How Best Not to Take Criticisms Personally

If people say we can’t achieve something, ask what traits they feel prevent us from doing so.  And then, consider following the system I describe below to maximize our performance, regardless of our shortcomings.  The following stories illustrate how not to get blindsided by naysayers but instead maximize our potential.

A long time ago, when I told my brother I had plans to go to a university, he told me I wouldn’t succeed.  When I asked him why, he said I didn’t have focus.  So, I should’ve looked up “focus” or synonyms in the Positive Trait Thesaurus or Negative Trait Thesaurus.  That way, I could objectively see what percentage of focus traits I have and don’t have.  And then, I could proceed to work on strengthening the qualities I don’t have.  Fortunately, I’m very focused (except when it comes to watching movies) and plowed ahead and got a graduate degree.

As another example, I was called foolish recently, so I looked up foolish in the Negative Trait Thesaurus.  In many ways, I was the opposite of it, but I held over 25% of its characteristics, mainly in being gullible and easily manipulated.  So, the criticism was beneficial because I can now work on becoming less of those things.

Additionally, a doctor once called me manipulative.  I wondered if it was true.  So I looked up manipulative, and I had less than 3% of the traits.  The remaining 97% were just not me.  It’s good not to internalize criticisms but to look at them objectively.  That way, we don’t develop an unrealistic view of ourselves.

So, if someone calls us lazy, look up lazy in the Negative Trait Thesaurus.  And see how many lazy traits we have and don’t have.  That way, we can proactively make changes.  At the same time, when someone praises us, calling us clever or hardworking, look up those traits and see what percentage of them we do or don’t demonstrate.  And then work on the parts that need improvement.  We see in others the good and bad traits we have.  We wouldn’t notice them otherwise.  So, that’s why we should never judge others.  We are, in effect, judging ourselves.

But the real trick is to label our thoughts with their respective traits.  For instance, if we feel jealous, we should label it so, then aim to examine the characteristics of the trait and see what parts we could improve.  Or seek higher qualities to focus our thoughts on.  By labeling and researching our thoughts, we take a scientific view of ourselves.

Some people say we shouldn’t care about what others think.  But I believe we should care about everything and everyone.  And when it comes to taking criticism, we should examine it objectively by researching it.  That way, we don’t feel bad but instead self-empowered.  And, when empowered, we stand to achieve incredible things!