Feedback on How to Deal with Criticism

I read in your “How to Deal with Criticism” article where you had three responses to haters and I was concerned.

You stated: “There are THREE THINGS I really don’t care about: you, what you think about me, and how you hope I feel about what you think about me.”

Did you really mean, “I don’t care about YOU,” as the first response, or about YOUR PROCESS (personal rather than the action a person is perpetrating)? I understand the second and third response, but it seems to me that your first response is in danger of bringing you down to their level and making it harder for one side or the other for reconciliation if the instigator has an authentic mea culpa moment down the line.

Just pondering out loud….

Thank you for revisiting this column on how I deal with haters and giving it a lot of thought. It means the world to me that you’re concerned with my heart-centeredness in dealing with hateful folks.

Yes, I meant to use exactly the words I used in the column. I *do* have a mantra for dealing with cruel, mean-spirited, the-intention-was-to-hurt-me criticism. That’s why I started the column off distinguishing between criticism that comes from someone whose intention is to lift you up and improve you and the type that comes from an intention of tearing you down or hurting you.

Once it’s clear I’m dealing with someone whose intentions are not positive, I *have to* say my mantra: “There are three things I care nothing about: YOU, what you think about me, and how you hope I feel about what you think about me.”

Because if I don’t immediately categorize the hate they’re flinging as *not worth my time*, I will spend hours, days, weeks, months, years, maybe even decades trying to FIX the issue. Trying to HEAL them.

Why? Because I’m a fixer. I’m a teacher. I’m a leader. I have to cut people out of my life entirely when I realize they are not good for me because if I don’t, I will spend allllllll of my time, energy, and heart trying to HELP THEM (and I will make myself sick, poor, and worn out to the degree that I cannot survive, in the process).

This doesn’t mean someone who is currently a hater can’t GET BACK into my life and receive not only my care but my love and my help — but while they’re in hater mode? No. I cannot care about them. I have to write them off as unfixable. Because they don’t want to be fixed; they want to hurt me, which makes me useless to ANYONE. And I’m here to be of service to as many people as possible in my lifetime.

Further, I mustn’t spend an ounce of energy fixated on how *I* could possibly change enough to “win” their love. This is something many creatives do and it’s wholly unhealthy. There’s not ANYTHING to change in order to receive the love of someone whose agenda is one of such open destruction. And to have your eye on a ball that distorted is to really ignore what it is you were put on the planet to do.

So, while OF COURSE I care about everyone and OF COURSE I love everyone and OF COURSE I have never felt hate toward anyone — as that’s not where my heart lives, ever — I *do* have a mantra that begins with helping me divorce from the hater. I have to self-protect in order to be of service to others. So, by reminding myself that I don’t CARE about this person (even though that’s more a trick of semantics than actual truth), I am able to stop the infinite loop of trying to fix them, trying to help them, trying to heal them. And because I have an obsessive personality, that loop would keep me from being of service to anyone else.

That’s why those are the words I choose to use. It helps stop the obsessive loop of fixing someone who, presently, doesn’t want to be fixed but only wants to hurt me. Until that’s no longer their agenda… at which time, I welcome them back into my life and we get back to work.

This last bit confounds many people. They don’t understand how I can forgive and share love again with people who have truly bullied, emotionally tortured, and hurt me deeply. I just do. I know people change. Now, I will never have the SAME trust with someone after they’ve spent energy trying to tear me down, but I will always welcome them back into my life to receive my love and my help (if they want it) should they return and say they’re sorry and that they want to be back in my life if I’ll have ’em back.

But ’til then, my mantra is what I need to survive their hate and continue to create for the rest of the world. And since 99% of all criticism I receive comes from people who want to celebrate the best of what I have to offer, I spend very very VERY little time even *aware* of the “haters” out there. Truly, they’re just fans who speak a different language.

I thank them for how much energy they choose to flow my way!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/002001.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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