I have never particularly enjoyed being told about myself.
If it is in-person praise, I tend to be embarrassed. Inwardly, I'm thrilled, but having the direct attention thrust upon me is very uncomfortable for me. It always has been. Reading praise of myself is easy though, cause I can do it in the privacy of my computer room (so keep those great reviews coming, I eat 'em up!) I joke about how I'm waiting for Oprah's call, but truth is, especially in this day and age, I'd hate to be famous. If the praise is genuine, but I feel unworthy, I will bust my hump to live up to the hype. I crave praise, even if it's for doing the dishes--again and it is always appreciated. But hearing it may be uncomfortable.
Flip side of the coin, if it is criticism, well, that can go one of two ways... If it's tactful and presented gently, I vow to myself to do better and reverse whatever I'm being called on. I don't find it too difficult to look at myself--if the pointing out is done kindly and is from someone that I know is not trying to be malicious. I'm good with that kind of constructive criticism. I take it to heart and examine it and make an honest effort to correct my behavior if I determine that it really is my behavior and not just someone else's hang-up.
If, however, my flaws are presented to me in anger, it is a whole other ball of wax. My Taurus ascendant kicks in and I dig in my hooves with all I've got; even if I'm digging them into quicksand. I don't care one whit that it's quicksand! I am stubborn as a stick, and I'm gonna prove you're ugly accusations right. Oh, you think I'm lazy because I don't want to do activity A.
Let me show you what lazy really looks like--because now, not only am I not going to do activity A, but I am going to cease and desist with activities B through Q as well! How do ya like me now?!?!? Reverse psychology doesn't work with me, it will only make things worse. I know this about myself. You can not get your way by telling me what I'm not doing, thereby motivating me to do what you want. I will not do it in spades and prove your point for you with bells on.
Hubby is the exact opposite in this respect. He is an Aries ascendant. Reverse psychology works beautifully on him; IF he respects you. His fighter instinct kicks into high gear and he will go all out to prove you wrong. He will butt his horns against every obstacle to change your mind and be worthy in the utmost of having your opinion reversed. In fact, if he tries his damnedest and your opinion is not swayed, he will carry it within himself for the rest of his days--unless of course, you come to your senses, see that he's changed and go out of your way to let him know it.
The problem that tends to arise when these two mindsets get together is their approach to each other during an argument. Neither approach works on the other, and if emotions are running high, neither one sees it, save for the argument progressing from not good to horrible in a short period of time.
Thanks Ike for this lesson. Picture eye roll here!
So, two things... One, even if the other person is driving you to crazy with the throttle full open and the nitrous button broken off, you have to bite your tongue, take a deep breath and speak, not shout at the other person. Your point has a much better chance of being heard if you are quieter and don't appear as angry as you may be. Two, if your approach isn't working, don't continue with it. If you tell me I'm lazy and I get lazier, obviously it's not working. Tell me that you appreciate all that I do for you, and any time I try to be in a lazy mood(during regular work days--I still value my down time!), that praise will come back to me and spur me on to work past the lazy spell.
I'd tell you how to handle the opposite end, the reverse psychology that works on hubby, but I haven't figured it out yet...