8 Tips for Dealing Calmly with Criticism. Which I Find Very, Very Challenging.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: 8 tips for dealing calmly with criticism.

I have a very hard time being criticized, corrected, or accused – even of the smallest mistakes – and I react very angrily. I struggle to respond calmly and constructively — even when it’s something like my six-year-old saying, “You forgot to put my library book in my backpack.” It’s all I can do not to snarl, “Why didn’t you remember your library book?” Zoikes, how I try to be more mild-mannered and easy-going! Here are some of the strategies that I try to use to accept criticism.

1. Listen to what a critic is saying. Really listen, try to understand that point of view, don’t just nod while you formulate your retorts.

2. Don’t be defensive. This is the toughest step for me. With my writing, for example, I always have to take a deep breath before reading an edit letter or meeting with an editor, to remind myself, “I welcome criticism. This person is helping me. I want to hear how to improve my book/article/post.” Act the way you want to feel! That’s my Third Commandment. It’s really uncannily effective; acting friendly and eager to learn makes me feel friendlier and more eager to learn. Along the same lines…

3. Don’t fire back by criticizing your critic. Your comments will just sound defensive, and you’ll escalate the exchange. This urge is very difficult to resist, because the impulse to justify and attack is strong when you feel criticized, but it isn’t helpful, and it certainly isn’t effective.

4. Delay your reaction. Count to ten, take a deep breath, sleep on it, wait until the next day to send that email…any kind of delay is good. I find it’s much easier to apply this rule when I’m responding in writing. I’ve trained myself to think long and hard before hitting “send” or “enter.”

5. Explain honestly the reason for your actions. Sometimes it’s tempting to re-characterize your actual feelings, actions, and motives. Usually, though, that just complicates things more. It becomes impossible to have an honest exchange.

6. Admit your mistakes. This is extremely effective. When I got my first job, my father told me, “If you take the blame when you deserve it, you’ll get the responsibility.” I’ve found that to be very true. Difficult, but true. Admitting mistakes is the first step, then…

7. Explain what you’ve learned. If you can show a critic that you’ve learned something, you prove that you’ve understood the criticism and tried to act on it. That, itself, usually mollifies critics.

8. Enjoy the fun of failure. Re-frame the issue entirely to embrace criticism. Fact is, trying new things and aiming high opens you to criticism. I tell myself to Enjoy the fun of failure to try to re-frame failure and criticism as part of the fun. Otherwise, my dread of criticism can paralyze me.

What am I overlooking? Have you found any other strategies that work for you?

* The blog on the site Hunch did a funny, thought-provoking look at the question, Can making the bed change your life?

* Sign up for the Moment of Happiness, and each weekday morning, you’ll get a happiness quotation in your email in-box. Sign up here or email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com (don’t forget the “1”).

  • These are great tips, but I think I need more sub-tips! I tend to get very defensive when criticized, and even when I bite my tongue it’s so obvious I’m doing it that my husband practically demands to hear what I’m thinking!

    • Chris

      Maybe you should try to find out why you are actually angry: Because the other person criticised you undeservedly? Or because you feel guilty and blamed when beeing criticised but don’t want to admit this feeling right now? Or (my favourite) did you think you did everything perfectly when you actually overlooked something and the other person just points this out? At least when arguing with your husband I think it can be more helpful to admit that your are feeling hurt or embarassed as this is a great way to let go of the feeling and clear the mind for thinking of a solution to the actual problem.

  • DJ Lane

    A technique I use, which goes along with #4 above, is to repeat to myself, “I feel defensive, but I can still listen.”

    I learned this from Susan Page, who wrote “Why Talking is Not Enough” – one of my favorite relationship books.

    Sometimes it does help to just let someone speak their piece.

  • ANonMouse

    I eliminated my food intolerances. My reaction time to criticism got a lot longer.

    • Creatively Sensitive

      Me too!

      And then I dealt with a 15 year unresolved Post Traumatic Stress… and, yep, longer still 🙂

  • Ella

    Great post but the one thing you did forget; ask yourself honestly Do I deserve this criticism? Think it through and the answer may be no. If it is just let it go.

    • gretchenrubin

      This is very good point. Very important to remember this! Not all criticism
      is valid. that should be #9.

    • Charlotte_Lucas

      I find it very difficult to let unfair criticism go.

