Who me?… Before you react to criticism, an accusation, or a negative statement made about you, do you keep your mouth shut and take time to stop and think about how you’re going to respond? Or do you get upset, lash out, hop on the defense team or launch a counterattack?
Maybe you don’t react at all, but in most cases you will.
And I don’t mean in a situation where you’re unjustly accused of something, in that case self-defense makes sense. I’m talking about when you know that the other person nailed it and you don’t want to admit you’re in the wrong or admit that you need to improve yourself in some way.
I know that when I find myself in justification mode, there is almost always some truth to what the other person is saying about me, some part of me that I feel insecure about. And I have to admit that when I’m in that awkward position, there is usually something I can learn about myself, something I need to take a look at instead of reacting or “dexifying” myself.
The next time you find yourself under attack and are about to resort to dexifying yourself, consider that there might be a slight bit of truth there for you, perhaps even all of it. You just might learn something about yourself like I do (or try to at least).
You might also wind up closing a gap or building
a bridge or understanding between you and the other person making the comment or accusation to you or about you. It takes a lot of courage to step up in the face of criticism. And being sincere and calmly asking the other person to help you understand what you may have done or can do in the future almost always turns what could be a not-so-fun confrontation into a helpful conversation. Or that other person will just go away and not bother you anymore. Who knows, it doesn’t matter, the good thing is that you acted and didn’t react.