Thoughts on criticism / put downs

thumbdown-786247.jpgA good friend of mine (college undergrad) asked me a great question this morning. I only had a few mins to get back to him, so I wrote quickly. Here’s the break down:

Q: How do you deal with/react to public criticism? Whether it be on the shallowest level of “your an idiot” to a fair level or even higher level.
Basically in general how do you respond to criticism/put downs?

A: positive criticism should only really happen one on one or in a small/tight group. in that situation, ask them questions right there, get them to be completely honest with you about their criticism. even if what they are saying is hurting you, pretend you’re ok so they won’t hold back. you won’t grow nearly as fast from people beating around that bush, not saying directly what they really mean.

later on there are some question you need to ask your self, but let’s keep going.

for negative criticism: when it initially happens, react calmly. often people are looking for a reaction or a rise from you. if you don’t give it to them, the fun is diminished for them. with guys, i’d say, don’t apologize to them, say something like “alright man” and try to end it. if they continue either stay away from them, leave, or hit ’em in the face if you’re not in a place where you will get arrested (if that sounds shocking to ya, i’m totally serious, make sure you have the balls mentally that you really would hit someone. but only if know for sure they are in the wrong).

after negative criticism or during positive: always try to understand why they said it. what are they talking about. what’s the root of it. what gave them the idea, or spurred them to say it.

always try to find the reason why. even if it’s just someone being mean. there is always a reason. to grow you have to be completely honest with yourself. do you actually suck at doing something, that’s ok. just realize it, realize the other things you are good at, then figure out what you’re going to do about it. knowing more about yourself, discovering what others really think about you/how they see you is very powerful, but like everything, with more power comes more responsibility – potential for greater success and greater failure equally.

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