The Kitchen Sink Criticism

Yesterday I mentioned the professional response to professional criticism is to ignore it and get on with life.

Yes, there are some exceptions. But probably not as many as you’d think.

Today let’s talk about one critic–more specifically one tactic critics use sometimes–you can definitely ignore.

I call it The Kitchen Sink Criticism.

A Kitchen Sink criticism is when somebody tries to shame you by throwing the “kitchen sink” of monstrous adjectives at you. This is a calculated effort to make you look–of feel–as awful about yourself as possible.

Just this morning I saw a prime example of this. I was reading the preview for a New York Times opinion piece. It said: “If you care about the working poor, about racial justice, and about climate change, you have to stop eating animals.”

Did you see that? It was a kitchen sink of vile insinuations. “If you eat hamburgers you’re racist, you hate poor people, and you probably want dirty air and water too. You monster!”

Of course, there are many variations of the Kitchen Sink Criticism. “You filthy, nasty, good-for-nothing lowlife!” “What kind of careless, thoughtless, brainless person would do something like that!”

Get the idea?

If somebody’s throwing the kitchen sink at you, it is NOT a reasonable conversation that’s about to happen. The kitchen sink critic is trying to guilt and shame you into doing what they want you to do. Presuming you’ve got better things to do than listen to an unhinged verbal assault, ignore them and move along.

And believe me…You do have better things to do.

I know firsthand, you’ll be tempted to reply. You might even think you can bring reason into the conversation. But even if you did bring reason and sensibility into the conversation, you’ve allowed it to waste time out of your day and stop you from the progress you could be making.

Something else that might help you be able to ignore “kitchen sink critics” and get back to work…if the criticism was lobbed on the internet, there will be other people who jump in and make basically the same arguments you would. Allow yourself to delegate that job to somebody else. There are plenty of folks who will take the job. Meanwhile, you’ve freed yourself up to get back to doing what matters to you.

To your growth,

John Allan

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