What it means to be a real fan
Being a real fan of someone means that we focus on what we appreciate about them. It means we look for the good in them and are willing to let them know these things in a loving and generous way. It's essential that we acknowledge them without agenda, or because we want something in return.
Acknowledgments with an agenda are manipulations, not acts of true appreciation. Being a real fan of someone else is about celebrating them, recognizing their value, believing in them and reminding them of their greatness.
What it means to be a conscious critic
Being a conscious critic of someone else means that we're willing to say things that might be scary or may even potentially hurt their feelings, but we kindly do so anyway because we're interested in having a relationship with true depth, trust and authenticity. Being a conscious critic is not about being critical or judgmental, which can be hurtful and harmful to others and to us, but about being able to share things that get in between ourselves and other people. It's also about giving them feedback that can help them be the best possible version of themselves. There is a slippery slope for many of us on either side of this equation. However, think of the most meaningful and important relationships you've ever had in your life. You'll notice that having the freedom to give and receive critical feedback in a productive, positive and kind way is almost always an essential part of that relationship.
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