Today’s post is about how to handle cristicism and become the bigger person. Gone are the days when criticism are spewed face to face. Unless the person is inherently tactless and bears no class, we say things back then very carefully. After all, we Gen-xers and Baby Boomers were raised quite conservatively, “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all”. At least that’s how I was raised. I’m talking pre-internet era, when there is more regard to one’s emotions. Nowadays, digital age has emboldened a lot of people hiding behind computers disguising what seems to be derogatory and hateful as freedom of speech. I have received destructive criticisms online and real-life but I never for a moment dwelled on it. Most often than not, I laugh at the silliest comment. My loved ones though react more furiously. But let’s talk about you and how you can become the bigger person in this world full of negativity.
Choose your battles wisely. This holds true to any argument more so with online criticism. Bloggers and social media influencers are the easiest targets because we are all over the internet. Whatever you post, there is some form of backlash, triple the hate if you are extremely popular, no matter how much careful, calculated, and scripted your moves are. You are in the public eye, accept the fact. Scrutiny will be second nature. Burst your own bubble and wear your big girl’s undies. I have always believed in “what does not kill me make me stronger”. Are you a Youtuber who’s receiving insurmountable trolling? there’s an option to hide the comment (instead of constantly deleting or blocking) by clicking the flag beside the commenter. Once you do it, that troller is basically talking to himself or herself because you will never ever have to see whatever comment she/he will write. Someone made fun of your fashion sense? so what, fashion is relative. My point is, these people obviously don’t know you personally; whatever they see on social media isn’t a direct representation of your life or your true self. Yes, words can sometimes tear you apart but why waste your time and energy to people you don’t or hardly know.
Swallowing your pride won’t kill you either. It takes a huge amount of adulting to able to admit our own flaws. It’s human nature, people are good in pointing out flaws of others but weak when it comes to self-admission. It’s the pride within. There is a huge difference between destructive versus constructive criticism. If a criticism is focused on physical traits or just flat out nonsensical from people you don’t or hardly know, ignore and move forward. If it’s meant to better your craft, skills or personality, then treat it as a positive one. Maybe they are right about your snotty attitude. Here’s another thing I have always believed in: “truth or even half-truth hurts”. But instead of wallowing in self-pity or hurting in every criticism thrown at you, time to reevaluate yourself. Self-admission will liberate you. Self-denial stagnates your personal growth.
Speak up, sometimes your silence just emboldens the true coward. Truth is, there will be people you can’t avoid because you work with them, live with them, or go to school with them. This is where the art of speaking up comes into play. Be the bigger person, answer back with spunk and class. You’d be surprised how a one-sentence reply will shut down Negative Nancy. Your clap back should be immediate and intelligently orchestrated. For example, a wannabe hotshot manager at work (many many years ago) had been playing toughie by being meanie to a newcomer moi. She’s someone who spews nothing but criticism whenever she opens her mouth. One time I was few minutes late to our executive meeting (with me coming from another meeting); they had ordered food and as I sat down, she told everyone to not give me any food because I was late (despite them knowing the reason behind). Knowing her bitchy attitude, that was the perfect opportunity for me to clap back with this “no worries girl, I don’t eat your cheap food”. She flushed and got tongue-tied; Yes I put her on the spot. Everyone who heard it was in awe (some were laughing secretly) and since then, this girl treated me differently. We didn’t become friends because I know her real color but she knew she can’t fight fire with fire with me because I can extinguish her negativity at the blink of an eye. One time another manager in another company I previously worked for sent me an email with ALL CAPS criticizing my marketing plan. Take note, this person was right across my cubicle. I printed her ALL CAPS email to me, showed it to our boss (my boss was in disbelief) and I went back to this person who sent me the ALL CAPS nasty email. I told her straight, “so you had the nerve to send this to me when our cubicles are just across each again. Now tell me again what your real problem was. This person started to stutter because she didn’t realize that I had the courage to confront. I continued “if you think you have a better plan than mine, go ahead implement it. I want the results out of your own doing in one month, if it does not reap results, re-evaluate your ALL CAPS nonsense criticism”. Ladies and gents, I have way too many stories of shutting down mean and ignorant critics I have encountered in my life; but you get my point, some people are better off being told to back off!