Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
Dale Carnegie

Come Dine With Me came and went on Sunday 4th July. I felt an ecclectic mix of relief and delight once the show was over. Relieved that I hadn’t made any huge bloomers and delighted to have had a moment of stardom.
Feedback was extremely positive from friends, family and business associates. Yet one woman was highly critical of a line I had said. This person had seen my appearance on Big Questions earlier in the year where I shared my ‘unfaithful’ story and lessons learned as a result. She heard me talk about my ‘toyboy’ experience and felt it ‘disgraceful’ that I seemed to be behaving in a different manner to that on the BBC1 programme.
At first I felt hurt by her comments. What she didn’t know was that I always share the lessons learned and never glorify my actions. However being a TV show which looks for the biggest entertainment factor, everything that followed my initial ‘affair’ statement was cut out. For those watching the show it did indeed look as if I was proud of what I had done in the past.
It made me think about how we handle negative feedback. How many of us choose to focus on negative criticism rather than the positive? How should we respond to feedback? Here’s what I did with mine:
I weighed it against all the other feedback I had received and on balance the positive feedback far outweighed that one negative comment.
If there had been other criticisms I would have examined them to see if there was some truth there. If there was I could use it to improve my character and/or performance.
As there was no truth to be learned (except say nothing!) and it was a solitary remark I chose to ditch it!
Focusing instead on the positive comments and the fun I’d had whilst filming caused my self esteem to rise.
Whilst I’m not suggesting the woman who made the criticiism is a fool as Dale Carnegie implies, I will bear his quote, and the example Jesus set, in mind and endeaver to develop my own character so I can be forgiving and understanding before I critise others. Are you up for the same challenge?

Visit the website to view the show:
http://www.channel4.com/food/on-tv/come-dine-with-me/doncaster-episode_p_1.html

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