60. Sensitivity  

Posted by Dr. Dheena Sadik in










How sensitive should one be in pointing out someone's faults? At times you maybe misunderstood and even offended via an innocent suggestion of improving the ones you care about. Would you rather ignore camouflaged weaknesses if trying to uplift them jeopardizes the relationship?

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 1:23 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

22 comments

Joe Kleinberg  

Wait for the right moment, only say it if it is helpful.

August 6, 2009 at 2:10 AM
Donnette Davis  

You're so lovely Dheena... so sweet!

I agree with Joe, it's such a tough one.. ultimately i would ask myself if I'm in a position to judge, and I probably wouldn't be... :-(

August 6, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Thank You beautiful souls. I ask because no matter how pure intentions maybe, its too often perceived offensively. I believe the true tact of the matter lies in HOW its said, which undoubtedly requires talent of the right tone and right words at the right time.

August 6, 2009 at 2:11 AM
Dagmara Elminowska  

thank you Dheena, great photo! makes me realize how important is to be happy rather than right - who really wins if we point someone's mistakes?! sooner or later there is a high chance we will confront the same person just on the different line at this time and how much we would want to be understood

August 6, 2009 at 2:42 AM

Thank You Dagmara. Its not about winning as far as I see it. When we notice a rectifiable imperfection in our loved ones, its only human instincts to stretch in the motion of helping them. Sadly, most of the time they overlook the goal in their overall growth and react momentarily against those trying to uplift them. I believe with intellect, one realizes the importance of healthy criticisms that act as catalysts in accelerating refinement via filtering our faults

August 6, 2009 at 2:42 AM
Dagmara Elminowska  

and so often we regret our quick negative reaction once we calm down - it might take time for us to improve and accept our imperfection and differences of understanding the situation and our upbringings but its good to discuss it so the next time we will be less likely to react in a similar way

August 6, 2009 at 6:13 PM
Mia Goldsmith  

Until they walk out!

August 6, 2009 at 6:13 PM
Hesham Hassan  

After one makes sure that he/she don't have the same weakness, and is just blinded away from one's own imperfections, by seeing other's;
I believe it depends on:
1- The weakness and how deep it is. Could it be refined indirectly by time or not?
2- The timing, is it right or too early? because sometimes you need indirect introductions to build upon later on.
3- Life Experience. Some weaknesses dissappear when you act like they aren't there, or by neglecting them and enforcing the opposite strengths, or maybe by just highlighting positive models. Actually sometimes pointing a weakness out, positively or not, might make the person stubborn and wanting to deliberately dwell upon their imperfections.

When we are afraid about the comfort and benefit of a relationship, while ignoring the well being of the other person, by not trying to redirect any weakness or negative aspect they have, this probably means that we might be just a little selfish, and need more balance.

August 6, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Thank you everyone for your interaction. Really appreciate the input as always!

Hesham- I agree about the selfish factor. As far as I see it, the depth and seriousness of the relationship matters the MOST. I have observed some individuals in the habit of trying to rectifying every possible flaw that passes their way. This can really be a source of vexation.

When you are close enough to someone to know their nature, I believe this would solve many frictional sources to the flow of growth altogether. As for me, I have seen this amongst siblings. With my younger brother, if there was any arena I wished to advise him, I avoid bringing it up at the moment of agitation. When things cool off, its a world of difference to have a decent discussion which could have been an argument earlier on.

August 6, 2009 at 6:22 PM
Dan Whitley  

You should just tell it like it is, blatant honesty is the best of all and the most fun for some reason haha!! ...besides with every scar grows back a stronger bond

August 6, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Dan- Having lived and mingled with citizens from over 25 countries I had to learn "not" to do that the hard way. Some individuals are MORE sensitive than others to various arenas in life. It could be their behavior, outfit, areas of interest, etc. With intellect and time, the wise realize and accept the value of healthy criticism. In fact, we can distill into refinement as we filter out the residues of our weaknesses BY CHOICE.

August 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM
Sue Bates Johnson  

This from a quadruple Virgo: Defining a "fault" is a pretty subjective endeavor; even so, are we to assume from the question that said pointing out has been solicited? If so, then... sure. Tempered with full spoken recognition that everyone is perfect, as-is... but if the real question was one which asked whether there are any seemingly ... Read Moreunrecognized, off-putting or potentially self-sabotaging habits or traits, then yes, go ahead and proceed with plenty of love and plenty of tact. If unsolicited, then not unless it's potentially crucial to the listener, and even then, administered gently and respectfully. To follow up, it would only be fair to ask the same of the subject of your criticism, and allow them to have a go at you. ;o)

August 6, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Sue- Thank you for your explicit answer. I meant the question in a manner we come across on a daily basis, both with close encounters AND acquaintances.

So, there 2 ramification here-

1- The perception of our suggestion to the recipient.

2- The best approach we should choose in handling such a situation.

As far as I see it, the depth and seriousness of the relationship matters the MOST. I have observed some individuals in the habit of trying to rectifying every possible flaw that passes their way. This can really be a source of vexation.

When you are close enough to someone knowing their nature, I believe this would solve many sources of friction to the flow of growth together for our self too.

