Friday, June 1, 2012

Overcoming Criticism....

Piggy backing on Barbara's recent post and Staci's post, I am at my best when I can just be me. When I find myself .... oh, let's say, having to talk to certain administrators over the course of my career (depending on who they are), it isn't always easy. I've always had a good reputation as a teacher so I have no clue why I get nervous. I guess, as much as I am perceived as very confident, like everyone, that does not apply to everything.


There is a certain perception I have of someone who is in charge....  just like the cop that goes flying by you with lights flashing. The second I see that car coming from behind, I'm like, "Oh, no! How fast was I going, Is my car inspected, on and on? Did I do something wrong?" The list goes on.........an on.....



While writing this therapeutic post ;o), I'm guessing it is because authority figures have the "ok" to critique what I am doing. That's the part that I do not like.

I've been working on how to deal with the critiquing of my work and how I react to that. Maybe if that bead were a little smaller, a little darker, over on this side instead of that side, it would look better. On the outside, I am absolutely positive that I look like I can handle it well. What the critic does not see is me taking apart an entire piece because I am now looking at it completely different. It usually never ends up even close to where I started.

On the other hand, however, I have made a HUGE leap in terms of what I was going to do about the head of white hairs that have been at war with Miss Clairol for about 15 plus years. Prior to that, I was winning the fight with more color than white. I've been threatening my color treatment bottles every three weeks that they were going to the dump and I was going to throw in the white flag! Yes, the VERY white flag!

Exposing myself to the world....

Now, I don't know how many of you out there have ever considered the color "gray" as part of your every day appearance, but when I did, I knew that I was not turning back no matter how many critics I had. Believe me, I had a few..... all women! Honestly, any males that I have contact with never said anything one way or another. That's playing it safe. Those with the strongest opinions were "friends."


I had my mind made up that I was doing this for me and was prepared to face whatever was going to come. 26 years of teaching middle school students has definitely hardened my shell in terms of taking personal insults!!

The next phase was to get it all cut off. I knew this was going to be a long road this school year. My wonderful hairdresser foiled it, stripped the remaining color and gave me a pretty fancy haircut. I love this and many thought I should continue to add this color to it, but my plan is to be color free so that is not an option.......  Besides, I'm not sure this could be replicated since it is the brown stripped out. I'm going the hassle free route.




 Here it is now.... looking a little wild (which my original hair pre-color was) and schools are not known for the best lighting...., but other than getting regular cuts, I'm good to go.


Now, what the heck does this have to do with those critics who feel compelled to pick apart a piece that I make? Well, I'm working on feeling "that way" I did when I knew I would face the "hair critics" as opposed to the red lights that come up behind me only to pass on by. Create for you. It always works out best.

What attitude do you take with your critics?

22 comments:

momster said...

I love your white hair and admire that you stood your ground even when given advice to the contrary by friends.

I was in TX last year and was asked by the clerk if I was eligible for the senior discount (I'm not). I realized that they probably don't see anyone under the age of 80 with grey/white hair!

Kristi Bowman said...

Wow, it looks great MaryAnn. You're braver than me, I've been having it colored blond for the last year or so which means it can grown quite a bit and not really show. Before that I was like you, every 3 weeks and I could barely stand to sait that long! It's still quite dark in the back, when that starts to lighten I plan to go less and less blond and more and more gray! Much to my husbands dismay, he does not want me to go gray!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I was just at my granddaughter's graduation from pre-school, and while looking around noticed that I was the only white haired woman there aside from a couple of 80 year olds. I then took a gander at those my age and older with color and felt confident that I made the right decision. My hair was like straw due to excessive coloring. I considered the blonde route, but with freckles and a white complexion I knew I could not pull it off. Prepare yourself for those who think you are making the wrong choice, Kristi. My husband was not keen on the idea at all. He knew I was set on doing this so he just went along. He now tells me how much he loves it all the time.

Izzy said...

Looking like a "hot mama" these days! =) Don't worry about the critics, people always spew things before they think.

Lesley said...

I think it looks stunning MaryAnn - my natural colour is mousy/dark blondish and it is grey very unevenly and not nearly as attractively as yours. I only have my coloured 2-3 time a year and each time am adjusting it a little in the hope that bottle and natural will eventually coverage in an acceptable shade. I love the idea of being seen and accepted for exactly what I am and am hoping it will be like the point somewhere in my 30's when I stopped doing things I didn't want to just to please others or because it was expected of me. People didn't always like it by I felt so much more empowered and the things I chose to do seemed so much more worthwhile. Let it be I say.

Cynthia said...

Love your hair color. I am going gray, gradually, but I started life as an ash blonde. As my Dad put it: Silver threads among the Gold".
I get a fair amount of criticism, and I just let it roll off my back. If I've made a piece of jewelry, and I love it, I don't really care what some else says about it. Oh sure, I love to get compliments, but it's my design. I own it. Their opinion is just that - their opinion.
When it come to giving criticism, I don't. If someone has made something and they love it, then I think it's great. If I don't have something positive to say, I just shut up!
You look marvelous! and I mean it.

Julie Holmes said...

You and your hair are lovely MaryAnn! I could let my hair go grey long before I'd have the guts to teach middle school...you go girl!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thank-you.... And if I could handle be insulted with words like ugly, I can handle anything. I always thank my deceased mother who drilled in my head, "If you can't say something nice, do not say anything at all!" Not all people have been taught that same thing.

Coffeefreek53 said...

