Quote of the week 14: How to respond when criticised

Criticism, especially when unjust, tends to upset most of us. We need to work out what we can do before it happens again. Like most problems in life, laughter can be the best medicine.



Nobody enjoys being criticized. Most of us enjoy praise. It seems that words, just a noise in the air detected by our ears, has enormous power over us. Criticism seems like a stick on our back. We’ve been attacked, and hurt. The immediate reaction is to retaliate.

We’ve all heard of the old cliche “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me.”

The logic of that phrase is so hard to swallow; it leaves us cold. We cry out in pain,

“You’re wrong. So wrong. Words can hurt me very deeply. I’ll remember them for the rest of my life.”

I’m sure most of us would feel that way. So, let’s look at it again. “Words cannot hurt me.” Or can they?

Logically speaking, of course, the saying does make complete sense. Words can’t hurt us. A word is just a word. However logic’s not the whole story. Far from it.

It’s obvious words can’t hurt us physically.  But we can be hurt in other ways too. We can be hurt in our feelings.

There’s a mountain of deep and powerful emotions in every one of us. These emotions react almost on automatic pilot. We feel hurt. We react with anger.

We get upset, even furious. We think only of how we can get our own back. Sweet revenge beckons. Logic goes out the window.

As Carnegie teaches: “Our logic is like a birchbank canoe tossed about on a deep, dark, stormy sea of emotions.”

So, what can we do? If anything! Must we allow our emotions to dictate how we deal with people?

It’s a times like these that we need to remember, “I’m a mature character.”

Mature people have had to learn self-control, self-discipline. Focus on this fact: you’ve got some control over your emotions. You simply need to “bite your tongue, count to ten.”

Pause. Take “a time out”. Pause again. Pause yet again.

Stop blindly reacting. Now, start to think. Let the anger subside. Let your mature self take over.

Why allow some negative comment to dictate your life? After all, it probably took them all of 5 seconds to say it! You really do have the power to get over it. You’re not a kid. You can move on.

  • Why allow a passing comment to steal your happiness?
  • Why be upset for the rest of the day? The rest of your life? All because of a 5-second comment!
  • Why keep playing it over and over in your mind?

Get on with your life, the way you want it to be. It’s your life, to live as you choose.

Your sense of humor might help here.

Learn to laugh at yourself. No-one’s perfect. Let’s be happy to accept that we, too, have many faults and failings. Even the greatest humans, that ever walked this earth, have had their fair share of weaknesses, mistakes, false beliefs and opinions. So have you. So have I.

Just relax. Let go. Have a good laugh at your immature, negative reaction.

Maybe you can go even further, raise your game. Maybe you could tell yourself,

“You know what, maybe they have a point.”

As we have heard it said, so many times,

“You’ll get more truth about yourself from your enemies than your friends.”

Why? Because your friend doesn’t want to hurt you, tell you the painful truth about yourself. So?

So the friend lies to you. Keeps you sweet. Panders to your “deep, dark, stormy sea of emotions.”

If we were really honest with ourselves, we might even think,

“If they only knew the half of my faults and failings!”

So laugh at yourself. Join the club.

We’re all only human.

May I wish you lots of love, peace and wisdom in your life!

Gerry McCann

@themerry_monk

P.S.   I’d love to learn how you deal with criticism; please share your comments with the rest of us.

P.P.S  Feel free to share this post with a friend.


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