Wherever in the world you live, there will always be someone around who feels it their duty to point out exactly what it is you did wrong. Some people are just hyper-critical, criticising everything from the way you do your job to the shoes you wear. They see themselves as being ‘well-meaning’ and ‘honest.’ The truth is that they have a low self-esteem and only make themselves feel better when they put someone else down. When your relationship ends, all your critical friends will crawl out of the woodwork and be there to support you with their well-meaning comments and honesty. Don’t let what they say get you down. Use their criticism as a tool to develop yourself.
· Reflect on what they said but don’t brood on the negative parts. Be honest with yourself and look for the grains of truth and open your mind to them. What can you change or do better next time?
· Forget about your ego and be grateful enough that your friend cared enough about you to say what they said. Don’t attack the messenger. Hear them out and address any issues that might be raised.
· Ask questions and ask for examples. Don’t storm off and lick your wounds in private and build up resentment, rather initiate a discussion so you can clarify what they are saying in your mind.
· Walk away if you are angry and have a tendency to over-react. You don’t have to initiate the discussion immediately. Thank them for their comments, and when you feel calmer think about what they said and then initiate a discussion.
· Avoid turning yourself into a victim and taking everything to heart. While there will probably be some truth in what they say, it might be couched in assumptions, speculations and exaggerations and their perspective of things. Use your common sense to differentiate between what is constructive criticism and what isn’t and don’t lose your perspective.
Excerpt from How to Say No to Sex and other Survival Tips for the Suddenly Single by Cindy Vine.