Constructive criticism is fine, but some people are so relentlessly negative they can suck the joy out of life. No matter what happy news you might have, they are guaranteed to find the cloud to fit your silver lining. Here are a few ways to deal with critical people.
Here are 6 strategies you can use to deal with hypercritical people.
Don’t Take It Personally
Until you find out otherwise, assume it’s not you; it’s them. Some people just love being negative and surround themselves with it on a daily basis. It colors their view of the world. They criticize everything because that’s the way they go through life. While you’re busy assuming it’s not you, stand back and watch how they treat other people. It’s a pretty good bet they criticize everybody and not just you.
Listen to The Message
Is the person obscuring the message? Maybe your critical colleague or friend is tactless, or bad at expressing themselves rather than being mean. Try to see past the messenger to understand what is really being said. There’s a chance there may be some valuable advice for you that’s cloaked in a poorly delivered criticism.
Accept the Feedback
You can decide to take crucial feedback on its own merits. That is, as a source of honest feedback rather than someone just trying to be mean. If you can see past the blunt delivery, you may be able to find a kernel of truth that can improve the way you do something going forward.
Deal with the Discomfort
Criticism never feels good. Try to read your own discomfort as another source of information about what’s being said. Does the negative feedback trigger a recognition deep within you? Maybe it subconsciously reminds you of a past event that makes you uncomfortable, but maybe there’s an actual kernel of truth in the criticism. Did you grow up with a lot of criticism? If so, this may very easily push your buttons and get your back up. While you’re doing a knee-jerk reaction, you might be missing some truly well-intentioned constructive criticism that may have a too blunt delivery for your personal comfort. Sit with your discomfort and see what it’s telling you.
Don’t Seek Feedback from Critical People
If you can’t stand being criticized, then it’s a choice not to get into situations with people who are likely to criticize you. Don’t ask for advice from people you know will give you negative feedback or expose yourself to their negativity. They’re not likely to change, so you need to take responsibility and be in control to avoid such conversations. Don’t share good news if you know they’ll throw cold water on it, and don’t seek their praise if you know you won’t get it.
Stay Out of Their Way
You have a choice about how to deal with negative people or whether to deal with them at all. It comes down to these choices: you can decide not to engage with their negativity, you can ignore them, or you can just avoid them altogether. If you must have contact with a negative person at work, for example, be helpful but don’t engage with them unless absolutely necessary.
I hope these ways to deal with critical people are helpful. Often times, it’s up to you whether you want to have contact with such negativity, or not.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of creating a better mindset for yourself, please check out my training on how to do just that at Embrace Optimism. Learn how to improve your mindset and create a happier and more positive life for yourself and those around you.
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