Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Yesterday I asked for an opinion on the gallery wall, both on the blog and on instagram. Ask and ye shall receive! A lot (OK most) of you were not fans of the look. Some of you liked it, but with a small caveat (different tape color, bigger pictures, etc) (which for the record, I always planned on adding 1-2 more pics in larger sizes) and a few of you folks actually liked it the way it is. (Also to clarify, I do too.)
As much as most of you didn't like it, it didn't really sway the fact that I do. And for now, I'm going to keep the washi tape pictures. One reader asked a great question, I know nobody's opinion will sway you or influence you, so what was the point of asking if you were going to take into account anyone's opinion? She clarified that she wasn't saying this in a mean way, she was just curious.
Here's the answer: I asked because B wanted a second opinion. I told him I didn't really need one, but since I was doing a post on the wall and sconces, I would ask the internets their opinion. I did it for B. He gets the satisfaction of winning the online poll, I get the satisfaction of keeping the look I want. That's a marital win/win. (Plus I don't think he really cares that much)
But as I checked my IG and the comments off and on throughout the day I was starting to feel a little defensive. Hence the reason I posted this pic my friend texted me featuring washi tape with frames on a formal looking wall. I was OK with people having a differing opinion, but I was also trying to show that I wasn't completely off my rocker, and looking for a little validation. Even then most people came back with reasons why it was OK on this wall, but still didn't like the look on mine. And it's true... they are two different looks, but the overall idea was there. I think this works because it's all black and white, I think this works because it's mostly washi tape with just a few frames.
Admittedly I was surprised that more people didn't like the look. I've had some crazy decorating ideas that were frankly awful, but to me this isn't one of them.
At some point I had to step back and remind myself, You asked for their honest opinion. You invited this criticism.
Then I realized that if I walked into any of your homes there would probably be something I would change--whether this thought was conscious or not. Be a paint color, a piece of furniture, an arrangement of some sort there would be something not matching my taste or style. Even my artsy friends with great taste or favorite design bloggers do things that I don't like the look of from time to time. Style and taste are really so personal. After I thought about it like that, I stopped sweating it.
In college there was a group of 4 os us that were pretty close. Sometimes one of us would do something annoying or maybe rude and the other 3 of us knew this persons particular quirk or annoying trait immediately. Like, Ugh, Friend A did this and this today...you know how she does that thing? OMG I love her to death, but I hate it when she does that! I know that would happen with my other 3 friends and I know that occasionally I was the annoying/rude friend who was the subject of this venting as well. And really we weren't back-biting frenemines, we just knew that from time to time we all did things that one or more of us didn't like, appreciate or approve of. Anyway we were talking about how we all know these traits about each other and occasionally talk about each others annoying habits. However, what we agreed upon was that while each of us were aware of the other three peoples annoying traits and habits were, none of us wanted to know what our own personal annoying trait or habit was. We were happy to be kept in the dark and avoid that sort of criticism. I'm sure there are SO many reasons for this, but one seems to be that hearing such open criticism from our closest friends would hurt not just our own egos, but possibly the friendship as a whole. None of us were or are perfect and likely hearing about our weaknesses wouldn't bring about positive change, only awkwardness and resentment.
So yesterday I invited criticism--albeit on a very small, not personal scale--and was surprised that I still felt defensive. Again just a little bit, I was by no means truly upset or offended. I think one reason I was so resistant to the criticism yesterday was because I wasn't actually open to change. I like my gallery wall just the way it is thankyouverymuch. I've asked opinions on the blog before, so this wasn't a first, but other times I think I was actually open to the answers and therefore there not defensive. This stuff is so interesting to me! So I'm curious, have you ever invited criticism into your life? Were there positive results or did you immediately regret asking? Has anyone else ever asked for your 'honest opinion' only have it backfire? What about positive experiences? Also, I think it's different asking for opinions from a vast group of people most of whom I don't actually know in person. Thoughts?
Thankfully no one said anything negative about my beloved brass sconces... then I might have really gone ape.