Dealing With Criticism More Effectively

When was the last time that you really felt hurt or angry by the criticism of another person? Who criticized you? What did they criticize you for? How did you feel?

More interestingly perhaps, how did you respond? Did that make you feel better?

Strategies that don’t work

We are all familiar with that feeling when someone criticizes us. Whether it is our boss, our mother or father, our spouse, friend or a colleague, we generally feel strong negative emotions when we are criticized. And these emotions vary widely depending on how close that person is to us and how harsh their criticism is. You can feel anger, irritation or frustration to feeling hurt, thrown of balance or even stupefied.

I had three strategies when dealing with criticism: defending myself (I was a master at that), lashing out (I used that seldom) or withdrawing myself. None of these strategies really worked because although it would sometimes reduce the negative emotion or replace it, energetically I would still feel the negative impact on my being. I never felt positive, however I responded. Is that the same with you?

People often tell that you shouldn’t take criticism personally; they even say it while they are criticizing you! Although at a mental level I could understand and agree with that, on a feeling level it clearly didn’t work and it made me wonder if there wasn’t a way that would really help me to deal with criticism more effectively.

Better ways to deal with criticism

One way that helped me a great deal, which I learned from Tobias of the Crimson Circle, was to stand behind the short wall. It sounds simple and it actually is. You just create a distance between yourself and the other person who is criticizing you and you observe what is happening. That in itself creates a totally different energy.

In the following clip (10:49) Abraham also offers some practical advice on how to deal with criticism. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Questions you may want to reflect on:

  1. How do you feel about making your happiness dependent on the opinion of others? Wouldn’t you rather make your happiness dependent on how you feel about you?
  2. When someone is criticizing you, can you accept that (s)he is reflecting some aspect in yourself? That they are simply a vibrational indicator which you can use to create a different reality?

Next time, when someone is criticizing you, just try to create some “distance” between the two of you and observe what happens. Do you feel different now? Can you deal with their criticism more effectively?

I am looking forward to hear about your experiences.

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