Compliments are harder than criticisms

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One of the things I've realized about creating things (whether a web app, blog post, or something else entirely) is that criticism is actually really easy to take.  At first, you might think that being criticized is hard and requires you to have really thick skin, but I've learned that's not the case.

I suppose it doesn't hurt; I just don't think it's all that important.

When someone criticizes you, they might have different taste, a different perspective, or maybe they've just been doing it longer than you have.  So, it's really easy to shrug it off, defend yourself, or point out your view on things.  Most things are opinions anyway, and, odds are, anyone that's creating something themselves is probably less likely to criticize you in the first place.

What's hard though, which was unexpected to me, is being complimented.  When someone reaches out and says, "hey, that blog post really meant a lot to me", or "you taught me how to do something I didn't know how to do", suddenly, someone's made themselves open to making a connection.

And opening yourself up to making a connection with a stranger that compliments you is a lot harder than putting up a defensive wall against someone that criticizes you.

And this, I think, is where most of our challenges and opportunities lie. Not in arming ones self for attacks and criticisms, but by being open to being changed, making connections, teaching, and working to help others.

It's not easy - but as the saying goes - few things that are worthwhile are.