Have you ever been criticised by somebody?

iStock_000007871522LargeWhen I say criticised, I’m not including our inner critic here – the worst critic of all. That’s for another post.

What I’m talking about is a request, friendly, or not so, to be different than who you are.

What do you do with something like that?

Well, we might invite them to look at themselves first.

This, however, puts us in the same boat as them – even when we just think it. We are telling them what to do.

Instead, and this is very important, let’s ask ourselves: “How much did this criticism affect me?”

What other people think about us is their business, not ours.

What we do is our business.

What others do is their business, too.

We don’t know their motivation. We could find out, yes.

It’s much more important though, that we know our own motivation first.

We often see things in other people that we might be hiding from ourselves.

You might say: “Yes, but… “ and have all kinds of exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • When somebody’s behaviour is affecting your wellbeing, such as someone revving up machines and trail bikes next door while you’re relaxing on your back deck
  • When companies put people’s health and natural resources under threat, such as the mining industry drilling for coal seam gas on farmland and in pristine areas

You have a point there, of course. However, for the moment let’s stay in the personal sphere and look at our face-to-face interactions.

So much can be learned here:

  • How we react when other people react on us
  • Where our personal boundaries are
  • How we react when our personal space is invaded
  • How we project our stuff onto others
  • Just watching this with acceptance can change our life immensely.

We become more relaxed.

We love ourselves more.

Above all, it gives us space between stimulus and response.

As a result we might even find a healthy way to respond to the ‘buts’, the noisy neighbours and the people in power not thinking about our children’s future.

I do understand though, that this is not always easy, and that things might be a little harder to watch and accept.

Then, you might want to ask for help, from family, from friends or from mentors.

And, if all else fails, you can always come to me.