When someone criticizes us, we generally go into defense mode. We protect ourselves – we can lash out or in some cases we cower and say nothing. Neither reaction is good for us, the relationship and the situation at hand.
If we can stop ourselves from immediately responding to criticism from a defensive posture, we can ourselves a lot of hurt and heartache – which I understand is easier said than done. But the good news is, it’s possible.
Next time some says something critical about you, try a few things:
- Notice and process it. Obviously you notice it. But use that as an opportunity to remind yourself you don’t want to respond defensively.
- Cool down. Take a time out for yourself. If you need to walk away, do it.
- Tell the person how you feel versus lashing out. Let them know that what they said hurt you.
Redirecting your immediate desire to react defensively will probably take practice. You might not recognize it until you’ve already said something in anger. That’s okay. These things may never be easy, but they can become easier. And by doing this you can not only transform your relationships, but you’ll feel better too.
**Eric has his Masters in Counseling and when not on B105.7, works as a private practice counselor.**
Photo Credit: Getty Images/TatyanaGl