serenade Posted July 29, 2017 Share Posted July 29, 2017 Hi all, (Before beginning, I should say that I understand the following: Academia is a world of criticism, it's part of the lifestyle, and one won't last long in their career if they can't take criticism. I really do understand that and have generally learned to handle criticism, but lately I've been having a particular problem that I'm trying to work through). My relationship with my advisor is both professional and personal. By personal, all I mean is that I feel like he cares about me as a human being - not just as a scholar, is a mentor, and that we sometimes talk about things that don't just involve academics. But that's what makes receiving criticism so difficult, I think. Especially when that criticism is about whether or not he thinks I will pass my comp exams and dissertation proposal and continue on in the program. He has told me that he feels unsure about my ability to pass both of those things, and that he honestly doesn't know if I am someone who will continue to completion or be forced to leave this semester. I understand that he is just being honest and doing his job. I wouldn't expect any less, of course. But it is really difficult when someone you respect so much and who you have some type of relationship with as a person tells you those things (or any criticism, really). When I hear him say things like, "I really don't know if you'll progress through the program" what my brain hears is "I'm not really excited about the thought of you being around for several more years." That can be devastating. It's hard for me not to interpret things personally (though I understand this is a problem). While I do think every advising relationship should be primarily a professional one, at the same time I also don't think the answer is to avoid any personal interaction in order for students not to take criticism personally, since there is so much to be gained from the interpersonal relationships that can develop between advisor and advisee. But I guess I'm wondering if other people have this problem and how they've taken steps to deal with it? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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