Updated: Dec 3, 2021
First of all, it´s absolutely okay to have emotions, we are emotional beings, we are emotional beings but we have to control our emotions - during a difficult conversations as well.
But how to deal with it? How to deal with some destructive criticism without losing your face or without taking an approach that you will later regret? It really depends on what form, what way and form whom you receive the criticism. Are you receiving it online or in person? If you receive it online from soem stranger then you can simply ignore it. Why open up a conversation? Engaging in the negativity is opening up the door and letting people in who cannot behave. You don´t have to deal with their energy.
But what if this happens in real life? If it´s from some family member or from someone who is really close to you, your first reaction can be more defensive than if you received the criticism from someone you don´t even know. People will always try and provoke you. There are some ways how you can deal with it without losing your face (because that´s something most people want you to do).
„The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.” - Kahlil Gibran
So how to accept non-contructive and destructive criticism with grace? Here are some ways how you can deal with it without losing your inner peace.
Tip #1 - Stop your first reaction and take a deep breath
Your immediate response is the most important one - it has the greatest scope for making things worse or better. Observe before you take any action. An argument can get heated and sometimes pretty quickly. Feelings get hurt, and in some cases, relationships are ruined. Expressing some emotions like anger will only dig you deeper into a hole and give your critic the high ground. It may seem obvious, but of course, deep breathing is the first step.
By focusing on your breath during a heated argument, you can take a step back from the emotions flying around and remain calm. Remain calm whenever a person is rude, aggresive, attacking you or if a person or situation is testing your patience.
Tip #2 - Ask yourself: Is it really worth it?
In the moment instead of responding, instead of going all in on the emotions, ask yourself before you do anything:
Is it really wort it?
What am I going to get out of this?
Is it really worth reaching a low level like that other person?
I really believe your answer will be no, it´s not worth it. Imagine some happy place or memory while is this person talking, this will helps you to focus onto something else, not adding fuel to the situacion and reacting.
Tip #3 - Remember: You don´t have to be always right and have the last word
There are a lot of us nowadays who have a lot of opinions on a lot of things. Generally speaking, people like to be right, which is understandable because it can validate how intelligent, clever, or good they are. But when you need to win at all costs, you´ll never end an argument peacegully and you can lose the respect of others as well, Raise above the strong need for validation. Because only when you are above that need of validation, having the last word and proving people wrong - that´s when you set yourself free.
Tip #4 - You can turt it into a joke
Humor can be a perfect way, but be careful. It´s only appropriate in certain situations. If you want to do it in elegant way then don´t respond with aggression and don´t be filled with attitude.
Don´t use sarcasm or make a joke at the other person´s expense. Say it with smile. Spread positive energy. You don´t want to match their energy. People usually calm down after they realize you won´t reciprocate the same behavior.
Tip #5 - Kill them with love and don´t take people´s behavior personally
Even when it seems personal, rarely do people things because of you. They do things because of them. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. People are nicer when they are happier, which says a lot about those who aren´t very nice. It´s sad, but it´s true. Don´t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace and never stop being a good person.
You never really know the true impact you have on those around you.
You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them and how much your kindness turned someone´s entire life around. Sometimes rudeness is the weak person´s imitation of strength.
Tip #6 - You can thank them and accept it
There are many ways to graciously step back from an argument. Sometimes is the best possible way how to deal with non-constructive criticism is to ignore it. You don´t know who you are. You know if it´s true or not and you don´t have to deal with someone´s negative energy and insecurities. Instead of getting desensive say:
"Thank you for letting me know your thoughts, I´ll consider them."
Tip #7 - Agree to disagree and choose to walk away from an argument
There are some topics that are so difficult to agree on. In order to avoid escalating the argument, you should end it before things get heat up. If you feel that your conversation is not going anywhere, you should choose to walk away from the argument. It may not be the easiest thing for you to do, but it´s time for a graceful exit. We are all on separate journeys. We just need to stay in our own lanes.
Trust in yourself, trust that you are doing the best you can and never let another´s lack of security steal your own.
If you´re fighting with someone you don´t know, tell them: "Sorry, I really have to go now, have a nice day," and leave. If you are fighting with a friend or coworker, be straightforward with them. Say "I don´t want to fight right now. Let´s talk about it later."
"Don´t allow your emotions to overpower your intelligence." - Unknown
Always remember: You are not everyone´s cup of tea and that´s okay. the world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, will simply not like you. But the world is also filled with those who will love you fiercely. Those are your people. Don´t waste your precious time and heart trying to convince them of your value. They will miss it completely. Don´t try to convince them to walk your path with you. You are not for them and they are not for you. You are not their cup of tea and they are not yours. And it´s absolutely okay.
Polite them along and move away as well. Seek to share your path with those who recognize and appreciate your gifts and who you are.
Be who you are, my dear.