I believe that one of the most pleasant people to hang out with, are those who make you feel good every time you talk with them, maybe they have a positive attitude or make you laugh, but one characteristic that I believe really highlights them, is that they respect others opinion.
In contrast, there are people who just say what they think without reflecting too much if it’s appropriate, rude, interesting, necessary or how the other person may feel or think about the comment. They just have too much to say, and well, they say it.
Unfortunately, sometimes what intends to be an innocent comment, a simple point of view, is perceived as interference, nosiness and even insulting. That is when people feel criticized.
One of the hardest things to overcome is criticism, those unsolicited comments that bring our energy down and turn our protecting and defensive mode on.
When someone says something that we perceive as criticism, we can feel attacked and that something is wrong with us, they might not intend to set us up into feeling this way and actually, sometimes we are the ones who inadvertently give unsolicited advice to someone else.
Usually stopping being the one criticizing is easy to fix, if we can remember to ask for permission first. When someone is asking: “What do you think?”, then that is a welcome to give our advice or opinion, otherwise, they may just need some one there to listen.
But what can we do when we are the ones being criticized?
The first time a friend tells me something that I perceive as criticism I don’t get offended, I believe he really means well, after all we are friends and friends care for each other, so somehow that opinion should be looking for my best interest.
Then, there are people who usually have something to say about others, I usually try to avoid them, they perceive themselves helpful, but Is there any reason I would like to be around someone who constantly makes me feel not so good about myself or what I do?
Unfortunately, sometimes these kind of persons are close relatives that you can’t avoid. What has help me in this situation is to restate what I have been told, the way I perceived it. In this way, at least I don’t have to just take the comment, and I hope they get my point of view too.
So, basically, if it is a one time situation, I would try to believe that the intention wasn’t to make me feel bad, but to point out something I could improve.
If this happens frequently, I would try to avoid that environment; but if is a close relative and is a situation that I will be faced over and over, I would have to establish boundaries by telling the person the way the conversation is making me feel.
Is there any other technique that has worked to you?.
I would love to hear about it.