Make a Change in You and Celebrate Criticism
Whether you run your own company or work for the local council; have dogs or choose to own a cat; catch 20 minutes of sun or avoid it like the plague; exercise with commitment or become a couch potato – whatever you do or don’t do, wherever you stand on issues or not, someone will criticise you or judge you for it.
They will talk about you, make a comment on your choices, your bad taste in hats, shoes and haircut – whatever. It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life or where you stand on anything – in their eyes you’re fair game; we are all fair game.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill
THE FACT OF THE MATTER
So, what do you do when an insult is hurled your way, privately or publicly? Do you pretend you didn’t hear it or hurl an insult right back? Do you internalise it, or get angry and lash out?
What if you don’t like my blog … what should I do? What if your newfound purpose isn’t heralded by the masses, or others start criticising the way you choose to go about your fresh life resolve?
The people we surround ourselves with are used to our way of operating and our way of thinking, therefore when we enter into a series of changes with a commitment to a new purpose, they may not fully comprehend or appreciate why. They may not even want to understand; perhaps they liked us just the way we were.
Think of it this way: how can one person in a household continue to smoke while the other person attempts to give it up?
I was recently invited to speak at a juvenile detention centre about life. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about how others may affect our self, our inner voice.
We may not be able to stop someone’s poorly chosen or horrid words, their thoughtlessness, or lack of support, but we can change how we deal with and respond to those gibes and insults.
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by jerks.” – Sigmund Freud
Dealing with cynics, critics and haters
Here are my top three solutions when dealing with cynics, critics and haters:
- We can meet criticism gracefully and appropriately by getting an accurate read on the situation, to decide the best way to respond. There’s a big difference between being condemned, discredited and outright attacked by someone as compared to a gentle constructive criticism from someone who loves you, who is genuinely trying to help.
- Ensuring some objectivity kicks in before retaliation or reply helps you to get a handle on how or if you should speak out, and what words you would use.
- You could try viewing such situations in the third person: how would you advise someone else on the matter? Step away from the situation and look at it without self, as if you were observing someone else’s life. An unbiased assessment will help you find the best solution.
For one reason or another, someone will find a reason to project their insecurities, their negativity and their fears onto you and your life, onto your thoughts, and what you stand for, and you’ll have to deal with it.
Change your thoughts on critics; criticism helps you to become better. Rather than reject it, celebrate it. Receiving criticism means what you are doing is worthwhile, so much so that people comment or critique it. Pessimists, disbelievers and doubters – seriously, are they worth arguing with? They are negative, sad people – if it’s not this thing, it’s another. They are time bombs waiting to go off.
For most of us, it’s a lifetime challenge that requires thought, planning and practice. You need to remain on guard and endure and be diligent to your thoughts and reaction.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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