Friday, August 24, 2007
"Dusty, you have said some very hurtful things to me. I think I'll take a walk down the road and take in what you said. I learned in a workshop not to react instantly to such criticism."
"Augusta, please remember that it is only because I care for you and that I desire to pursue a relationship with you that I would say such things."
"I know that Dusty. What I'll have to think about is what will be left of me if I become who'd you like me to be. Let me take a walk."
"Would you like to take Dirty Hairy on a walk with you. He'd love that. He hasn't been on a walk with a man since Softy died."
"Sure. I can do that. But remember, I'm not making any response to your criticisms until I have a chance to process what you have said."
In the workshop Augusta learned a good process for taking criticism. Listen, then breathe deeply, then tell the person what you heard, then go away and consider what they have said, and then respond to the criticism (in person, if possible).
"Before I go on a walk, Dusty, I'd like to be sure that I'm hearing your criticism correctly. You want me to change three things: that I dress differently, that I give up cigars, that I give up beer, and that I walk gentler around your bunnies. Is that correct?"
"No, not exactly. I don't mind if you drink beer when you are not around me. And the cigars are fine as long as I don't have to smell them on your breathe. Maybe when you go hunting with the guys. Though I'd like you to be sure not to take any bullets when you go hunting so you are sure not to kill anything."
"Dusty, now you are going too far. Way too far."
Then Augusta remembered that he needed to process her criticisms so he took the leash that Dusty was holding in her hand and hooked it on to Dirty Hairy and they left in a flash, with Dirty Hairy leading the way down the road.