  • Donna

    When possible, I bring along a companion, a colleague, a chaperone when receiving feedback. This way my personal bias sometimes slants and twists what I hear. A second set of ears might interpret the intended message differently. This is really useful when I get anxious and the only thing I can hear is my heartbeat reverberating in my head.

    I also jot down a few notes during the critique to show interest, to not retort immediately and regret it later, to not interrupt the sender of the message in fear that if I don’t interject just then that I would forget my train of thought. I reread and try to incorporate them into my next project. Solely suggestions.

  • Something I’ve found to be very helpful……think about why you are reacting to the criticism.

    If there wasn’t a part of you that believed it, it wouldn’t bother you at all. If somebody said you looked stupid because your skin was purple, you’d simply be confused by the crazy remark. It wouldn’t make you angry, because you’d be absolutely certain that there was no truth to the criticism.

    Facing criticism with this perspective, enhances learning and inspires self-assessment. This leaves little time for negative reactions.

    Hope this helps!

    • Ella

      I totally agree, the library book in the back pack rang a bell with me because when my child complains about something I have not done in the house or for him I used to have a quiet mini melt down until I thought about why it made me mad, I realized it was about feeling criticized for not doing a good Mom job and house job though I was going full tilt in addition to feeling that he should be doing more for himself at this stage in his life. So I began to gently give him more responsibilities and soon stopped feeling like such a martyr.

    • Fun Mama – Deanna

      I don’t agree that that if you are reacting to criticism it is because it is true or something that you believe about yourself. You can very well react to criticism because you know it isn’t true. And studies show that girls often have a very good opinion of their looks until they reach the age where peers start to criticize them.

      I think that sometimes we react to criticism because often people are more eager to criticize than they are to praise. It gets frustrating to hear only negative things about yourself from others and never anything positive.

      • Charlotte_Lucas

        Exactly. It’s important to realize that not all criticism is justified or well-intentioned.

  • Ldearls

    Thank you for this. I’m very critical of myself and listening to criticism from others is very difficult for me. I’m a law student and am competing in a moot court competition in part to improve my oral advocacy skills and in part to improve my ability to listen to constructive criticism. I just came home from a difficult practice and read this — it is a very good reminder.

    Thank you!

  • A couple to add.

    #1 Say thank you. Thank them for being honest enough to share that, and believe in the thanks because if the criticism is vallid, you can now do something about it. If the criticism is not valid, then you still have food for thought and a the opportunity to grow.

    #2 Encourage more information.

    “I see. What is it that I said… When was the first time that happened… What happened next…”

    Get them to get it all out. It is only once they have been fully heard and understood that they will be at rest.

    • gretchenrubin

      Very good points. For me, I can do #2 in a hostile way, like “oh yeah? prove
      it! give me the details!” so I need to remember to do it in the right spirit
      of mind.

  • Bob Lerch

    Tell me if I,m wrong (I can take it). I get the feeling that the tips pertain to the constructive criticism vacuum (except for Ella’s point) but what is the best way to deal with the criticism that starts with “I don’t want to point fingers but” while the finger is being pointed?

    • gretchenrubin

      My daugthters recently had a conversation about the fact that when someone
      says, “No offense, but…” that didn’t really excuse the fact that the
      person was saying something mean!

      It is really annoying when people don’t want to acknowledge what they
      themselves are saying.

      • Jay

        I learned a long time ago never to use the “but” in situations like this. It simply negates everything you’ve just said, especially if it’s an apology. It’s hard reframing your next comment but I have been successful using other words and phrases. If nothing else, stop, take a breath, and start a new thought with the idea you were originally going to append to the “but.” Disconnecting the apology from your next thought could be important and make the apology more powerful. .

  • discoveredjoys

    In the brief second(!) before you respond to the criticism, ask yourself what their intention was. We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions but other people by their behaviours.

    It may be that they intended to be helpful (but used an unhappy choice of words). In which case you can decide whether or not to accept their gift of advice.

    It may be that they are lashing out because of some other difficulty in their lives. In which case you can decide whether or not to try and help them.

    It may be that they are mistaken, in which case you can decide whether or not to enlighten (not correct!) them.

    They may be trying to hurt your feelings because they are unkind by nature (surprisingly unlikely, although this may be a default assumption on your part). In which case you can decide whether or not to react strongly or just walk away.

