Uninsultability. That’s a great ability to have. Here are five tips to get over insults by being uninsultable, and not take things so personally.
How is your relationship with criticism?
Thinking about it, most people are quite skilled at dishing out criticism and sharing their bad moods with others. Yet there are few of us who are able to handle the criticism from others.
And even less among us who can handle the more emotional confrontation and conflict with others that we experience in daily life, without getting defensive, let alone handling it with elegance and resourcefulness.
There is a state of mind and body that we habituate that is one of taking insult from such communications. And just as there is this insult-able state, there is also a state of being un-insult-able.
This is a state where we can be empowered to take criticism effectively and positively (yes- this is possible!) and where we actually make good use of the criticism. Dr Michael Hall talks of this state in his “Living Genius” training, and I thought I’d share some of his useful ideas with you here.
By owning your responses, that is taking the responsibility for your thoughts, words, feelings and behaviour, you can also allow others to be responsible for their thoughts, feelings, words and behaviour. Thus when the insults are flying, wouldn’t it be useful to say to yourself:
“Whatever comes at me does not belong to me. I did not produce it – so it belongs to another”.
From this place you can remind yourself that because what someone says is not yours, you don’t have to believe it immediately. You can just listen in order to perceive it, and then decide if it is useful or not.
People are so much more than their words, or their actions. There sure is a lot more to you than just one of your opinions. Thus you can draw the line between what you do and who you are- that is, there is a distinction between human being (self esteem) and human doing (self confidence).
This allows you to ‘play the ball rather than the person’ in this game of being un-insultable. Applying this would be being able to distinguish the person of the critic from his/her words and actions. So you could say something like:
“This seems pretty important to you. How does it hold so much meaning for you? What do you hope to achieve by this criticism that is of benefit?”
Taking the second idea further, if you give criticism the meaning that it is just words, just information, just feedback that you can use to make adjustments to navigate through your life more successfully, you could respond by saying:
“Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It gives me some feedback that could help me.”
You could even enquire more about it, asking questions to clarify what the person is trying to say, and finding more useful information that you can then choose to take on or not.
This leads to another idea, which is to refuse to “take” the insult. Rather just let it go, like letting it drop onto the floor between you and the critic. Taking this further, you can also just decline the criticism:
“Thanks, but that doesn’t fit at this time.”
The last idea I’ll share with you here is to hold the critic responsible- especially if after seeing past the way the information is delivered, you can find a nugget of information that is useful. You could ask the person:
“If that is the case, then what do you suggest I ought to do? Will you help me to do it better?”
Perhaps by trying on these ideas for a bit and testing them out with the critics in your life, you may be pleasantly surprised as you find yourself responding more and more from a place of contentment, appreciation, understanding and even maybe delight at the feedback you are getting!
To being uninsultable!
About the Author:
Telana is a dynamic, transformational Personal Coach and Blogger who specializes in communicating and relating. She helps people have no regrets in life by having conversations that count. Follow her on Twitter or her podcast show, Let’s Talk Communication.