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how critical are you of yourself, others?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Fanaticus, May 25, 2012.

  1. Fanaticus

    Fanaticus Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    I've noticed over the last few years I've become much more critical and have raised my expectations of others to a much higher level than before.

    I think it's due to pressures and stresses that I'm under. Goals that I feel I need to achieve. Responsibilities that I never imagined having.

    I've always been a bit of a perfectionist. People have always told me that I have a natural intelligence. Learning comes fairly simply for me, if I put the effort into it. And quality is in the details.

    "Put the effort into it".

    That's what I don't see a lot of people doing with anything. Putting any effort into it.

    I want everybody to TRY to their best. Every day. At everything they do.

    Most the time my personal expectations are never met. This includes actions performed by myself, as well as just about every living human being on the planet. I am constantly disappointed by the quality of the action performed.

    It wasn't done fast enough, it's not clean enough, it's not organized enough, it's not straight enough, it's not the right words, over cooked, under cooked, too cold, too hot...etc etc etc

    Most the time I keep quiet about it and try to just let things be. I mean, it's good enough to work.... for now.

    But after a few weeks of bottling it up I just can't hold it anymore and I start telling everybody how horrible everything they do is. I just about reem everybody a new a55 and ride them, following them around and showing them how to do it "right".

    I become a real jerk.

    This may go on for a few days, then I'll break and apologize to everyone and things are good for a few more weeks. Then the cycle repeats.

    Usually something really stressful will trigger it. Too much workload. A significant f-up.

    It's something I'd like to work on. I feel bad for the people around me.

    How critical are you of yourself and other people? Do you blow up? What do you do to keep your frustrations and emotions under control? What do you do to release your stresses?
  2. Speedsterbeast

    Speedsterbeast Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Thunder Bay
    Interesting self reflection.
    I have been giving some thought to a similar challenge I have with myself.
    I am also what some people call a perfectionist or "fussy", although compared to the way my father was I don't feel even close to the far end of the spectrum, but I'm sure that others see it differently, you know the apple and the tree thing.

    I have been in business for almost a year now (full time anyway) and I have been slowly accepting the fact that every job I do will have some small flaw in it, often only seen by me, but a flaw no less.
    At first I thought I was not cut out for this line of work, but others tell me that my work is exceptional. So I have decided that it is ok not to reach perfection, as long as I try my best to achieve it every time, with every task, I can sleep at night knowing I'm giving 100% (because 110% is impossible all of you athletes out there) and I'm also getting better all the time.

    As far as others not living up to your expectations: A good friend and VERY successful businessman gave some great advice when I started my own business. He told me that if you cannot accpet the fact that your employees will often reach only about 80% of the result that you would expect yourself, then don't get into business for yourself, or at least do not ever hire anyone.

    As for being a jerk to others, since you recognize the personality trait yourself, I'm sure you can find a way of venting in other ways.
    -I keep my Fender Strat and Marshall Amp at my shop- Great Stress Releiver.
  3. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    I expect people to do the right thing in what ever the situaton is, and when they don't they are pretty much useless to me...
  4. MIMO

    MIMO Member

    Dec 7, 2010
    Hey Fanaticus,

    Your post hits home...I see the bike is your outlet :)

    I'm not going to 'tell you what to do', all I can do is share my experiences. I went through a time in my life where perfectionism got in the way of me achieving my goals and getting things done. Its something I still find a challenge, but I've got this saying now: "great is better than perfect". What I mean is something that looks awesome and you are proud of, that's better than the so called perfect solution. Perfection = 100% and in my opinion there is no such thing. Great can't be measured, you just know it when you see it.

    As for dealing with others and seeing flaws, that's tough because I find I slip into the perfectionist mindset here more than elsewhere. I think it's great that I have high standards, but if I can remember to do it, I try to think "am I being overly critical (and looking for perfection) or is this a legit concern". Example, we focus exclusively on large format print in terms of production, but my wife is a designer with a background in publication design, and so we'll broker some small format (digital and offset) for select clients. I can't tell you how bad the so called service is from many trade suppliers (slow quotes, missed deadlines, swapping in low grade paper without permission). Those grievances are all legit, baffling but legit. If instead I were *****ing about an missed email or little honest mistake, that would be counter productive.