    Whatever you choose to do, remember that they will judge you by your behaviour and not your intentions…

    • mathews

      hi, it moved me . i identify with everything you have shared . thank u.

  • Niki

    I have a 4 category systems for criticisms, and a strategy for each category.

    1. The criticisms has nothing to do with me. The other person is in a bad mood, is projecting either their own faults or their mothers, something like that, anyway makes no sense for me. There’s no information about myself in the criticism. I either ignore this, or if I think I can handle it, response with something like “You sound really angry” or “You seem really worried about the project” to expand the discussion and help the person get to the bottom of it.

    2. The criticisms very specific between me and that particular person, and although I certainly am doing something wrong, I only do it in that particular situation with that particular person. I am kind of lazy about this stuff and usually do nothing more than admit it and try to manage it. I try to remember not to apologise since I probably won’t work on improving it, which an apology implies in my opinion.

    3. The criticisms right on. I’ve probably heard this before – I’m very messy, extreemly disorganised, impatient amoung others. This is the tough category, on a good day I admit it, tell the person that I know I’m like that and explain what I try to do to get better. Of course there are some aspects of my personality that I love and other people find very annoying or difficult. I am often extreemly comfortable with other people having different opinions than me, I really don’t need for people to see things my way. I’ve never even meet someone else who is as much like this as me and I have at times come across as a very, very cold hearted person, ‘dead-hearted’ even. But I know its not because I am cold hearted, in fact quite the opposite, sot I see it as one of the best things about myself. In this case I admit it and explain that I like this about myself.

    4. Other. It doesn’t seem to be about the other person, I wasn’t sensing the same difficulty between us, and I’ve heard that before. I try to let the person know that this is news and I need time to absorb it. Even if I don’t manage to stay cool at the time, I usually get back to the person later.

    I think that just having these categories has the hidden benefit that I spend a few seconds figuring out which one a new criticism fits into and that is even more effective than taking a deep breath or counting to ten.

    • Cece

      Very interesting take on this, Niki. Regarding your #2, do you really think that an apology necessarily implies you will work on the problem? I see those as two different steps. I have always wondered why some people find it so hard to apologize — maybe this is why. Worse than not being able to apologize, though, are the people (mostly politicians) who consider this an acceptable apology: “I’m sorry if you were offended.” That would fall under the heading of a too-easy apology. Hmmm.

      • Creatively Sensitive

        I agree. I hard to learn the hard way about apologizing. When I did something clearly wrong I would feel so terrible about it I just assumed my sentiments were obvious. Actually saying I was sorry didn’t happen, because I was so uncomfortable with being held accountable. People really do need to hear it.

      • Niki Lacoste

        Yes I once infuriated a good friend because I refused to apologize, but I just couldn’t apologize since I didn’t feel I could stop myself doing the same things again or even make some progress on not doing it again.

        I am always hurt when someone says sorry, then turns around and does the same thing again. I try instead to admit I did something wrong without actaully saying sorry. It is helpful to hear that for you and probably lots of others not like that! I’m going to have to figure out some better way of handling this.

    • kathy

      I think this is a really good way to go about it. Also, it depends on the person criticizing. If they are not important to you or if they speak from a position where they don’t have true knowledge of a situation, then their criticism shouldn’t be taken seriously, and can often be ignored.

      I do agree with you about the apology part. If my husband tells me I always take too long to get ready to go out, and I have no intention of changing my behavior, then why apologize for it? My music teacher in high school always used to say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

      Finally, Gretchen, when my sons criticize me about my not making a home-cooked meal or being forgetful, I tell them I’m their mother and to shut up and deal with it. It seems to work. Maybe that’s because they’re 11 and 14?

  • Louisa Rogers

    I don’t find it helpful to say, “Don’t be defensive.” Our immediate reaction of defensiveness is probably a lot biological and out of our control anyway. I try to normalize defensiveness, which helps a lot. If I’m with someone very close, like my husband, I’ll often say, “I’m feeling defensive. I need a few moments.” Just stating the obvious softens my intensity. If I’m in a setting where I don’t want to say it, I’ll take a few minutes to breathe and redirect. How I talk to myself about my defensiveness is important.

