It's never easy to hear criticism about ourselves. As a matter of fact, it can be outright horrifying to hear the ridiculing words of others. In today's society, perfection is something that's expected at all times. It's unfortunate that often times we are taught to achieve perfection, but are not taught, that it's actually okay to not be perfect, that it's actually okay to be wrong.
The only wrong in being wrong, is the refusal to admit it.
Being receptive when someone is hurling hurtful and attack filled comments your way can be challenging. The last thing you may desire to do is ask yourself if that persons words have any truth.... but you should.
I'm not suggesting that you take the words of someone else and then live your life based on that persons perception of you. But, what I am suggesting, is that you take the proper time to self reflect and to search yourself to see if there's any truth to what has been said.
Is there anything that I might have done to make this person feel, think, or view me in this way?
Did I speak more, when I should have been listening?
Was I on the defense, because there's something about this person that makes me feel uncomfortable within myself?
Was I really taking the time to understand this persons point of view, or was I mentally waiting for this person to finish their point so that I could make my next one?
And then there's my all time favorite question that I like to ask people:
*If you weren't you, and you were sitting on the receiving end of yourself, would you be offended, would you like what you see, or would you be embarrassed because you know that there's a better version of yourself that you could've been?
The key is honesty, in every way imaginable. If you try your very best to be honest with yourself at all times, regarding the good as well as the bad, then there will rarely be a time that another persons "truth" can offend you. You'll rarely be surprised or caught off guard, as you'll have already learned to be the master of your own true self.
Self awareness is a beautiful and freeing thing.
Criticism is hard to accept, period. Especially when given in an unnecessary force or tone. However, truth is truth, no matter how it's delivered. Deliverance does not make a word right or wrong; ego does.
When you reach a certain level in life, I believe that you should reflect and self-check daily. This is something that I personally do at the end of each day. I ask myself questions like the ones mentioned above. I search myself to make sure that I was being the best version of myself that I could possibly be. There are days where the answer to that question is "no". When this happens, I look at those moments as learning experiences to work harder at being a better person each day.
Often times, it's much easier to point our fingers outwardly, at someone else, rather than pointing them inwardly, toward ourselves, by accepting the possibility that we may be wrong, or that someone else may be right.
Accountability is one the best ways to experience growth.