"Scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, ’tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you;
If she do chide, ’tis not to have you gone;
For why the fools are mad if left alone.
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
For, ‘get you gone,’ she doth not mean, ‘away!’
Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though ne’er so black, say they have angels faces"
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act III, Scene I)
When someone contradicts me they help me reveal myself to me.
If I am myself, that is, if I can still my mind and reach beyond the vain need to protect the facade called personality, then there, beyond the distraction is a the trusted space where I can learn and grow.
When I am criticized, it is an opening for an awakening. A brief glimpse of what I might be, not what I am condemned to be. It allows me to search my motives, to determine what sour cause I may have given to another person for them to respond in this manner?
The more I tear into this cloth, the more naked I become, beyond the fear of losing the self that clings to my mast, beyond this is an ocean of discovery. I relish being contradicted. It is an invitation to wisdom.
My response to any feedback I get reveals my mood, is the mirror to my self confidence and motive. It reveals the trust i have in myself and the other person.
A single word can singe a relationship. It can jar beween them for years. An honest word can cut like ice water, stings at ever entry point. But we if we are open, we can learn to be resilient, to adjust to each fresh new temperature in good time.
Even if the feedback is a personal attack, coming from the vilest place the other person can find, even then it is an opportunity to open up the fear from whence it came, to allow the other person to discover something about their own moods and motives.
When I open my core, air my vulnerability, I am free to lift the grit of daily habitual face saving.
If the other person is pouring out genuine love in sharp words and bitter tones, it is my foolishnes to dishonour their gift with shallow self justifiation or burn their honest words with blame.
If the other person is pouring out their own poison, the least I can do is allow them to be rid of such deadly toxins.
When I am consumed with defensive reasoning, when I am entangled in my own logical response, then rationality rattles in my skull, confounds me, makes me small to the point of not mattering at all.
It hurts to wake up to our stupidity and ignorance. It hurts to wrestle with other people's version of our game. These is nothing good or ill about it, it is what it is because it is the human condition.
"I am press’d down with conceit
Conceit, my comfort and my injury"
The Comedy of Errors (Act IV, Scene II)