  • andydonovan

    I agree that is sometimes hard to not be defensive – but I think by listening first and processing the fact that this is the way the other person is feeling or perceiving the situation – firing back only cements their belief. We live in an “immediate gratification” society so solving or making someone see our side as soon as possible is not always the best route to follow – cooler heads always prevail and there are always two sides to a story – somewhere in the middle are the facts and of course a potential mutually agreeable resolution. Thanks for the post Gretchen.

  • Excellent tips. In regards to #4, my father always said, “if you’re so mad you want to write a letter to the editor, sleep on it first. If you’re still irritated, go ahead and write it, but it will be with a more clear head.” (Yes, I realize the letter to the editor reference makes me ancient.)

    My concern is that social media has taken the effort that used to help that delay out of the equation. I’ve seen more responses made in the heat of the moment online that exacerbate things. It makes me wonder where this is all headed–it can’t be good.

  • annabarlowe

    Oh, I have this same problem too, especially if I feel the criticism isn’t deserved. I’ve always just hated that. I find that about the only thing that really helps is meditation and deep breathing, especially if you can eventually learn to do it with your eyes open, while you’re going about your business. Now THAT’S a useful trick. I recommend it. 🙂

  • Julie Orser Odermatt

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom.

  • My most favorite thing about self-improvement is that always get a personalized story from someone like Gretchen, I see myself and I feel so much better about my journey. I saw this email and I read the title. My soul said “YES!!!! I AM NOT ALONE!”

    I found that the reason why I didn’t accept criticism before is that I was not interested in hearing it from those who I was hearing it from. That is a big one! Imagine the mouse in your house telling you that they don’t like the brand of cheese you dropped near the stove! Oh, or the person sleeping with your wife/husband telling you how YOU caused them to stray. Sometimes the package of criticism can set you off as well.

    My battle with accepting criticism came when I met my boyfriend 10 years ago. He told me that I was defensive and that I wasn’t listening (oh yes, when you are on automatic-set-off you are NOT listening), turns out, I was so pissed at him in certain scenarios it was like, HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE ME!
    Accepting criticism is def a journey through a variety of situations. It can come at you fast, hard and in an annoying package!

    • A.C.

      I can completely relate to this post as well as Gretchen’s original post. It does feel good to know others share this same reaction and have found ways to cope with it.

      It is interesting to me to see how certain people seem to have no reactioin to criticism, and others immediately react in some negative way. Even if you’re not outwardly expressing your reaction, the feeling is still there, inside of you. I wonder sometimes if it’s possible for that instant negative feeling to ever disappear. I wonder also where this feeling comes from to begin with. Personally, I believe it comes from insecurity of some kind. Is it possible that unhappiness or negativity in general stems from high levels of insecurity?

  • Creatively Sensitive

    Gretchen! Thank you soo much for writing this and for being so open and honest about your reactions. I want to print this up and stick it up on our fridge so we can see it everyday. And it looks like you’ve opened up a wonderful conversation as well, which I’m going to settle in and read right now, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a lot out of it too!

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m thrilled to hear that the post resonates with you!

  • Steven R. Baker

    I forwarded this to my wife, and she ripped my head off.

  • Grace

    Thanks for the tips. Very good food for thought.
    I look at criticism as a way to learn more and to grow.
    When I do that, I find it easier to receive.
    Have a blessed day.

  • Brock

    There was a comment about sleeping on the decision to write a letter, but I say start writing as you receive the criticism. It keeps you focused on what is being said instead of building up the retorts.

    In a college writing course that relied heavily on peer feedback the author of the work being critiqued was not allowed to speak. Not even to ask questions. Only after everyone got to share was the author allowed to ask follow up questions or explain something. That way, the really pesky comments tended to be erased by the thought-provoking comments. (And I still got out those snap-back comments in my notebook, so I didn’t have to try to just suppress them.)

  • Tymchatyn

    It’s been years now that someone shared this quote with me, “No one kicks a dead dog.” Every time I start to take criticism personally I try to remember this quote since it brings to mind that what I am doing has struck a chord whether or not it was the right chord I can’t be sure but it helps deflect the personal aspect of the criticism.

  • #3 is very essential…

  • Adrian_Meli

    Great thoughts, easier said than done though! One of the things I have learned about giving and getting feedback is that the way people giving feedback frame things is very important. I think it is very hard to accept feedback from someone that gives it in a negative way but somewhat easier when it is done in a productive fashion. Learning how to give criticism in the right way is perhaps as difficult as learning how to receive it. – Adrian Meli

    • Generally_Okay

      Exactly, Adrian. I was reading this today because I received an especially harsh and public criticism from my boss yesterday for faults he saw with a project I had done. My problem with it was not the criticism but with the fact that he chose to do so in front of my colleagues and did not provide me with an opportunity to correct the mistakes.

