Not everyone is going to believe in you. The word is full of cynical people who will make assumptions, and even go so far as creating lies to justify their own rationalisation of their views on your choices. We see it in the media all the time, and it happens in everyday life too. Artists quite often find themselves in the critic's aim, both professionally and personally. Even the kindest and most generous and selfless people have raging critics. It feels pretty sad when people can't take you simply as the person you strive to be, but rather paint you out to be something else, because of jealousy, misinformation, or because they haven't bothered to take the time to actually learn the truth. So, how can you deal with the critic?
You have a choice
Reminding yourself that you have a choice in how you deal with someone is a step in the right direction. Sure, there's nothing you can do to stop someone from thinking a certain way, or saying certain things, but you can choose your own response. It's sometimes easy to lose sight that we do still have choices when something out of our control has transpired. Often, the first reaction is to feel that something has "happened to me" and "what do i do?"
To do or not to do
Some situations require immediate action, but if you can afford yourself some time to decide how or even IF you choose to respond, you can be doing yourself an immense favour. Ask yourself if it's really worth responding, and also what the likely outcomes would be if you do. Let's face it, as hurtful as it can be, some people just aren't interested in the truth, nor your point of view. Is it actually worth the effort to set things straight if they are brandishing negative and sometimes even crushing idioms? Sometimes it is, sometimes maybe not. Time can help bring clarity to you. Whilst it might feel good to lash out immediately and defend yourselves, sometimes the best thing you can do for YOU is to simply calm down, take a moment, and think clearly.
And what if you do nothing? Ignoring someones ignorance can be very difficult, but it's a choice that you have. You can choose to not read their criticism, not stand and listen to their rants, nor not have them as part of the circle of people in your life. In reality, people can be misunderstood and assumptions made, and and not everyone has the patience or indeed the foresight to take the time to find out for themselves. Sometimes the record needs to be set straight, sometimes walking away will bring you more long-term gains, and sometimes it's a little bit of both.
Everything is OK
You can't stop people from jumping to their own conclusions, but is it really your business to set them straight? At the end of the day, does it really matter? There are times when it does, and times when it doesn't, but you always have a choice in your own response to criticism. Keep reminding yourself that you do have a choice. It's empowering to know that we have that, even in the face of adversity.
As my husband says, "what someone else has to say about me is none of my business".
I say "Hear, hear!"
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