Every day you deal with criticism? Fight or flight? Learn 3 effective ways to take action.
Do you remember how you reacted as a child when parents criticized you? For many people, the old ways of reacting to criticism learned during adolescence are valid even today.
Aggressive behaviour is a popular way to respond criticism. Being hurt or insulted triggers counterattack. When criticism is unfair and destructive, it touches you personally. Sometimes the criticizer is your boss or you are connected with this person emotionally, so that you are afraid of rejection. Then, instead of expressing your different point of view or opinion openly, you start using underhand techinques. For example, during a meeting you stay silent, making a significant expression that something is wrong, without saying what is wrong.
The main disadvantage of this attitude is the fact that aggression in any form destroys relationships with others and does not allow you to use dialogue for finding constructive solutions.
Submission and resignation are another popular ways of dealing with criticism. You apparently accept criticism, but the cost that you are paying is enormous because you are breaching your self-integrity. Moreover, your self-esteem plummets nearly to zero, seeing yourself as guilty or stupid.
The consequence of submissiveness to criticism lead to the growth of fear of criticism, because you are afraid t o be hurt, but don’t communicate what has really happened. It shows that you have very poor control over your life.
So how to deal with criticism, in order not to destroy good relationships with other people? Assertiveness may help you.
1. Love yourself first.
Self-love does not mean selfishness and narcissism, or self-admiration. It is a kind of respect and kindness that you manifest towards your person. According to some thinkers love itself is necessary to be able to love anyone. It is clear that when you expect from respect from other people, you have to respect yourself first. You also have the right to make mistakes and can be imperfect, the best as you are, with all your achievements in your life, your of choices and decisions.
2 Give others the right to have their own opinion.
Criticism is a kind of subjective opinion expressed by other people, who think that they are right. While giving opinions, you can often seem quite superficial, especially if you do not fully know what you are talking about. Therefore, you do not need to take the subjective opinions of other people into account when criticism is destructive and based on no rational basis.
3 Decide if you agree with the opinion of criticizing or not.
If yes – say: “I agree with you.” Then you accept the criticism as a feedback. If you do not agree with the opinion of the other person, express your resistance. You can do it in one sentence, saying something like “I do not agree with you.” In this case you have no obligation at all to explain and discuss the issue that is the reason for criticism. Each of the parties involved in the situation will stay with their opinion. While talking to someone who criticizes you, use “I” instead of “you” while communicating your point of view. Focus on yourself, but also treat the other party with respect.
Achieve success. The next time someone criticizes you, check their opinion thoroughly. If you do not agree with the criticism, communicate it.
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