Like water off a duck’s back.
That’s how it should be.
But if only it were that simple!
Criticism can be a bitter pill to swallow, even if there is a grain of truth to what is being said. Hearing it can ruin your present moment, or even your entire day, leaving you feeling angry and hurt. Far from water sliding off the duck, the water rather seeps uncontrollably into the duck threatening to destroy it.
We don’t want to be that unlucky ducky.
But should we always be told just what we want to hear?
That doesn’t help us at all, apart from inflate our egos for a while, only to have them popped later down the line when stark reality hits you in the face.
What if the criticizer is just being honest? Honesty is always the best option, but the way some people put their point across so horribly (sometimes out of spite) can make you feel deflated. Others lack emotional intelligence to convey things tactfully, which also can end up in you feeling rotten. Others come across extremely patronising and condescending, sighing and tutting like you are extremely incompetent.
Constructive criticism is beneficial. When approached correctly, it can really help you to establish where you have gone wrong and identify areas for improvement, enhancing your learning process.
This style is to be welcomed.
Unfair criticism is the most likely to be the one we explode at. Whether it is a disgruntled colleague trying to discredit you in front of others, an enemy, a hater, an ex-partner, a competitor attempting to destroy your reputation, the injustice of it can leave you outraged.
Rein it in instead.
Whatever the criticizer’s motives for his/her behaviour don’t let it destroy your inner peace. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Inhale peace and exhale that nasty rage. This should not look like a dragon breathing fire or a bull breathing before it charges. I mean breathing your rage out and away in the ether. Rage has no place around us and we should try not to let others command our emotions.
Let it float away.
How to react?
You could decide to tackle the issue head-on. Spell out for your critic exactly what you think, but make it diplomatic and polite. This is especially more so, to those who are acting maliciously and are downright abusive in their criticisms – it helps to highlight the contrast in behaviour and make you appear dignified.
Kill them with kindness!
And to those spiteful and vindictive ones, just wanting to cause mayhem and insecurity? Well, you could always just turn on your heels and walk away. This can speak volumes, and some critical comments don’t warrant a response. Your energy can be channelled for better, more worthwhile issues.
On the positive side your powers of resilience are getting a workout. Some will be more intensive than others.
Don’t be dragged down to their level.
Let them rise to reach yours.
Have you received criticism lately? How did you react? Please leave comments below.