What to do when someone criticises you.
You have been approached by someone important to you, and the complaining starts. The temptation is to defend or attack, a reaction that limits the opportunity to learn and build relationships. So restrain it.
What you are hearing is their opinion about certain acts you have taken. This is not about who you are. Your ‘self’ is not impacted by their comments, even though you may feel hurt by the accusations. It is inefficient to defend. Trying to get the complainant to believe they are wrong will not happen – well not without great insight on your part, and not then. Turning someone 180 degrees requires time and effort, and calm.
The Buddha is quoted as saying:
“Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts”.
Unwise thoughts push us to defend and attack. Compassionate thoughts keep our minds open, our self respect intact, help us stay calm and allow us to learn from the experience.
In any case within each complaint is a kernel of truth. Finding it may make your future easier.
Some earlier posts:
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