We all have a critical side. We all play the role from time to time. So these are as much to myself (or at least to my ego) as they are to the critics "out there" (although I'm fine if they read these too.)
This week I heard two people who were worried about me for different reasons. I did not hear from the actual people who were worried, but from mutual friends (in both instances) which leads to rule three.
Rule Three. If you're going to be a critic, own it. Otherwise you're just a coward. (This assumes rules one and two have been met.)
By "own it" i mean own the hard conversation, the listening, the critique, the tension. What we do more often, and I'm guilty of this myself, is we critique someone to someone else. It's a way of getting to be critical without any kind of confrontation, risk, or potential adversity. It's cowardice and it's fairly worthless.
As with the two people who were critical of me, what did it get them? Nothing except a little less respect from me.
(Which I assume is why Trump thinks so little of most of his critics too. Instead of continuing to criticize him, I think it would be far more productive to talk to friends and family members who support him, and, assuming rules one and two, have the much harder and more courageous conversations with them.)