On being criticized

Almost universally, people are tempted to defend themselves in the face of criticism, even though criticism is rarely personal, and defense is rarely a productive response.

After all, the person criticizing is right. Perhaps not objectively, perhaps not factually, but the criticizer believes he’s right. Little you say will change his mind.

It’s difficult to stop the inner dialogue that races to defend you from criticism. But in the long run, it’s a lot easier to acknowledge the criticizer’s beliefs and come to a mutual, creative solution.

In the long run, “I’m sorry” is a much more productive response than building ever-higher ramparts.

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