I tweeted something today that kind of inspired this post and I wanted to clarify it. My belief is that if you love someone - you really love them and believe in them - then you'll be their worst critic because you're their biggest fan.
It sounds a bit harsh, but the more I thought about it, the more I believed it. This applies to friends and lovers - anyone you really care about. For example, with Mr. JC (my boyfriend) I've learned to take any advice he gives me as it being a way of him showing me he cares. In past relationships I was never really criticized, leading me to think that I was this above-and-beyond amazing girlfriend that anyone would bend over backwards to have. Now don't get me wrong - I still think I'm a great catch (c'monnnn), but I'm human, and humans make mistakes and need to improve upon them. As much as I might think I know about writing or anything for that matter, I want people to tell me how I can get better. How can I be a better writer or a better person? Tell me about myself.
A couple of people who have consistently kept it real with me are obviously the ones who I know love me unconditionally, like my mother. But I've also been fortunate enough to meet others in life who I trust to give me the kind of tough love that I need, and so I return the favor. With my friends, when I tell them they deserve swift kicks to their ovaries for doing something stupid like butchering an interview or stumbling over their words with a hot guy, I say it full of love. There's a fine line between verbal abuse, and good advice and I don't mind flirting with it for their well being.
I do it because I think that they're a great person and I see potential for even more improvement. I can only hope that I get back the same tough love. Don't tell me my outfit looks cute when you know my colors clash in an unholy way. If something I said leaves a bad taste in your mouth - please tell me. Because I'd tell you.
People in general need to give useful criticism to people they care about. And remember, when you're on the receiving end, what you're being told is almost always tied to someone's personal opinion and those are subject to change. In the end, do what you think is best but don't dismiss what you're being told. Sometimes even your thoughts on what is best for you can change.
PS - In regards to my 10-day-you-challenge, lol. . .I'll do that post later. Tomorrow maybe? Eh.