  • Margaret

    Great list. I think it really gets to the point of acting nicely even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll be proud of yourself for it later no matter how frustrated you are in the moment. http://figuringoutfulfillment.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/the-most-difficult-thing-about-work-is-likely-not-your-job/

  • Lilly

    I feel so threatened when I am criticized. My first step, then, is to remind myself that the world won’t end because I’ve made a mistake, or that I am not the worst person in the world because I’ve got a flaw. It’s exhausting to pretend to be perfect.

  • I feel like I get defensive so automatically. I have difficulty not recognizing what I am doing until after the damage is done and then I try to back track and it ends up a big ole mess.
    I try to think the criticism is about helping me and not defeating me. So hard to do.

  • AnthonyPS

    All excellent points which, along with the suggested additions, show how every situation should be treated individually.

    As a writer I will listen to criticism and suggestions from other writers and (of course) editors, agents and publishers. When writing for industry I invariably have to point out the reason they came to me in the first place -I’m the writer. The general public are the quickest to complain and, while you might find the odd worthwhile comment, most often they have only thought through their speech to you. Thus giving yourself time by using the counsellor’s trick of “How does that make you feel?” rephrased as “What was it that particularly upset you?” gives a few moments to think about a response.

    Of course some criticism is quite ludicrous. I once received a call from a gentleman who had bought one of my books and, during the course of 45 proceeded to point out little things he disagreed with (page by page). I said virtually nothing until he stopped and I asked “What one thing really upset you so much you found it necessary to telephone me?” He answered “I didn’t phone straight away, decided to sleep on it. Then next morning I resolved to call you as I had dreamed you were wrong.”
    I said goodbye and replaced the receiver.

  • Before determining in what way I am going to deal with criticism – or if I want to deal with criticism to begin with – I want to know what the critics – intend – is.

    Besides that, I don’t think that – probably depending on the area you are talking about, and the intend of the critic – I usually have trouble with dealing with criticism. While I do think that for a lot of people admitting their mistakes feels like dying. I don’t think that in general I usually do have trouble with admitting mistakes.

    ‘Nobody is Perfect, and
    I don’t think I am a Nobody’ 🙂

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,

  • jenny_o

    These are all great points. I have found #4 (delay your reaction) to be the most helpful for me.

  • flossattrocbrocandrecup

    To be saved and reflected on! Thank you. Last night my son accidentally hut himself on some scissors I was holding. I was so worried about his crying, pain and bleeding (not ultimately serious, I hasten to add) that I felt the complaints were all directed at me. Finally I said ‘I want to be sympathetic but I can’t help you if you’re blaming me’. He said in surprise, ‘I’m not blaming you!’ I guess I was just feeling guilty and it was terribly freeing to realise that neither of us was criticising each other, it was just a situation to deal with.

  • I just read a book that is relevant to this topic. It is The Power of Positive Confrontation. I highly recommend it.

  • Thanks Gretchen for another great post.
    I, like everyone else, sometimes react to criticism with hurt or anger. But it’s helpful to remember that when I am upset, it is only because I myself am blocking my own natural happiness. My upsetness is never caused by the other person, regardless of what he said or intended. His criticism of me becomes an occasion for my own inner thoughts of inadequacy or unworthiness to express themselves. If I blame him, it’s only a way to hide the real cause of my upsetness. Instead of feeling inadequate or unworthy, I get to pretend that I’m an innocent victim.
    Ultimately my thoughts of inadequacy and unworthiness are untrue, and hide my inner nature as a being of love. But I can’t discover my truth until I acknowledge and own my own mistaken thoughts about myself.
    Yes, I do want to listen to the criticism and learn what I can from it. But my greatest learning opportunity comes when I feel upset about the criticism. Because then I have a chance to discover and release those thoughts that are blocking my own inner nature of happiness from expressing itself. Until I let go of those thoughts, they are always working in the background to limit and sabotage my happiness.
    My upsetness is always based on my own self-deception. Thus it’s a wonderful opportunity to uncover the self-deception, and open myself to a whole new level of happiness.

