No matter what you do or where you go there will always be someone that is critical of your actions or beliefs. It can even be the case that some of these criticisms can turn into very negative remarks and insults. Most of us can usually deal with these negative remarks and insults easier than we can deal with less aggressive criticism because it is far easier to dismiss hysterical remarks.
It is possible that some of this criticism is well-founded. It is always a good idea to maintain objectivity when others are being critical of you because it is possible that some of their critique is based on sound judgment. By staying objective and not losing your temper, try to see the other person’s point of view. Be empathic to the other person and it is quite possible that you might discover some good advice that you could use to your own benefit in the future.
It is also possible that this criticism is only negative in nature. When this is the case you must learn to deal with this negative criticism in the most effective way possible. It is seldom a good idea to confront this criticism in a head-to-head confrontation. It is much better to deflect and redirect these criticisms and then to finally make your point to view. In this way you can win an argument without direct confrontation and this can allow you to achieve more diplomatic solutions that do not burn bridges or cause more antagonism.
Here is a four point technique that will allow you to disarm negative criticism in a more diplomatic way:
Try to see some truth in what the other person is telling you. Identify this truthful point and then agree with the other person on it.
Show the critic that you care about his or her opinion. Identify with the other person and show them somehow that you are able to appreciate their opinion. A good way to do this is to mirror their body language.
Ask the critic more information about their opinion. Ask them to clarify specific points and let them state their point of view.
Finally express your own point of view using an “and” statement. How this works is that you first state their point of view, then you follow this statement with an “and” followed by your point of view. In this way you are able to give your point of view in alignment with theirs which makes it seem like both points of view are in alignment and therefore in agreement.
In this way you should be able to deflect most criticism and be able to deal with even the toughest judgmental individuals. This is essentially a type of ‘aikido argument’ where instead of meeting force directly; you step out of the way of the argument, you redirect that energy around you, and finally impose your will on the opponent by placing your point of view in a higher or equal position to theirs.
In this way you are able to win the argument and to quell the criticism without seemingly opposing it. This is a very powerful technique and a very diplomatic one that allows you to engage with opponents without having to burn bridges that you might require in the future. You can disarm any criticism by following the technique above.