I began taking swing dancing classes the other week (absolutely awesome) and what I noticed was how unwilling the instructors have been to criticize/judge individuals as they fumbled/messed up/began learning. In rock climbing I usually have 3-4 friends lined up telling me everything I did that looked janky/what I could improve on/some playful mockery when trying a new climb, yet for these swing dance classes it’s felt like the idea of criticizing someone’s form may be sacrilegious. Granted I am being a bit hyperbolic but the experience did make me ponder on my past and consider how my thoughts have changed over time about the role of judgement in one’s life.
For a long time I felt that judging others was an ill action because personally whenever I felt that judgement on myself it caused a bit of an internal struggle and discomfort. By it’s very nature judgement/criticism of another is challenging what the person believes, and in many cases that itself is tied deeply to their idea of who they consider themselves as an individual.
Though I never enjoyed the experience of being challenged in the moment, and I’d often attempt to rationalize away the critique, it’s the moments after where at least subconsciously I would start to question my beliefs. In essence the judgements of myself by others acted as a sort of buffer which kept annoyingly tugging me away from blindly following fake panaceas and from becoming a 1-dimensional person who never had the gall to say they were wrong/change their mind.
Thusly I think that being a person who can take other’s judgements into consideration and who is extremely willing to incorperate them into a deeper understanding of themselves and their actions is a major sign of maturity. It is the fast lane to improve on any skill in life, even if the critique people provide you with technically may be wrong/unhelpful. At the end of the day it gets you to question who you are and what you believe, and there’s no better magic idealistic panacea than that.
Bringing it back to my original point on my classes, I suppose that I’d like to think that I have matured a bit over the years as I really do adore the criticism of others and see just how the great the utility has been in my life. The classes thus far have been awesome none the less, but I think this was a good line of thought to venture on in regards to how I wish to take steps going into the future when pushing forward towards new goals/directions.
If you did happen to get past my incessant ego stroking/telling myself how oh so mature I am, maybe there was a tidbit of wisdom to consider for yourself 😉