Sunday Poser #114- Non-binary Thinking

Thank-you Sadje for this great question.

What do you think works better; Criticizing or praising?

This question in order to be ‘to the point’ enters a realm that haunts our society which is, binary or black and white critiques. I’m not faulting the question in the least. It perfectly describes a modern tendency to suggest life is a series of either/or decisions.

Either you’re in favor of helping Ukraine or you’re siding with the Russians.
Either you take the vaccine or you’re willing to kill ‘grandma’.
Either you vote against Trump or you’re a white supremacist.

You get the drift. And if you’re intelligent and fair minded, you realize that those examples are blatantly oversimplified and unfair. IMHO…It is a dangerous game to reduce human topics and troubles to that binary place.

So, criticizing and praising aren’t cancelling forces. Each can come with good or bad intentions. Depending upon who is offering criticism, it can automatically take on a modified nature. Loved ones and trusted friends offer criticism usually because they care. It isn’t as sharp-edged as that from strangers. Praising can also be for good or ulterior motives. If you’re having a conversation with anyone, usually both criticism and praise can be, and should be, present.

Praise in excess can be just as destructive as excessive criticism too. (Have you noticed any spoiled, entitled, children around?)

My answer comes down to the recommendation to refrain from using either tactic in excess. And always use those two practices in close proximity to each other within every discussion when you’re able. Better relationships and better understanding among people will be created. I think we all want that.

How we unique individuals choose to deal with praise and/or criticism is an even more complex and sensitive question. Psychologists have studied that one for years.

Fenton Fallworthy

Fenton Fallworthy was a scarecrow.

So he hung around, had no place to go.

Liked to imagine he was scary indeed.

Yet all the birds kept eating his seed.

Then he made the angriest face of all.

A scarier one, I cannot recall.

It did not work. They would not flee.

They laughed from top the apple tree.

He waved his legs when breezes blew.

One stormy day, he lost his shoe.

What a nightmare was his job.

It wasn’t right that he got robbed.

Then he tried a brand new style.

He wore the biggest, brightest smile.

The crows were rattled, wondered why?

They didn’t trust this happy guy.

“A trick must be upon his mind.”

“Let’s go along, a new place find.”

He giggled ’til his straw poked out.

“Worried birds don’t hang about.”

If you find some trouble, we all do.

A cunning smile may work for you.