Whenever someone starts a comment, “You aren’t going to like me saying this.” 99 out of 100 times they are being blatantly honest. In fact those words can trigger a negative response sending us down the wrong path. Not all criticism is negative; however, expected or out of the blue it can put us in a defensive state. This is never good, that’s why it’s great to have a plan. Consider these 5 steps:
- Smile: Know God loves you, despite how harsh this person’s words are going to be.
- Ask For God’s Grace: Instinct is going to tell you to get defensive, so ask God to help you slow down.
- Listen: As painful as it might be, just listen. Even if the comments are out of context, listen.
- Thank Them: It diffuses any anxiety on their end. In fact kill them with kindess if possible.
- Walk Away: If you can’t think of anything nice to say, if you are feeling defensive or you know you are going to lose it, leave. Don’t get tricked into doing something dumb.
We are going to face criticism. Some of it will be constructive, others of it will tear you apart. No matter what, you need a plan, doesn’t have to be the one above, but you need a plan that will diffuse any rising the emotions and slow the process in which you formulate words and spew them from your mouth.
What’s your plan for criticism?