I guess it’s no surprise that you feel bad when anyone corrects you about something after the way you were treated as a child. It’s sad that so many (often well intentioned) parents try to correct their children in this way. I suppose the logic is to make the child feel bad about what they’ve done so as not to do it again. However, it often results in the child feeling bad about themselves, not about what they’ve done. In the end it chips away at their self-esteem until the child believes all those negative things that have been directed at them.
One idea is to try to separate who you are from what you do. When somebody corrects you or criticises you, it’s your actions or behaviour that they’re criticising, NOT you as a person. You’re still a good person doing your best, and it’s your actions that were at fault in some way. By the way, that’s how you should treat a child. By all means tell them when they’ve done wrong, and give them a good telling off if needs be, but make it clear that it’s their actions or behaviour that was wrong or inappropriate NOT them as a person. But on the other hand, when praising them for doing well, that’s the time to direct the comments at the person themselves.
Making mistakes and getting things wrong is OK. We only learn by making mistakes, not by getting it right first time. Getting it wrong is the beginning of the learning process, NOT the end of it – so no more dropping out, eh
. Constructive criticism is OK too. It shows us what we’re doing wrong and what we need to do to improve. It speeds up the learning process.
Many of the greatest inventions and achievements were born out of failures. We spoke of your dancing and my music last time. Quite often when I’m trying to play something I get it wrong, and that mistake is more interesting that what I was attempting to play. It sends me off in a completely new direction that I’d never have taken had I gotten it right first time. Have you noticed the same with your dancing?
So next time somebody corrects you, the next time you get it wrong, take it as an opportunity to learn. And remember YOU didn’t fail, it was just your actions or behaviour.