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|08-12-2009, 03:05 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Dealing with criticism and conflict
I wrote a longish post on coping with criticism and conflict today. Here are some of the salient points for anybody that struggles to deal with this issue.
STFU – When somebody starts to attack you, shut up! Do not try and defend yourself, let them run their course. Even if they are doing this in public, you will be the one that looks in control of the situation and it is far more likely the other person will make themselves look small, so…
DISASSOCIATE – When somebody starts to criticize you take a metaphoric step back and a deep breath as you compose yourself. View the situation from the position of a 3rd person and observe as though you were watching a conversation between 2 people you don’t know. This will then allow you to…
LISTEN – This is so crucial. Most people when they are in the defense mode, are hardly listening after the first few sentences. They have gone inside and are already composing a response usually consisting of reasons why the muppet in front of them is wrong and needs a good slap. Now is not the time to do that because you want to be…
CURIOUS – If you can view things with a genuine interest you are much less likely to get upset. Maybe the other person has just been told they have lost their job, lost their spouse or lost their mind.
About 7 years ago I was driving like a lunatic through London rush hour traffic behind an ambulance. The traffic was parting for the siren and I was tucked neatly in behind it making excellent speed. A number of cars tried to stop me and I got a lot of abuse hurled in my direction as you can imagine, but I hung on in there.
A bit of curiosity wouldn’t have gone amiss by the other drivers at that point.
Was I a complete low life trying to profit from another persons misery to get home sooner? Or was I trying to stay with the ambulance because I had no idea where the hospital was and my father who’d just had a stroke (that he never recovered from) was in the back?
You may think you know the back story, but you may well be wrong, so say…
THANKS - It doesn’t matter what they said, thank them anyway. Even if it’s an insult, thank them sincerely and tell them you will bear what they said in mind. By thanking them you demonstrate you are in control of your emotions and how you want to feel. It will make you feel better and probably confuse the hell out of anybody trying to hurt you..
I know this isn’t easy, but it can be fun and once you have done that you can then…
EVALUATE - Is this criticism or feedback relevant to you? Is it true? Does it give you valuable insights to do a better job next time? Remain detached from the situation and if in doubt ask other people whether they think it’s true. In the story with my client, I was confident that there was little to justify his behavior.
On the other hand, I have been attacked and criticized when it was perfectly justified even if the delivery method was less so. It was a piece of criticism delivered to me 7 or 8 years ago that helped me realize I really was a miserable ******* and it wasn’t the rest of the world that didn’t ‘get it’. That allowed me to…
LEARN - Have you been told you some great stuff about yourself that you can now work on and make yourself even more brilliant than you already are? Or has it told you the person you thought was a friend, really isn’t? If you can learn it’s probably been worthwhile and means it’s time to…
MOVE ON - Put it behind you and do that the moment you have finished analyzing it, maybe even have a laugh about it, because laughter shifts your state so quickly? Whatever you do, don’t keep replaying it in your head ad infinitum and making yourself feel bad, there is zero value in that. Take the good stuff and use it and disregard the groundless insults.
Most arguments look petty and pointless in the fullness of time, so what stops you treating them like that now and enjoying life a bit more?
|08-12-2009, 11:06 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2008
When you have worked making arts, you realize that even if you did your best, a customer may always want something different.
I also have realized that criticism depends on the audience.
If you make nice classic music, but your audience like heavy metal, no matter how good your music is, you will never please them.
I have seen two types of criticism:
Constructive criticism may hurt, but it helps to improve.
It hurts when you consider criticism towards your arts as an attack towards you as an artist. Your painting and you are different things.
Destructive criticism is mixed with the emotions of the person, so once you filter the emotions, you may even find constructive criticism behind, or just understand that the guy had a bad day.
Criticism hurts the most when we get attached to something.
I made a poem, my best poem ever made by me. Then someone comes and tells me "I do not like it, it is crap, it is filled with ordinary metaphores, do not bother me with such crap in the future".
"I do not like it": Wrong audience?
"it is crap": Why is it crap? Or is it Ok and the guy had a bad day.
"it is filled with ordinary metaphores": Hmm, it looks I may need to improve metaphores (constructive criticism).
"do not bother me with such crap in the future": Sign of a bad day/targeted wrong audience.
Most of times, unless the other person is an artist, people are not able to spot exactly what they do not like. They just know something is wrong.
In the world of arts, the tougher criticism comes as you improve. If a kid writes an essay in the newspaper and there is a typo, you will understand. but if you have a famous writer making the same typo, you may feel he screwed up.
|conflict, criticism, stress|
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