How do you handle it when someone criticises you?
Do you get defensive?
Deny it's true?
Do you attack? “You’re worse than me - what about that thing you did!”
Do you freeze and shrink into your chair? Eeek I can’t handle this / There’s something wrong with me.. ?
What if I told you that every criticism and judgment that someone fires at you can be an opportunity to form a deeper connection and grow closer to yourself and each other?
Last week I dove into an experience of mapping my Adult Learning Development Profile through a process called LDF. It really showed me where my learning edges are and what I am proud to celebrate about my way of being in relationships.
One thing that I noticed (amongst many) is that my ability to handle and integrate criticism and judgment from others is evolving and supporting me to stand even more in my adult self, when I get into arguments or painful exchanges (because very often we argue from a younger / hurt part of ourselves).
I'm now finding myself really open to and celebrating "negative feedback" or Criticism, as an opportunity to help me see my blind spots, to support me to grow and ultimately to see the places where the people closest to me are not feeling fully met or are experiencing discomfort.
The intention is not to become a martyr and endlessly take the blame for every miscommunication or moment of hurt in another person, but rather to be open to learning, whilst seeing my own humanity with compassion and grace.
This means that I can de-personalise criticism and also move closer to understanding the inner world of the person who delivers it to me.
The outcome is spectacular.. I find that I often feel closer to them afterwards and closer to myself. I am relieved because I learn something that was otherwise hidden..
And that shows me where there is more space for life to become even more wonderful..
Why wouldn't I want that?
So today I want to share a very fun (in my opinion) podcast episode with Andy Hix, where we delve into the magic of conflict resolution through receiving difficult feedback and criticism with curiosity..
I share some painful criticisms from the past and how I navigated them back then, versus what I would do differently now..
And we talk about the benefit and long term effect of practicing mindful communication as we celebrate the changes in our lives and the understandings that we have come to in our learning process.
When we can learn a more skilful way of listening, we can transform those situations that can be painful moments of disconnection, shame and pain into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and potentially learn something really important about yourself.
We hope this will give you a flavour of what’s possible. But you can only learn to much from listening to a podcast! For a much deeper dive into this topic, join us for our two-day workshop: Connecting Mindfully: How to Befriend Your Inner-Critic and Transform Conflict into Deeper Connection.