  • Luciavasconcellos

    I live in brazil. My sister told me about this wonderful book.
    I would like to know where I can buy it here in Brazil!
    If it is possible, tell me the address.
    Thanks a lot
    my e-mail: luciavasconcellos@yahoo.com

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for your interest! It will be published in Brazil by Record, but I’m
      not sure when.

  • Penny in Australia

    Gretchen, just wanted to thank you for how open and honest you are on this blog. I identify with many of your struggles, but am not sure I would be brave enough to admit them in front of people.

    Your issues with controlling your temper particularly resonate with me, and I applaud you for having the guts to reveal things such as “It’s all I can do not to snarl, “Why didn’t you remember your library book?””. Snarl is such an descriptive and onomatopoetic word.

    It would be very easy for you to omit such shortcomings, but it is a great help to me (and I’m sure many others) that you choose to share this information. Feels a bit like a support group! 🙂

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so pleased to hear that my work resonates with you — especially my

  • christinedarlene

    I have no problem with being corrected; but what I do have a problem with is people who only complain. Often I find that people who constantly criticize and say, “I’m just telling the truth.”, are lying. They aren’t seeing any of the good, or they are, but aren’t pointing it out for some reason; usually lack of self esteem and jealousy. Maybe its just out of shear bad habit. When someone is correct but really rude when they point out my/others faults, in a calm way I will tell them, “Wow, that was rude.” or ask “Why don’t you ever give compliments on what I’ve/they’ve done correctly lately?” and then I’ll give them a long list of what I/they did correctly and good within the last week. I also do your #5 or just walk away and refuse to do anything with them until they apologize for being verbally abusive, demeaning or toxic. I’m never vengeful, but I will give consequences if they are humiliating others or aren’t correcting others in a way that shows their concern instead of their irritation.

  • Isn’t it in our nature, though, to defend ourselves?

    Then again, do we want to be right? or do we want to be respected? I believe these are two very different things. I once learned that a manager respected me more if I fought back for respect, rather than resigning and taking the criticism.

    There’s a fine line between accepting responsibility for our mistakes and appreciating criticism and rejecting that responsibility and disliking criticism. It really is a tighrope walk.

    It’s hard, but what I would like to do is just nod and smile. Someone once told me, “you don’t have to react, you just have to listen.” Sometimes criticism from someone else is about them, and not about you. Right?

  • Connie

    While on my journey in corporate America I’ve learned two things. 1. Keep quiet. 2. Wait. I worked in an email environment, so I went on a mission to hold my tongue (my email) defending a position for 24 hours before sending. It wasn’t always an option, but it helped me gain focus and ‘step back’ to see the whole picture. It saved many relationships. Another question I pose when someone is on the attack, “why would you say that?”. It gives them an opportunity to explain what the see and can be the catalyst for a more in depth conversation. Finally, remember that one’s perception is their reality, not necessarily yours. One needs to have their reality respected, just as I need to have mine respected.

    • Ruth

      Perceptions and reality are not the same thing. Reality is a constant for everyone. Perceptions are individual.

  • Colgadaffy

    > Have you found any other strategies that work for you?

    Say to the critic, “Hey, your shoe’s untied,” and when he looks down, slug him in the jaw.

    Works for me every time. 🙂

  • Nancy

    My reaction to criticism depends on the way it is presented and from whom. If it is given respectfully and calmly, I tend to have no problem accepting it. If it qualifies as verbal abuse (loud, inappropriate language, condescending) there is no way I am going to listen to whomever may be trying to “help” me.

  • I really enjoy this blog and feel like this is most needed in our society. People tend to be offensive even with constructive criticism and most people hate the truth. However, if we learn to maintain integrity and do that which is right, it would lessen the critics but not the haters. 

  • Kaveen

    I had a right back at you attitude…..Then I tried something different… I just keep quite and think about how horrible I would feel after my outburst. I love myself too much to see me unhappy, hence swallow my pride and think – ‘You know who’ is the vindicator and what goes around will eventually come around! I love it so far, and I am able to be zen all day. Believe me when I say this, as I have in laws as house guests for a good 8 months and things happen almost on a daily basis. As for dealing with criticism with children, I ask them follow up questions on whose responsibility it really is to take the library book to school and the conversation makes a U Turn and no one gets hurt.