Articles > Hadeel Al Kamli

What if they were right?!!

What if they were right?!!

By Hadeel Al Kamli


Finding the proper balance between your perception of your decisions, achievements, and their realities is a challenging mission. Our judgments usually emanate from our experiences, beliefs, and motives. Bearing in mind that making sensible judgments requires a broad perspective. People usually broaden their horizons by listening to what other people have to say either by getting opinions or even directly seeking advice, which I have always found to be enlightening. However, I have recently been witnessing a growing trend of people being desperate for affirmation rather than true advice.

I have recently stumbled upon a question that an individual posted seeking ways to deal with discouraging opinions and comments from people around her regarding her desire to pursue her studies. Her problem is understandable; however, the responses she got were overwhelming. Most assumptions suggested that whoever tries to discourage you is simply jealous! This emerging tendency of labeling people who express their concerns or voice out their criticism, as being haters is not just nor it is wise. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude towards those people is associated with having confidence and high self-esteem. However, I find this kind of manner to be toxic and disturbing.

This kind of narrow mindset not only limits one's perspective, by making one delusional rather than confident; It also intensely affect their relationship with the people around them. Although this can negatively impact all aspects of one's life, it can also destroy one's professional life. It is most harmful in the workplace because it is where feedback and communication matter the most. More importantly, comments will probably come from individuals who are not close to you. Adopting such a negative approach in the workplace, where big decisions and achievements are mostly made, will affect how employees perceive concerns and feedback from their superiors and colleagues, and will certainly create unnecessary tension.

Since everyone seems to be capable of identifying insincere advice, I thought I could help you spot good sincere advice or at least get the most out of comments you hear from people around you, especially at work.

  • Think about who is giving you advice: Discouraging concerns and criticism may come from people who do care. Ask yourself the following questions: Do they care about me? Have they ever tried to deceive me? Is it their job?  Are they paid to supervise and assess my work? Can they understand me and my situation? Can they relate to me and my experience? They may have a different perspective due to their different experiences, with all good intentions!!

  • Now, forget about who is giving you advice: Regardless of the person giving it, it might be good advice after all. Try to be objective when thinking about other people's comments. Even haters may do you a favor by pointing out valid considerations or aspects of your work that can be improved.

  • Talk to people: If you think you are still confused, resort to people whom you trust personally and professionally, people who care about your best interest and have the experience and the knowledge to make fruitful contributions. This will provide you with a broader understanding of matters and offer the support needed to improve.

  • Listen to your gut: Being open to other people's input does not mean to let someone inside your head. The point is to broaden your viewpoint, not to ignore it completely. Trust yourself, be assertive, you are the best judge of your situation, needs, and abilities. People's opinions should refine but not shape your mind.

Everything in life is about balance. Believing that all people's comments come from a place of love is naivety. However, doubting everyone's intentions is ignorance. Caution should not blur your foresight and right judgment, and being confident should not make you miss a piece of valuable advice.