Updated: Feb 14, 2021
I just watched an online video about a lady who had a tough mom. She thought her mom was always criticizing her and never praised her, no matter what she achieved. One day, the mom asked this lady to accompany her to a doctor. Strangely, her mom was thrilled and appreciative when they went to see the doctor. She introduced her daughter like a very proud mom to the doctor and all the staff at the clinic but remained critical and harsh when they were by themselves.
This reminded me of the days when I was still teaching dancing. From time to time, to sharpen my skills, I attended classes given by visiting teachers from abroad. In one of those classes, a teacher kept picking on me as we learnt a new routine. I was upset at the time. A lot of negative thoughts came to me, such as, "Oh she must dislike me," or "Why is she picking on me so much when I dance more gracefully than the others?"
A bit later, when I introspected, I realized that this teacher recognized my potential and, therefore, tried her very best to hone my dancing skills to perfection so that I could dance up to my full potential. As a dance teacher myself, I also encourage my students to do more and perform better if I recognize a student has potential and a willingness to do better.
This realization changed my perspective during class. I focused more on my teacher's feedback and felt immense gratitude for her guidance.
Since then, whenever I feel that someone is nit-picking regarding my work, I always ask myself, "What is this? Is this person nit-picking because he/she has a judgement or is being mean? Or does he/she recognize my potential and realise that I can do or be better?"
I wish I always asked introspective questions instead of jumping to conclusions. As a younger person, I might have reacted differently during the dance class (or any other lesson) and missed an opportunity to learn from a skilled person because I thought they disliked me when, in fact, that was not the case.
So, my note to my younger self is: Do not quickly jump to the conclusion that a person dislikes you. Ask reflective questions.