Eg- I have seen this amongst siblings. With my younger brother, if there was any arena I wished to advise him, I avoid bringing it up at the moment of agitation. When things cool off, its a world of difference to have a decent discussion which could have been an argument earlier on

August 6, 2009 at 6:47 PM
Jennifer Modeste-Jarvis  

Tact should be exercised as people have feelings and you can make or break that person. No, don't ignore weaknesses, but the right time/place and manner guarantees success.
My mother told me that a kind word turns away wrath and I also practice 'you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar'..

August 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM
Jamela Khan  

Jenni, good talk.
And, we should also reflect if we are also projecting our own weaknesses.

August 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM
Henri Coleman  

Good point...:)

August 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM
Kajen Kanagasabai  

Hi I find your posts really interesting, I used to be of the view that if someone even close family does a small wrong it doesn't matter, to keep harmony not point it out.But one small wrong left unchecked turns into a bigger wrong and bigger wrong until all of a sudden it's this big huge thing..all because we let something minor slip through for fear of hurting someone.Love is trying to help the other person realize their potential and that entails holding them accountable.

August 6, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Thank You Kajen.

That's right, its the drops of ignorance that accumulates a flood of camouflaged weaknesses that eventually is a root cause to the damage of treasured bonds we share.

The point most individuals miss out is the fact there is a synergistic growth in the bond they share. For the refinement of the team there need to be genuine effort from both parties which included repairing arenas which need improvement.
If one of the two was to consciously ignore an acute wound it would only aggravate into a more chronic situation until it may turn cancerous and too late to cure. Hence, the scenario NEEDS to be dealt with tactfully and NOT ignored at any cost if the perceiving side is one we love.

August 6, 2009 at 11:36 PM
Maduka Jayalath  

By oneself is evil done,
by oneself defiled,
by oneself it’s left undone,
by self alone one purified.
Purity, impurity on oneself depend,
no one can purify another.

August 6, 2009 at 11:40 PM

as for me, i hate it when there is smn i did wrong and nobody told me about it!! call me crazy but i'd rather know my faults and try to improve myself than keep doing faulty actions thinking i'm right while everyone else KNOWS otherwise. i have this rule in life which is treat others the way you want to be treated, so i think i'll find a way to tell smone if he/she is wrong without hurting their feelings of course or patronizing them coz at the end of the day, who am i? really? just a human being who makes mistakes as well... but there is a broader aspect in this, can't go to a total stranger and say "hello, i think what u did now is wrong!!!!" he'll throw smn at me AT LEAST.. it's between close friends and family who accept who you are and love you dearly and don't want anybody to misjudge u for a wrong action that u did, so they draw ur attention to this in order for you to always shine NOT to change who u r, but to simply remove some dust that may have accumulated on a precious stone over the years

but...we gotta choose carefully what to say, when to say it, how to say it, putting in mind the receiver's personality and traits and mind, put ourselves in their shoes and see how they'd react, do it in a way that would never jeopardize our relationship

August 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM
Ja-Len Jones  

Dr. Dheena: Correct! Critism is valuable when is constructive. Thinking empathetically will lessen the sting of critism when it is tempered with love. Having had art critqued can make a person immune to critism.Art is very personal and when someone says "I dont like the colour of paint or the subject matter, one can get highly offended and close .down emotionally. We learned how not to attack the person and learned how to focus on the subject at hand. As well, a polite discussion on critism is expected, otherwise it is an affront to the person. I almost expect critism now! I am a Virgo too, and tend to over-analyze and over-critisize everything. I must be careful not to hurt feelings by being more sensitive to the feelings of others. But allowing the case for over-sensitivity to stop any form of criticism would counterproductive. We have to learn the difference between a personal attack or a constructive criticism. There is a HUGE difference!

August 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM
Phillip A Gornail  

What has worked best for me in my life is to ask myself these following 3 questions as I face the mirror of my friend's faults:

1. Do I know how he/she feels?
2. When did I feel the same way also?
3. What did I find?

If I can answer "Yes" to the 1st two questions, then I examine further the 3rd.

If what I've found (through practice, not just observation), has empowered me and delivered me from this similar if not seeming fault, then and only then do I ask them one of these 2 questions:

1. "Are you open to a new possibility for the way you...?"
2. "May I share with you an observation I've made about a similar situation in my life?

If you can see the difference in this way of being then my point is made. Understand that the 1st step is Self-Evaluation of this seemingly faulty trait in another. Which, in my humble opinion, is typically recognized by a mutual offender of such (if not currently then perhaps previously).


By the time you assess your own involvement in that trait in another, you may just be in a better position to offer assistance rather than an opinion.

"Remove the beam from your eye before asking your brother to remove the splinter from his."

This is a scriptural reference regarding forgiveness. Is not the recognition of fault in another really just a question or test of our ability to accept and forgive our brothers & sisters just as they are?

How sensitive I am in pointing out another's fault(s) is tempered by my own sensitivity and practice at dealing with my own.

When possible I do my best to offer assistance when it seems like someone may be failing at a specific task. Though they may be doing something that is riddled with fault, it may just be that I was present to lend a hand and not a mouth.
;-)

August 9, 2009 at 10:13 PM

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