Turn a Negative Comment into Something Positive
I think its safe to say that everyone likes to be complimented. It makes us feel good. You would be hard pressed to find someone complaining or stressed out over a nice thing someone said. We like to feel good. The opposite also is true. We do not like to feel bad. When people say bad things about us or something we did, it can make us feel bad. Then often comes stress and obsessing. Then we just feel worse. Why is it that so many people give so much power to mean people and their negative comments? We need to take the power away from the negative and turn it into something positive - a experience of learning and personal growth.
Parts of A Negative Comment
What is so negative anyway?
Consider every comment to have three parts - Who, What, and Why. Each part has a role in dictating how the comment makes you feel. Generally, somewhere along the spectrum of mildly annoyed to downright devastated. By understanding these three parts, and how they effect you, you can take control and turn things into something positive.
Who Said it
Was it a complete stranger? Co-worker? Family member? Best friend? This can make a huge difference in how you perceive what was said.
We can inject intention into the comment based on who said it. You might feel differently about something said by a coworker competing with you for a promotion than you would from another coworker. You might think things like: "They are only saying that because they are jealous" or "They want me to fail", when it might have been a perfectly legitimate comment.
We also attach importance and emotion to a comment based on who said it.
Something said by someone that really knows you can be harder to ignore than the comment of a stranger. You can brush off stranger's mean remark by simply recognizing that they don't know you. If it is a subjective comment, their opinion of you should carry less weight. If it is an objective criticism, maybe you dont' like this article, you can get through it without attaching emotion. But when a person that really knows you says something mean or critical, it can hurt a lot more. This is a person who knows you and likes you. Why would they say something negative? You might feel upset, betrayed, or angry. You can't help the initial way you feel. But do you need to be putting yourself through that awful feeling? Odds are, no. You can change your thinking and get through it just fine.
Why they said it
Don't confuse this with why you think they said it (as described above). Take the focus away from you and your hurt feelings or wounded ego. Step back and take an objective look at the situation. Focus on what you know. Did you actually do something wrong? Did they hear something from someone else? Did you challenge their beliefs? Are they going through something difficult? Consider their mood when they said it. Were they upset? Angry? Tired? All of these things could help you decide if you should even give a second thought to the comment.
A person that is angry and stressed might be taking it out on you simply because you are the one in front of them. If your girlfriend is already upset over something else, the smallest mist-step on your part might send her world crashing down, and her tongue lashing out.
You might not know why the person said what they did. You should consider that too. Just like a stranger does not know you, you do not know them. There could be something going on that you don't know about and they happened to take it out on you.
What was said
Quite simply, the thing that was said - the name you were called, the harsh opinion that was flung at you, the criticism of your work. Think about exactly what was said. Is there truth to it? Or is it so far off the wall that only a fool would give it a second though? Does it even matter? Should you look at it closer?
An absurd exaggeration can be easier to shrug off than something that hits a closer to home. If you find some truth to the comment, if it points to something about yourself that you don't like, it might have more sting to it. We don't like to be reminded of our faults, especially if they are ones we are trying to hide or are having a hard time addressing.
Now that you are focused on what was said, do you need to go further? How much does it matter to you? Don't invest too much of yourself in some crazy or emotional nonsense thrown at you.
What was said, who said it, and why they said it all combine to help you decide what to do.
When to let it go
Strangers and comments from out of the blue
If an angry customer starts calling you stupid after becoming frustrated over something else, odds are they would have said that to anyone. You know are not stupid. You know you didn't do anything wrong. You were simply caught in the cross-hairs. These are the easiest comments to deal with. A false statement, by a stranger, misdirected at you. You might get that knee jerk reflex when you want to fight back, or run and hide. Just ignore it. Don't even justify it with a response. Brush it off, remind yourself how wonderful you are, and be proud that you did not stoop to their level.
When to address it
They have a point
If there is some truth hidden behind that nasty remark, it could do you good to address it. Don't just brush it off. You might not be a bitch,but perhaps you did come off sounding rude or insensitive without intending to. Think about that. Do you have a tendency to do that? Use it as a learning opportunity. Be more conscious of your tone. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. You would be amazed at how many opportunities for self-improvement arise when you realize that the reason you are so miffed by what someone said to you is that they pointed out something you don't like about yourself.
It impacts a relationship
If the remark was said by someone close to you, you might want to address it for the sake of the relationship. Take this as an opportunity to be a better friend, or daughter, or husband. Don't shrug it off as a case of pms, or them being a sore loser, or over reacting. Unless of course you know that's all it was. You know this person. If something doesn't sit right with you, if they really hurt you, or have you confused, talk to them. Talk. Don't argue. Don't be defensive. Just ask them why they said what they did. Explain yourself. You might straighten the whole thing out and you will both feel better. Or you might just agree to disagree. Either way it will not fester until either it is forgotten about, or ends up causing a real problem.
When to learn and grow
Enough said. Every interaction you have with someone gives you the opportunity to learn and grow, to stoop to some low, or to waste the moment by staying the same. Personally, I prefer the first option.
GREAT VIDEO example of this....
- There's Only One Thing To Do When The Internet Calls You Fat
This'll make you laugh until you cry.
- How to Respond To Rude Comments on Social Media Networks
When you are regularly on social media networks, you interact with many people online. While the majority of people are supportive, others may leave rude comments on the networks. There are several ways to effectively respond to rude remarks.