    Just some thoughts for a Friday morning. Now back to work!
  5. JR-Folientechnik

    JR-Folientechnik Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    Hallo Fanaticus,

    You have made the first step, you understand who you really are inside! The Key you are mostly looking for is : Never expect anything from anyone, but be happy if someone meets your expectations!

    I have live by this code, for many years, and it works for me. I am by no means a perfectionist, but I get the job done to the best of my abilities, and I've been in business for over 20 years.

    Don't be so hard on yourself! If you are always giving 100%, what happens when someone asks you to do more? Have a nice day! Jerry
  6. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    That's kind of neat.
    I am harder on myself than on anyone.
    I was raised by strict but loving parents and have always been somewhat of a people-pleaser, even at the risk of wearing myself out.
  7. the graphics co

    the graphics co Active Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Gurnee, IL
    constant and consistent communication will help you relieve that stress in a more productive way. If something bothers you about someones work then you should address it immediately, you can be sure that that immediate correction will be far less stressful for you and the person you are correcting than if you bottle it up and blow up in a week about it along with a bunch of other stuff that that person may have nothing to do with.
  8. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    You forgot to capitalize the "H" in the title of your post.
    Was that being too critical? ;-)
  9. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    You're funny, Mr. Zeth
  10. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    I'm perfect, the rest of you suck.
  11. strypguy

    strypguy Active Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Carroll, Iowa
    +1 lmfao
  12. thesignexpert

    thesignexpert Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    What comes to mind for me are some of the old clichés....

    "Shoot for the stars but settle for the moon" OR "Don't let perfection get in the way of excellence"

    From a practical standpoint, I have needed to literally force myself to back off and let people make mistakes (even when I see it coming). We have a standing rule at our shop... Nobody gets yelled at for making a mistake but don't make the same mistake twice. Just sticking to that principle is an amazing help and keeps folks relaxed...

    How about the saying that an expert is only the person who has made the most mistakes? If you consider that you are good at what you do ONLY because you are the one who has made the most mistakes then perhaps it will help to lighten the mood a bit.

    How about the consideration that a good leader is one who constantly strives to help people become better then the leader himself. If you focus your intent on pushing your staff to ultimately being better than you are then the stress becomes more manageable.

    Perhaps a change of mindset is just what the sign man ordered? :U Rock:
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    It seems for anyone who cares about succeeding, they need to try harder in order to feel they are truly worthy of just that.... succeeding.

    You have to set your goals high, because that's what it takes to get ahead. If you don't, you'll just say to yourself.... Ahhh, I'll do that tomorrow or that'll get by in my opinion. You just won't have that winner glow about you.

    • How many people in the Indy 500 have the notion they're gonna settle for 5th place or crash ??
    • How many football teams set out to not have a good year ??
    • How many doctors can't do what they should ??
    • How many politicians..... :Oops: that's a bad one.

    Anyway, you get the idea. We set ourselves up to win with all our might, if not, we try harder. When we start having employees or helpers who just do it for the pay.... it gripes the livin' snot out of you. You see haste and waste, you feel your pocket dwindling when they suck the life out of a job or give stoopid excuses.

    The single most hardest thing in business at a small scale like we all are is to.... delegate without interfering. That's why it's so important to have all your ducks in a row and have costs where you can survive when these mistakes or careless goof-ups blindside you. Sure, with great enthusiasm and careful planning, you can do this sign for $384.26. When you leave it up to employees, that same sign will cost you about $1,000.00 plus.............

    You need to let go and realize, no one cares about your business the way you do, unless we're talking about your wife or something. Heck, not even your kids will care the way you do.

    Take advantage of the 3 day weekend, re-charge your batteries and don't be so hard on others.

    Like they all say... ya gotta start somewhere. well, they're only human and humans make mistakes. Only thing is.... you pay for their mistakes as well as your own.