Hi there, you go girl! I decided about a year ago that I wasn't coloring my hair anymore. I've earned the right to be gray if I want too and I am and I like it.

I think you look great! Don't let anyone tell you differently; they are just jealous cuz you pull it off and look glamorous!!

Roberta said...

Your hair looks F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!!!

What a great idea. I am in the midst of growing mine out and it looks so weird. So what did she do? Just strip the color out? That's it?

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thanks again :o) Hey, I should have done this post in the beginning of the change! I also felt like I earned the right to be who I am.
Roberta,
My hairdresser did foiling (I had never done that before. She then stripped out the color (probably with bleach) and added a toner. She said the color was too brassy so she added that after stripping it. After that, she cut is and used "chunking" sheers which does much more than layering. As you can see in the first picture, I was just pulling it back to let it grow out.

Marian Hertzog said...

With age comes grace and wisdom to be who I am. If you don't like me then we should smile at each other and move on. If you don't care for what I design then don't buy what I make. Now if I ask your opinion, then I need to really think about your answer and make my own decision anyway. Another pair of eyes is always a good thing. The important thing is to stay true to yourself and what you want to create! Now if you want to sell things that is a different story all together because you need to satisfy others with your creations. And I love your hair and appreciate your strength to be true to yourself.

Libby Leuchtman said...

You look great! This was such a great post.

KJ said...

Well I am not going to speak to being able to handle criticism.

I think I got my first grey hair when I was 18. It was a while before the second one came in. My hair was a deep dark walnut brown, very close to black. My grey's showed quite prominently by the time I was 30. I have never, not once, dyed my hair. I was never tempted. I like my grey, I like my silver, I like my salt and pepper. I am now in my 50's and mostly grey. I have thick curly healthy soft hair and get many compliments. The only draw back is, as you mentioned, that senior discount. I am not eligible, but that grey hair seems to encourage the question.

Your grey is lovely. I know you are enjoying it.

Regina said...

Love the hair, you are looking great. January 1, 2012 I decided I was not coloring my hair anymore and I am not white black and grey...loving it. Yeah for grey! Critics? ... who cares not me! You shouldn't too...
Check out my post about going grey...
http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com/search/label/Grey

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I should have done this a long time ago. It's great hearing all the stories from all of you who both never had to make the change and those who did. I, too, got my first gray when I was 18. I remember making a big deal about it and pulled it out. My mother told me that 10 more will come to the funeral. She was right once again.... and 10 more, then 10 more. I wish I made the change a long time ago, but better late than never!

Marlene Cupo said...

Welcome to the world of "au naturel" (for hair, of course). I have never used hair coloring, much to the chagrin of family (especially the kids). But as I point out to them, "You put them here, now you have to live with it."

Tracy Kruse said...

You know, 30 years ago in college I had a professor who Loved to criticize. As he was an authority, I really took it hard, and I stopped ANY kind of art. I gave up my Heart, my passion. What I have learned since is that criticism is based on that person's perspective and is influenced by their learning and experiences and has little to do with me. What I usually want to say is that if they think it should be another way, maybe they should go try to make it themselves! I follow the personal guideline that if I think I need to ask someone else, I'm not happy with it!

As to any woman's appearance, what we are seeing on the outside is just the physical aspect of 'being in the world' and has very little to do with the heart and soul which is the most important aspect of ourselves and our art! What I am tired of is the craziness in regard to women feeling they have a right to judge or criticize other women. If we all stopped that today, I think the world would be a totally better place tomorrow! I will say that reading this resolves confusion on my part about different pictures of you I have seen over the past year...dark, light.....! : )

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Marlene, I think your hair is beautiful! My kids are older now so they seem to be okay with it. After all, you are right, they made it!
And, Tracy, I agree about women insulting other women. It seems that there is so much competition about being the best, the prettiest (not much emphasis on the smartest which there should be), the sexiest, etc. It starts young. The competition for beauty among girls in the middle school is outrageous!. You would think that in 2012 we would have taught our young females that who they are as people is what matters. I've always said that girls and women are their own worst enemies which is too bad.
I figured people who saw my many "colors" might wonder what the heck my deal is! lol!

Almost Precious said...

Criticism can be constructive - especially if meted out with kindness and consideration (a bite of positive with the negative - like a spoonful of sugar to quench the sting of the vinegar.) :)

I love your your hair and think it looks very youthful and attractive on you.
I've not dyed my hair and all my gray is coming in kinky haven't figured out what to do about that yet, might try a de-frizzer. :D

Linda said...

KJ & I are among the rare breed that have never dyed their hair. I'm also a teacher and one day I was looking around the staff room at lunch and realized I was the only gray haired woman on the entire staff. I've been lucky though, because other than one hairdresser who tried to convince me that I needed to dye it, no one else has said anything negative. You looking fabulous in that last picture!!!!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

You know what else is funny.... I was just at a 90th birthday party yesterday and probably one of the youngest ones there out of about 25 females. I was also one of about 4 who had gray hair. That, however, was not the case with the men. There was not one who had color. My husband's cousin who has mental health issues due to drug overdoses as a young kid, asked, "What happened to your hair?" I laughed and replied, "The same thing that happened to yours!" He laughed. I could excuse him since he really is not all there. Sad. I've learned to almost expect something when people don't see me for awhile. Most of it is complimentary which is good :o) Go gray!!!!! lol!
MaryAnn
PS I am also the only teacher with gray hair. Someone I worked with, who is now retired, told me that she colors it so the kids don't think she is old. I think we kid ourselves thinking that it makes us look young.

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