Experiment #18: Give Your Critic a Cookie

critic chocolate chip cookie

I was telling the brilliant minds of the Beautiful Voyager Slack group about how I stumble over certain kinds of small talk. One of members' great suggestions is this experiment. I'm going to try it when I feel the same thing come up the next time in small talk.

The Triggering Situation

You are asked a question, and for whatever reason it has you second-guessing yourself. Example:

RANDOM PERSON: "Hey, how's that new guitar-playing hobby going? Are you sticking with it?"
YOU (internally): Uh-oh. I'm not sure how to answer this. I haven't been practicing as much. I mean, I do still like the guitar but...
YOU (externally): "Yeah, mumble, good, mumble."

Enter the Cookie

This is where the experiment begins.

chocolate chip cookie

That first moment of internal angst? That's your critic talking to you. This is the moment you shove a cookie in the critic's mouth.

Here's how you do it.

RANDOM PERSON: "Hey, how's that new guitar-playing hobby going? Are you sticking with it?"
YOU (internally): Oh, hey critic. Yeah, I know we're still figuring out the whole guitar thing. Thank you for trying to help out and make me feel better, but I don't need you to protect me. Here you go. Please eat this cookie and sit down, critic. We'll talk later."
YOU (externally): "I love the guitar! Could always be practicing more."

My Slack group friend broke it down this way by saying that to deal with the critic, we need to:

  • acknowledge the good the critic brings
  • how does that make you feel
  • what do you NEED
  • make a critic request (The request can be...I need you to eat your cookie now, and we can talk later).

I'm gonna give this one a try and report back. You should too!

If this experiment works for you, hit the heart (no login required) to let others know they should give it a try!