    Have fun................ :banghead:
  14. maskman

    maskman Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    HEY JERK !!! LOL( just kidding )

    all I can say is the perfectionism is a a impossible goal. I did construction( Yes there were some of us who strive for perfection ) for years and It took awhile for myself to realize this.

    They will always be something that will catch your attention that is not quite right and that is fine because none of us are perfect.

    as for others .... I dont have alot a faith in them. Its unusual when some one meets my expectations and I try to compliment it when it happens.

    I found myself doing this with my son. he is 10 . I placed so much pressure on him to play soccer right that it was no fun for him and just added to the stress of the game. I found myself having to back off and he played better.

    So Its ok not to be perfect as long as you are doing the best you can and that goes for others as well. If they are doing their best all will be good
  15. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    "But after a few weeks of bottling it up I just can't hold it anymore and I start telling everybody how horrible everything they do is"

    "This may go on for a few days, then I'll break and apologize to everyone and things are good for a few more weeks. Then the cycle repeats."

    Sounds menstrual.

  16. peavey123

    peavey123 Active Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I'm more critical of myself, but only because I am my worst critic...like most designers I know actually.

    I know I put a lot of effort in everything I do at work. Always trying to improve my knowledge. Be it design, production or installations. I'm lucky though, I now work at a great shop with others who all strive to be the best they can be...time permitting. hehe Maybe the fact I'm so critical of my work is what brought me here? I didn't want to be a crappy sign guy.

    That being said, I've had many experiences dealing with others who have clearly settled into some kind of comfort zone where they are not pushed to improve anymore. These people are the ones I am most critical of. Especially when they expect you to drop all your knowledge on them like it's their birthday every-single-day.
  17. 96XP

    96XP Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    Open and honest, that's a wonderful thing.

    I'm a perfectionist as well, but not hard on myself in spite of working 18+hr days 7 days a week. Half the time, I don't even know what day it is! Lol

    I have a Golden Retriever at my side, second and third ones in 14 years.
    If I happen to get stressed, I take them for a walk or swimming in the lake.
    Great therapy and souths the soul.

    Mature people appreciate and understand honesty, they also understand your body language or looks when you are stressing out. Staff need to feel respected, even if they major Oops at times. How those around you react, depend on you. When you recognize the affect you might have on others, think of the dog if you have one:
    -They are there to help you, look up to you, learn from you. They don't intentionally do things to p**s you off, but things happen at times that may light your fuse.

    If you have an uncontrollable issue with stress, and blast people to the point that they are ready to walk out on you, or, lose respect for you and the business, have a short meeting, be humble, and explain to them what you are feeling and that you are working on improvements. That deserves all the respect in the world in my book, and understanding people will work with you.

    However, some will not. If need be, appoint a lead hand with PR skills and have him/her smooth things over for you.
    That's just my opinion.

    Attached Files:

  18. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    "Do unto others...."
    We all make mistakes and if they are not fatal....we're good.
  19. Stuckup

    Stuckup Member

    Apr 22, 2012
    I have learnt not to expect more of others than myself. Who knows why people dont try with all effort, I know why I did not try. Some people cannot try because they are not confident, like I was super un confident. I used to be judgemental, after years of bullying, after all that, I know now that a bad worker is not always a bad worker. One guy started fine, 2 weeks later absolute crap. I fronted him. Apparently his dad died and and he was too afraid to ask for time off to go to funeral, and he had no money to go. So I fired him LOL. I paid his fare home, and when he came back, best worker ever.
  20. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

    Jan 31, 2007

    Sometimes what we feel our greatest strength is can become our biggest weakness.
  21. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    I try and do my best for the equipement , time and materials that I have but there's plenty of times when it's good enough. I have part time people when I need them , but I treat them like gold. If they want to work, I work around their schedules . If they've never done something before, I coach them through. If they screw up, no problem, we just do it again. Theyre trying and thats all I ask. Don't be stingy on the compliments, even if its average. "Looks great", "good job today". If it really matters, then do that part of the job yourself.

    I've worked for people that can never be pleased. Even after an apoligy of 'sorry I blew up ', guess what... theyre blowing their stack again next week. I dont have have patience for people like that.
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