Fault-finders

There’s a fine line between demanding people and fault-finders.

Demanding people bring out the best in us by showing us what worked and didn’t.

We may feel upset that a report we slaved over doesn’t meet expectations and keeps coming back. But the feedback enables us to see what worked and where we’ve made wrong assumptions, left things out or there are areas that can be strengthened. Not only do the insights improve the current report but they also provide a mechanism for review that improves our work in the long term. Every iteration is an improvement. This is constructive.

Picky people are a different beast. They’re not interested in what’s good and bad, what worked and did not they head straight for what’s wrong and focus on nothing else.

There are other ways to describe these types: nitpicking, fault-finding, carping, critical.

The picky can be parents, partners, colleagues, friends, ourselves. What they have in common is that no matter how hard you try or what you accomplish it is never enough. The subtext of course is that: nor are you.

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Try real over ‘positive’

Like so many platitudes there is some value to: be positive.

It suggests that the way we view life impacts our experience and that is borne out by research.

Shawn Achor shows that knowing someone’s circumstances predicts as little as 10 per cent of their long-term happiness, wellbeing is largely determined by what we make of things. Achor believes that being authentically positive creates a ‘happiness advantage’ that increases intelligence and creativity.

It’s destructive when ‘be positive’ is used as a catch-all-cure-all with no bearing on the circumstances of the person who is reaching out for support, which is challenging enough for most people as it is.

Say you’re struggling with a complex project that keeps getting derailed. What you need is insight, advice, and suggestions on how you might approach it differently and instead you get: just be positive. How useless.

Chin up darling, solider on.

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