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Eyes Wide Shut By Robin Carter

Robin Carter - Bird's NestRecently someone posted a status on social media that stated, “Why am I always so misunderstood? Several comments of others followed with their own perception of why this situation could be happening to the individual. Nevertheless, no matter how carefully you deliver your point, it may or may not be received in the way you intended it to be. Yet, you may get criticized for what you may consider a good and honest statement. Since criticism is a universal but painful experience, it sometimes triggers fear, shame or even anger in an individual and feeds into their insecurities about being competent or worthy. “Winston Churchill referred to this censure as pain in the human body—an unpleasant experience that is necessary for growth and learning.” It can also be a way of gaining power and social control over someone, but on the other hand a way of communicating a genuine grievance while speaking up for yourself.

Since not all experiences and situations are the same it is important to become emotionally intelligent; meaning understanding the context so that you may respond mind fully and skillfully to the concern. Unfortunately, since disagreements can trigger the adrenaline in one’s system–the first reaction most likely could cause you to feel blind-sided; to walk away and avoid the conflict. This behavior could come across to the individual as if you are trying to prove you’re right by not listening to the other side. Not to mention that this response is not particularly effective. This reaction could also make the critic angrier and leave you defenseless. So what do you do in a case like this? My honest opinion would be that whenever you are confronted with a negative situation just take a mindful moment or two to take a deep breath, notice how you may be feeling about what the other person is communicating to you non-verbally, and then try to re-focus on what you want from the situation. Also try to reflect on what you think the person is saying. You may need to ask, “Are you implying that………..?” This is just to try to get a better understanding of what the other person is saying. Nobody likes to be criticized, but it is a part of the human experience. Sometimes it is a “power play” or someone’s projection; (Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D), but it can be a valuable piece of information about how you are being perceived. I know firsthand that “constructive criticism” is a learning tool for some. While this type of communication can be of good use to some depending on how they receive it, yet don’t get this confused with people who will down-play all of your good deeds, overlook your strong points and shine light on your weak ones. Some people will never see you for who you really are no matter how hard you may try to convince them otherwise. This indeed is not a good judgment call. “Constructive criticism” is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the actions of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of this action is to improve the outcome, not to throw “salt” onto it. Know your worth and never let anyone define who you are. Your self-worth is not defined by how others see you or think of you, but who you believe you are.

In this article entitled, “Eyes Wide Shut,” it expresses the action of someone who misconstrues, refuses or cannot see something in plain view, because of preconceived notions of what this “something” should look like. “Eyes wide shut” is the total opposite of “eyes wide open,” however, though it is a bit of a strange expression because it is impossible for the eyes to be “wide shut,” technically thus, what is conveyed is a very serious denial. It is yet the action of not seeing clearly at all; the result of our eyes being wide open, but still completely shut to certain situations. So if anyone ever accuses you of something, be sure that it is a “false accusation.” Never get caught in an “eyes wide shut” situation.