Out of the blue―BLAMO!―someone CRITICIZES us. It’s unexpected and hurtful, and it’s personal, or at least if feels that way.

What do we do? We want to defend ourselves, or punish the offender. Maybe a well-aimed insult. But if this is a friend, colleague, boss, or family member, we might not want to burn that bridge. Where does that leave us?

How do we navigate the tricky waters of criticism? The next few moments are crucial to our continued relationship with that person.

4 CRITICISMS & What we can do to survive them:

1. The “What was THAT about?” Criticism― We had no idea it was coming and sure didn’t expect it from this person. So it’s good to stay calm and listen to what’s being said. Perhaps that person isn’t great at sharing her thoughts and just stumbled. Reaction: It might be good to walk away, take a few calming breathes, and then ask questions for clarity. We don’t need to be destroyed by it and there could be some gems there that we don’t want to miss out on. See it as an amazing growth opportunity.

2. The “I SEE you and EXPECT This” Criticism—This criticism isn’t a surprise. We know this person and she does this to us every chance she gets. Reaction: Assuming we didn’t earn her loathing, we need to be able to shrug this stuff off. Keep calm and walk away. This person doesn’t need our energy.

3. The "Uh-oh, I needed to know that" Criticism―This might come from anyone, a friend, a colleague, a boss, even a stranger. But this is something that we probably didn't know we needed to know. Maybe we always frown at people when we’re talking to them. Who doesn’t find that off-putting?! Or maybe we’ve been extra cranky lately and lashing out at people. Reaction: Whatever it is that we needed to know, we need to be gracious to the deliverer. This was probably as hard for her to tell us as it was for us to hear.

4. Public criticism—is ugly and unnecessary unless everyone involved is part of a political arena. Often times the purpose of this is to prove superiority in front of everyone else. Reaction: Time to have a talk with the perpetrator to discuss their goal for this type of attack. If they don't want to play nice, apply #2!

For all these criticism types, it’s good to remember there could be a great piece of life-changing info buried in one.

There’s a trick used in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) we call Perceptual Positions. First position is seeing the criticism from our own perception--that's an 'ouch.'

Second position is where we see things from the other person’s point of view--a little less ouchy.

Third position is when we are able to step back and see both sides without having any emotional stuff in the mix. Okay, that's doesn't hurt and it's interesting.

Let’s look at more closely at that criticism and move to the Third Position. Here we can take an objective point of view, as if we are seeing the conversation between two other people. As we do so, we notice HOW these two are talking to each other, their points of view, beliefs, goals and even motivation.

Now we get the big-picture view! And now we’re in a much better place to learn from the criticism and relationships are (we hope) salvaged.

YAY, that person really does have our back! They're are probably as many types of criticism as there are ways to handle them. I'd love to hear from you on how you deal with criticisms that come your way!

Michelle McKenzie is a certified life and spiritual coach, Reiki master/teacher with a focus on animal care, a spiritual intuitive, and a published children’s book author. She's currently creating a 'Find Your Spirit in Nature' workshop in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of the Tahoe National Forest. Contact Michelle at www.MyPurposePath.com or Facebook.com/MyPurposePath

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Comment by Kathy Custren on March 26, 2017 at 12:41pm
LOL! Enjoy the rest of your week!
Comment by Michelle Alberigi McKenzie on March 26, 2017 at 12:39pm

That's sounds great and thank you. No Blamo. ;)

Comment by Kathy Custren on March 26, 2017 at 12:37pm

You really like the "BLAMO!" don't you?  What about something a little less explosive and more explanatory:

When someone criticizes us, it is most likely unexpected. It can feel hurtful and we might take it personally. This article reviews four general forms of criticism we may encounter. Is it constructive criticism? Is there a lesson in what this person is saying? Learn an effective technique we can use to handle these different types of criticism, and maybe even learn from them.

How does that sound? ~ Blessings! :)

Comment by Michelle Alberigi McKenzie on March 26, 2017 at 11:54am

Thank you, Kathy! Does this work?

Out of the blue―BLAMO!―someone CRITICIZES us. It’s unexpected and hurtful, and it’s personal, or at least if feels that way. But here are four methods plus a technique we can use to handle these situations and maybe even learn from them!

The 4 Criticisms: ‘What was that about?”―the “I see you and expected this”―”Uh-oh, I needed to know this”―Public Criticism! Using some common sense and one very useful NLP technique, we can survive these attacks.

Comment by Michelle Alberigi McKenzie on March 26, 2017 at 11:43am

Comment by Kathy Custren on March 26, 2017 at 11:06am

Hi, Michelle - Thank you for your recent offering, which is being forwarded to the publishers for use in a future edition. There is a newer request we have, and that is to ask you to provide a brief, 80-word abstract or summary describing your article. This can be added as a comment, if you do not wish to amend your article. Message me directly once this has been added. Have a great week ~ Blessings! 

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