Criticism and hammers

Hello Brooke!

You always use such eloquent images that are so helpful to me, so I wanted to share the one I came up with for a recent podcast episode about handling what we perceive as criticisms.

When someone says something that we interpret as a criticism, it’s as if we thought that person wanted to hit us over the head with a hammer.
Only they don’t have the power to hit us with the hammer directly.
In order for the hammer to hit us, they have to hand the hammer to us, and we have to take the hammer and hit ourselves on the head with it.

We can see it’s completely optional.

We can just look at the hammer with curiosity and put it down on the table, or we can simply decline to take the hammer that is handed to us.

And this is assuming that the person actually wanted to hit us, which we can never be sure of. Perhaps that person was just seeing a badly planted nail on the wall behind us, or they were handed the hammer themselves and didn’t know what to do with it, so they’re just passing it on.

To top it all off, once people have moved on with their lives, we just take all of these hammers with us in a great big bag, and when we have a little downtime, we take the hammers out one by one, and hit ourselves over the head again with them.

Isn’t it crazy?

I got a kick out of imagining this and hope it’s helpful to others. 🙂

Clotilde in Paris.