Back in October, while I was on a retreat, I had some extra intense, really negative comments posted on my blog about my marriage to Russell (I mean more intense and negative than the ones that you see there now).
A caring colleague texted me and suggested I take down the comments. I was torn. I wanted to respond. She said “don’t do it. Don’t give them any energy. It just breeds more.”
This was advice I’d heard again and again from other business friends and I was not in a place where I could respond to the comments (I was on retreat), so I had my team delete them.
But, it didn’t feel right.
I thought about how big impact makers like Suze Orman, Oprah and that whole crew deal with negative comments. By the time you get to that level of impact, deleting negative commentary isn’t possible, so they ignore it.
But, that didn’t feel right either.
So last week when I had a rash of negativity thrown at me through the blogosphere, I decided to do something totally different. I decided to respond.
(Curious? You can read the posts and comments here and here.)
And I’d like to offer you the process I went through to deal with these negative comments because it’s a process that can guide you through all sorts of criticism or negativity in your life.
As you step out, as you evolve, as you grow, as you change, as you build a new paradigm life based on the truth of who you are, there will be people in your life who simply do not get it.
They will not understand you.
They will criticize you.
And it’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. It could mean you are making a big impact.
Here are some things you can do when it happens.
1. Manage Your Defensiveness.
The natural reaction to criticism is to defend. Criticism hurts. That’s normal, but that it does not mean you have to act from the place of reaction.
Instead, take a look at where there is truth in the criticism.
Really look. If there wasn’t some truth, you wouldn’t defend. You’d laugh.
2. Don’t Hide.
There is no reason to hide from criticism. Public criticism often says more abut the person doing the criticizing than it does about the person being criticized.
And it’s a great opportunity to speak more truth.
When I decided to respond to the negative comments about my decisions to take my kids out of school so much that I ended up in a truancy hearing and on my post about who to take business and marketing advice from, I responded from a place of wanting to open up a dialogue and discussion so we could get to more truth.
That felt good.
3. Learn and Grow.
We are here to evolve. Mostly that’s blocked by our inaccurate perceptions of ourselves. We overestimate ourselves and we underestimate ourselves. Constantly.
Criticisms can be hard to look at, but they are generally full of great information that can support our evolution. If we are willing to see.
Or we can dismiss them and stay where we are. It’s more comfortable that way for sure. But, are you here for comfort or growth? Generally, they do not go hand in hand.
So next time you receive criticism – whether it be through a blog post, a family member, a friend or a client – I encourage you to go against your natural reaction. Stay open to what you are hearing.
Receive the message, look for any shred of truth, and respond with love and appreciation for the opportunity to be more of who you are.
And remember this … your external experience is a reflection of your inner consciousness. That means that every single one of those comments can be seen as some part of your own beliefs about yourself. Work with that first and foremost.
What say you? Can you do it? Or do you think I should have deleted or ignored the negative comments? I’m interested to hear your perspective. Post your comments.
And make sure you are joining me on New Year’s Eve – I’m getting naked.
Very true! It’s difficult to just ignore criticism, because if you care about people it does affect you. But acknowledging it for what it is, and understanding while moving forward, is the best way to go. I’m glad you replied. It shows people that you aren’t afraid or hiding about anything. No sense getting in a insult match, but honestly and politely answered people’s concerns (even if they are negative) shows how big of a person you are.
dealing with this one right now. A great book that was a game changer for me years ago was “If Life is a Game, These are The Rules” Dr Cherie Carter-Scott. I picked it up last night to start reading to check in with my truth. My first reaction to this situation 2 years ago was my gut truth- focusing on it and entertaining it more because of the number of people involved who believe one “story” about what happened, has made it worse. I see evidence in my life of the good things I have manifested because of my vibration, such as in business, and this is an example of the negative vibration. I manifested this lesson and I believe I know why. As you stated about some bigger names above like Suze Orman, they have the same choice we do about facing or not facing it, and we do not know what they do privately, but I believe that you choose what you want to look at and how to respond to it.
Abraham said in a lecture once something about “forget, don’t forgive”- the point of this is when you focus on whatever you have to forgive, it activates the thing you have to forgive and that does not feel good. Focus on the good aspects of that person or the relationship with them and do not give attention to the parts you do not like. I am guilty of focusing on the negative aspects of these people and now it’s been blown up to the point of destruction. (although I do believe it had to be burned down to be rebuilt in the future).
As a smart person said to me once, there will be 10% pf people that love you no matter what you do and 10% that will hate you no matter what you do. I don’t want to get caught up even entertaining the 10% that hate me because I believe what you give your attention to gets bigger- whether it’s good or bad.
I am going to keep reading “If Life is a Game” again and see if I come out the other end feeling the same. Between Abraham- Hicks and Dr Cherie Carter Scott, I think my choice will be not to give it any energy to fuel a fire that I did not start ( but everyone blames me for it).
The people involved do not take responsibility for their choices- they are victims that over and over again, point the finger to those around them saying ” it’s your fault I feel this way”. I do not come from that point of view and stepping into that mess of belief seems like the wrong choice.
Your points are good. I just don’t know if I think that facing every comment is wise or productive. It seems to get in the way of the natural flow of positive energy you or I use to change the world. Since we create our own reality, I feel like activating that energy keeps it going and I am not interested in this. It has already knocked me down and got in the way of the flowing open heart I had about things I want to get done to help positively effect people.
I can look in the mirror- I do it every day. I accept my life lessons that get presented to me, why should I KEEP focusing on a situation where they have not accept the lessons that they are supposed to learn?
Thanks Alexis! As step into a bigger expression of who I am, I’m seeing more negativity coming my way–as if that 10% of dislikers JJ mentioned are saying, “Don’t get too big for your britches, missy.” Working through criticism as you describe it is helping take down the barriers between me and the life I envision for myself and my family. Great encouragement in facing criticism to live a bigger, bolder, more impacting life. Thank you!
this is great advice for life. It sounds to me like turning it into an investigation… like hummm.. that is interesting, lets see whats here…. THis is a great tool, and im grateful to see a world blossoming into this way of being in. thanks Alexis.
I doubt I am the be all and end all of anyones blog…but I did post a very opinionated comment last week on your blog. I really have no business doing that. I apologize if it tweaked yours or anyones energy. I typically utilize restraint of tongue and pen…and keyboard, but I guess I was having an off day. Anywho…I sincerely wish you and your family a blessed and happy new year.
Good advice…sometimes it is very difficult to ignore what people are saying about you especially when it is your ex-husband gossiping about intimate details of your relationship with his family and friends – how does one cope with that. I often cry myself to sleep. My head tells me that i shouldn’t be giving him this power over me but my emotions (heart) hurts so much……any comments?