One of our first impulses when someone criticizes us is to automatically look for reasons they are wrong.

Oftentimes, like a little kid in a name-calling argument, we try to just turn it around on the other person.

“You’re a booger face.”

“You are.”

But, what if, just maybe, they are right?

What if, as small as the probability may be, what they have to say is valid?

What if we really are the problem sometimes?

I am the worst about this. I think my mind really hits optimal performance levels when it is working to prove that criticism of me is not valid, and planning a counter-attack. It’s like a quantum computer in these moments.

Speed of light fast.

Luckily, I’ve learned to shut it down before it hits my mouth.


I often find that there is a at least a twig of truth in what the other person is saying, and it’s a chance to change something in me that is not useful.

Criticism makes us defensive.

It makes us throw up walls and start boiling oil to dump down on the unwelcome invaders. This is natural and serves a purpose, but can also prompt us to kill the messenger who brings us news of a critical flaw in the way we are doing things.

Our instantaneous response is not always helpful.

What are your first thoughts when criticized?

How quickly do you go on the counter attack?

What would happen if you took a moment to consider what the other person was saying?