HOW TO HANDLE HEATED CRITICISM
1. Maintain eye contact and reinforce an open body language. Avoid defensive gestures like crossing of
of both arms across your chest, pursing a corner of your mouth irritatingly, and rolling your eyes
scornfully, all of which tend to heighten the tension of a given situation. Downcast eyes are a
sign of resignation or defeat, do not fall for the temptation. Allow your hands to rest calmly at your
sides to demonstrate an openness indicating your willingness to listen.
2. Hold your impatience in check. Do not incessantly interrupt to prove a personal point or plead your
case. Arguing and appearing defensive will only reinforce the point of view of the criticizer. Do not be
carried away by your emotions; tending towards that will mean giving your ego free reign over you.
Gather your thoughts together and be prepared to discuss them calmly.
3. Show that you are listening, hearing and understanding, by nodding and exhibiting an open body
language, although you may not necessarily agree, but you’re getting the message.
4. Confirm your willingness to listen and cooperate, by using phrases such as “Yes,” “Okay,” I hear
you,” ” I understand what you’re saying.”
5. When the timing is right and you have the floor, thank the criticizer for taking the time to express
himself. Thankfulness can only come from a place of peace inside your mind, which is what your are
extending. When you become peace, you teach peace, and awaken peace in the mind of your brother
or sister standing before you, mantled in the garb of a criticizer. The peace in your mind
cannot reinforce the ego in your brother or sister. In a growing atmosphere of peace, constructive
discussions and plans can be made.