“This is absolutely shoddy work. You are useless. You are good for nothing. You will never do anything in else in life. You are the cause of my embarrassment…”
The words shock and rebound. and disappear into time. but the feelings remain. Sometimes, for ever.
Many of us at different times in our lives have received similar comments at different times in our lives at different hands. Parents, Spouses, Children, Friends, Bosses. The language may differ but the emotion conveyed is the same and the feeling created in you is the same. A sense of feeling of misery, disappointment and self rejection.sometimes, self hatred. We don’t have much choices in this situation. We either accept the criticism without comment, with stoicism and move on. or, we wallow in the pain caused by those words until the pain remains and become a permanent part of us as self criticism.
A killer word. How do we live with criticism? Whether deserved or undeserved, criticism can take a heavy toll on a person’s morale and sensitivities. It can debilitate a person’s confidence .How do we cope with criticism/comments hurtful remarks and take it in our strides? How can we convert something so damaging into a positive statement. If we just ignore it, we may overlook some important insights to be gleaned about us. If we take it to heart, then it hinders and becomes a weight on us, punishes, restrains and ties us under a weight of self judgement.
Some important steps which can help an extremely sensitive person to manage and cope with criticism:
1. It is not ABOUT you. thousands of millions of people face it everyday.
2. Deal with the criticism immediately and let it go. Immediate action. Do NOT let it fester.
3.Allow yourself to accept your feelings. It is okay to feel bad at being criticised. Feel it and let it go.
4. Study the criticism in a detached fashion. Ask yourself do you really feel you merit it ? Be objective in this, rather than being emotional about it. List down the reasons you deserve it or not.writing it down help you to focus on the objective, rather than the emotional. A dispassionate mind helps you in taking effective action.
5. Some criticisms may be more personal than objective and the sting may be more severe. In which case, the best way ( it works for me) is FORGIVE and FORGET. It takes time, effort and may seem arduous initially, as our natural tendency is to hate the person who judges us and brings down our self worth. But , try it and be persistent. You will learn to be at peace and you will be happier.You will move on.
6. Always remember no body likes to bear the brunt of criticism and so, when it is your turn to criticise somebody, be objective , truthful but be kind. Deliver your medicine in a positive way so that the other person is not de motivated but be truthful as the person should have confidence in you at all times. Remember, what goes around, comes around.
7.Also remember, the severest critic is many times our greatest friend because he or she has the courage to tell us what our shortcomings are, which we may sometimes be ignorant of.
Frequent memories of criticisms may haunt us especially, those sustained during childhood days. These, if carried into adulthood may have a debilitating effect on our functioning as an adult. It is very important to forgive and forget and move on.Let those memories come and go. Do not judge them. Accept your pain and let it go. Do not hold onto them. Replace those thoughts with positive thoughts. Try to think of something positive you did today or some praise you received and combat those thoughts.
We need to live our life with positive will and spirit.It is very easy to break down under circumstances. But how we manage them is a key to our survival and courage. Remember , always that the greatest leaders, the explorers, scientists, discoverers have faced innumerable criticism and yet they thrived and persisted, in spite of it. They were true to themselves and listened to their voices. We should learn to be true to ourselves and not bow down just because of a few words…
Criticism can kill or make.It is up to you in what direction you want to ride it.