John-Paul Flintoff




On being given a wigging

Sammy David Jr. told me: ‘People aren’t always going to love you, but if you give 100%, they have NOTHING on you.'
— David Hasselhoff

Today, I was well and truly given a wigging.

I felt a bit shaken.

It will pass.



POSTSCRIPT: That’s what I wrote on Facebook. It opened up what seemed like an interesting thread of conversation, which I’m posting here too.



AB: what happened?

JPF: I was running a class on how to deal with your inner critic, believe it or not. I did ask people to let me know if they were unhappy with how it was going, in any way – and one woman did exactly that, bless her. (I did ask.) As a result, standing in front of the whole group as she spoke, I had that thing where peripheral vision goes a bit blurry, and my heart raced, and I felt that other people seemed a bit uncomfortable to hear this. Specifically, I remember her saying she was angry, had wasted her time here, and that my style of running the session was not what she wanted. I think I was polite and accepted what she said with thanks – didn’t argue back, anyway. I did also feel grateful (part of me). And just to be complete: she did say at the end that I had reprieved myself and it was worth the wait.

AB: I understand. Did she deal with HER inner critic though? And is it a question you’d ask again? And was she in any way right? Can I also say though, obviously I would be on your side but it’s very hard to give criticism without making that person feel in anyway humiliated and it doesn’t sound like that woman has that ability. And also, I’m afraid the Italian in me just intensely dislikes this woman and may want to make a potato doll of her and then stick things in it.

JT: Annalisa: the Italian in you is awesome.

EB: Sounds like an ass wipe to me.

JPF: She was brilliant because she took up my invitation to say what she felt. What she said wasn’t bad as such, though I was a bit lost about how I could help it if she just didn’t like my style. I only posted this because, although I think I actually handled it quite well, it still left me feeling a bit shaken. I think it’s just almost impossible to avoid something like that – as if our bodies are only ever able to experience direct criticism as, very nearly, a threat to life itself. I kind of admire her willingness to speak so frankly.

HM: Well I love your style.

JT: (I don’t think she was bravely speaking frankly. I think it’s okay to not have admiration. I think she was just outwardly reacting to her own internal attack on her self-defenses. That doesn’t need admiration, although it could probably do with having its presence acknowledged.)

VM: Glad you’re ok. Annalisa..the Italian in me feels the same!

JPF: Thanks JT I am grateful for the reminder that I don’t need to admire

Posted: July 2, 2015

Keywords: inner critic