Every day we’re (that’s a collective we’re) being criticized. It may be direct or under someone’s breath. It may be constructive or it may be yet another jealous tirade. For me? I’ve discovered my first rule of dealing with criticism.
Consider the source.
I remember people saying this in the past but can’t always remember to keep it in real practice. If you can remember being picked on in school you can probably remember something similar to this. The old standard that people who pick on other people are doing so simply because they are insecure with themselves. Something isn’t right for them, even if it isn’t obvious, so they take it out on those who are obviously fat, or breaking out or have a bad perm, so they themselves can feel better.
Don’t remember being picked on? Then you were probably an insecure, self-righteous bitch and when I talk about the “source” know that I’m talking about you. Anyway…
It never truly goes away. As we grow up with have to deal with criticism at work, about our life choices, even our driving (in random fits of road rage from other drivers). Worse yet? Someone might criticize your parenting. This is the one that’ll make the mama (or papa) bear instincts kick in and have you seeing red in no time.
“I’m a bad parent?! I’m irresponsible?! Look at them!!! They’re blah, blah blah, blah BLAH…….”
It happens to me. The bad part is I KNOW the source and I KNOW where it’s coming from but some days I still let it get to me. It’s hard not to react – any criticism brings with it a natural instinct to defend or explain yourself. Which is, a lot of times, the point of the criticizer. What’s the best thing to do? Not give them the power. Consider the source…
The person criticizing you is more often than not selfish, insecure and simply yelling at a mirror for their own short-comings in life. They are most likely nothing more than the shallow, pseudo-popular teenager who struggled with her weight and made herself feel better by making other people feel like crap. What does she have over you now? Not a damn thing.
That’s the place that I will be dealing with criticism from for now on. As the quote above states, you must be doing something in order to be criticized. Chances are – you’re doing something well to get the harshest of criticism. So remember that and consider the source.
(Too hard in the moment? You could always try a second rule – visualization. Then visualize yourself taking the words and forcefully putting them back in someone’s mouth with your fist. Not very zen, but it’ll probably work in a pinch.)