How many criticisms start like this! Is it true that a critic does not say something personal about the person who expresses it? And we, can we not take them personally?
¿How would affect the morale and performance of a football team to be always aware of the criticism of his rivals? Surely, they would not win many games. The psychologist Pep Mari, a specialist in high performance, advises his athletes to only listen to the criticism of those who love them well. But, regardless of whether they love us well or badly, to what extent do you have to listen to a criticism?
DOES WHAT IS SAID ABOUT US REALLY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH US?
Although there are exceptions, the usual thing is that the criticism has more to do with who emits it than with who receives it. We can say, then, that whoever criticizes confesses; his valuations have more to do with himself than with the other.
For Alejandro Jodorowsky, writer, psychomago, specialist in psychoanalysis and tarot, if something is not within us, we cannot criticize it because it is impossible for us to see it in the other.
WHAT VALUE SHOULD WE GIVE TO A CRITICISM?
If what is said about us has more to do with who says it than with us, should we listen to criticism?
The ideal would be to separate the core of the criticism from the wrapping of resentment, envy or anger with which it may be launched. Without the emotion that accompanies it, it is possible that a value judgment can be useful to us and motivate us to be better.
As the Dalai Lama says, your enemy is your teacher. And here lies our job, knowing how to benefit from criticism and learning not to take everything personally.
In the words of Dr. Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements (Urano), “whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally.” If not, Dr. Ruiz assures us that we will end up agreeing with whatever they tell us.
Likewise, “ taking things personally is the ultimate expression of selfishness. We believe that we are responsible for everything. Me, me, and always me! ”. If someone tells us that we are fatter, according to Ruiz, it refers to their own beliefs and opinions. We can, then, agree with ourselves that we will not take things personally, that we will be immune to all that poison that, more and more, circulates in the atmosphere.
This agreement that Ruiz proposes to us is, without a doubt, a good and healthy way to protect ourselves. From now on, when someone hurts us with their words, it will be good to remember that those words are theirs and we are the ones who hurt ourselves if we remember them over and over again and make them ours.
We can also remember the phrase of the writer and human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt: ” No one can offend us without our consent.”
A LITTLE ADVICE
In their book Without the intention of offending, Jaume Soler and Mercè Conangla, authors of several works on personal growth, rescue a well-known and wise saying:
“The advice has always been given that before criticizing someone one should walk a mile in their shoes. It’s great advice, since when we start to criticize that person, we will be a mile away and, besides, we will have their shoes!
Jokes aside, as Rabbi Nachman from Breslov says, criticizing others and making them feel bad is easy, but helping them improve and feel good, this already requires talent.