunting was just fun. It was as if life after college was the same as inside. By the 5th month of unemployment she started feeling frustrated. She found it embarrassing to meet her friends, started over-analyzing every interview she would give and would invest so much emotional energy trying to preform to perfection in an interview that many times she froze in fear.

It was at this time, when her friends started pointing out that she needed to change her "honest" and "happy-go-lucky" approach to interviews. She needed to deceive, lie and be more shrewd if she wanted a job. One of her friend's forced her to pick formal suits for interviews that would actually "highlight her physical personality", as it worked great with some interviewers.
The protest of moving away from her belief system was always met with the same answer. "This is just a mask till you get the job, once selected you can wear and behave in the manner you want". Her immense belief in her family and friends made her willingly accept the "need of the hour" change. To her pleasant surprise she was selected for a job within the first couple of interviews she appeared for with this "new found attitude".

A few months into her job and she was shocked to find that "happy-go-lucky" attitude was the one that people took most advantage off. She found her seniors pressurizing her without any credit for the good work. On a day of need she was the boss's "long lost daughter" but on others he didn't care if even existed. A stupid mistake devastated her personality. A corrupt colleague tricked her into going against the rules which left a negative impression in front of the boss. She suddenly felt all her dedication, loyalty and love for the work place was an "imaginary world".

When she told her family and friends about this incident, instead of sympathy, she was extremely criticized for being naive and stupid. While her friends couldn't believe how stupid she was not to continue with all the techniques they had taught her at the time of interviews, her family was questioning her future and future impact on her "marriage prospects".
A few weeks later she lost her job. Every single day for the last 2 months, a family member or a friend would rub a strong dose of criticism mixed with pity into her. She was left questioning herself? After seeking answers from logic and god, 2 nights ago she thought of escaping the emotional pain by ending her life.

Positive criticism is good and required for the development of a person. It's done in the best of interests and reaps the maximum of all benefits. One think I can say with a 100% conviction, based on the thousands of people I have counseled with similar problem, most criticism you will ever encounter in your personal and professional life is not made thinking about your desires or your personality but based on what the other person thinks is best for you.  Unfortunately its disguised like a beautiful gift, which you realize to be poison only after accepting and indulging in.

So many people at work, family or society will speak negatively about you, blame you for something or blow a small incident out of proportion. Why? Because they want to prove themselves to be better than you.

The power of Criticism is more devastating than you can think...


Dr.Hemant MittaL
Motivational Speaker - Mind-Body Healer
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))
(Specialize in Emotional, Behavioural, Sleep, Memory, Concentration and Sexual Health)

1 comment:

  1. no words....i've felt the same for many years....thanks for this docs..once again