In the last few months I have been put in some awkward places.Places I have allowed myself to go. Places where I have said I would do one thing and I have either not done it or done something differently. It has caused moments for me to look at myself, look at the way I do things and look at what I really want to be accomplishing.

I have always wanted to be a man of my word. I know it's never too late to start and it should never be an option to stop. When I say I will do something, I will do it. When I don't do it or I do it differently, I find it puts me into one of two places: Criticism (me being criticized) or Conflict (conflict between the person(s) I promised something to and me).

I have come up with a few notes on both of the subjects. Of which I have learned most of them in difficult ways:


  • People are often quick to criticize but rarely provide notes for improvement or lessons from their own life. Inserting possible ways to change or life learned lessons are better for people to learn from.
  • Criticism is a very useful tool when provided constructively and when it is responded to and acted upon.
  • Too often criticism is taken personally. I believe criticism is more often an attack at an action rather then at a persons character. Have you thought about what actions you took to receive such criticism?
  • Criticism is good if it can be let out on an open table and openly discussed between all parties involved. All parties should be open for discussion, both ways.
  • There seems to be two people in the world of criticism: Those who will tell you what they think and those who bottle it up. The first can frustrate me, but I appreciate them more in the long run. The latter are frustrating from beginning to end and need to learn to communicate.
  • Criticism and opinions are often seen as synonyms. They are not. Thanks to American Idol: Simon Cowell shares his opinions too much. Paula may criticize but in the hopes to rebuild or redirect.


  • Looking for conflict is not heatlhy conflict. It's a pain in the...
  • Healthy conflict is the ability to face different opinions, POV's (points of view), and work towards coming to a happy medium or positive solution for all parties.
  • Developing places, moments and meetings where conflict can be seen as safe and not threatening are key. How to do that, I don't quite know yet.
  • Too many people shy away from conflict. They believe it to be bad or wrong. Healthy conflict isn't necessarily yelling or disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing, but it's more a difference of opinions and a willingness to come to a solution.
  • Most people take conflict too personally too. I think we need to pull our own egos out of the conflict and look at the real issues.
  • Healthy conflict ends well. All parties walk away with their chins held high.
  • These points are from my own perspective and carry no weight in something like the Middle East conflicts.
  • I want to say I'd like to see more healthy conflict in my life, but I'm trying to figure out how to do that.

What are your thoughts on Conflict and Criticism?


Matthew A. Hawkins