I was listening to my Darren Daily this morning, and the subject was criticism. He basically said that the confident person grows from criticism, and the insecure person gets defensive from it.
I would whole-heartedly agree. I tend to fall more into the latter camp, unfortunately. It's almost as if I have to be in the mood for criticism or if I ask for it then I'm okay.
It's that unsolicited criticism that grinds my gears! The minute I'm being criticized when it's unexpected one of three things will happen. One, I will completely shut down. Two, I will become angry and justify my actions. Three, I will dismiss what the other person is saying by just turning on the mute button in my head until they stop talking.
Now, what I should be doing is listening instead of having the negative reactions that I currently do. Take away the tone of the person's voice (my perception of it anyway) and focus on the words, the content. If I focus on the content, I'm going to grow and develop more as a person.
Sure, the other person might have one of two intentions. They are either invested in me as a person and are genuinely concerned for my growth or they want to get under my skin to see how I'm going to react. Either way, I make the choice in what I'm going to do with the information given to me. I can use it for gain in either scenario.
Then next time the unsolicited criticism comes my way I'm going to take a deep breath, get in a positive mindset, and let the words be beneficial.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.