Some weeks ago my sister told me my eyebrows had been drawn on too dark and my hair was flat.
She said this with no intention of being kind or gentle, just honest. She said so bluntly, straight to my face. Which made her a bit annoying to me, but after she said that I drew my eyebrows on a bit lighter and shifted the part on my hair so as to create some semblance of volume. I actually received compliments.
My sister has always been my worst critic, but at the same time she is also my best. She’s the crusader of tough love, at least for me.
When we were younger of course I didn’t understand this. In my immature state I thought all comments like this were negative, derogatory and mean. In my young and naive mind I thought, “oh no, I’m being bullied!” But the truth was the exact opposite. I was being built up.
But don’t get me wrong. Not every criticism is like this.
Everyone needs a critic, but no one needs a hater. Haters just hate because they hate themselves. Critics criticize because they know you can be better, and they want you to be better.
Sometimes your skirt really is just a tad too short. Sometimes your words are just too harsh. Sometimes you’re just being an ass, and sometimes, your eyebrows are just drawn on way too thick and someone needs to tell you. That’s what critics are for. They may seem annoying, hurtful even, but in the end when you know you’ve improved in some way you will remember them. And you will know, whether you admit it to yourself or not, that it was because of them that you became a better version of yourself.