I hate confrontation, I don't handle criticism well, you can ask pretty much anyone in my family. Even the slightest tone that I perceive as critical upsets me for awhile. And outright criticism or questioning of my decisions can set off a spiral that lasts all day or even several days. Or something I come back to fume over later.
I'm not proud of it and I'm working on getting over what people think. I don't let other opinions interfere with what I know and believe is right for me and my family, but it does hurt and it does get me defensive when I feel like other are insinuating that I don't know what I'm doing or I'm incompetent. (Come on, who can say that statements to that effect don't upset them on some level?)
So when it comes to areas that I know I'm likely to receive criticism I create buffers. Statements and ideas that I insert into conversations when they first take a turn into hot topic zones. Buffers that put my opinions out there in such away that the person I'm talking to has no doubt on my opinion before we get too deep into the conversation. Unless it's a person who loves confrontation and arguing it works pretty well. I've found that it also can lead to some actual informative conversations with people who don't know much about the topic or who are truly interested in gathering information and opinions.
So what am I really saying?
Have a conversation with me about breastfeeding. You'll know before we get too far into it that current worldwide medical advice recommends breastfeeding at least a full two years; that American doctors recommend whole cows milk or a toddler formula if breastfeeding isn't continued after the child's 1st birthday because baby & toddler brains need a lot of fat to develop; and that Jaron is only in the 3rd percentile for weight and therefore needs the extra calories and nutrients in breastmilk for as long as possible.
I can honestly say that I have never received any criticism that I remember about breastfeeding either of my boys. Is it my buffer defense? Maybe. Or maybe I'm just underestimating those around me... Who knows?
Do you have any defense mechanisms or other ways to avoid criticism?
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