Is there a relative, co-worker or boss who always criticizes you, cuts you down, or belittles your accomplishments? Maybe he insults you; maybe he disguises the remarks under the flimsy guise of concern: ‘You’d be really pretty, if you weren’t so fat.’ Either way he makes you feel small—and you shouldn’t be! Don’t listen to haters—diffuse their attacks and protect yourself with these tips.
It’s not about you
Unlike constuctive criticism, whch should empower or inspire you, haters make comments regardless of what you do and who you are. They feast, like vultures, on flaws and mistakes—and that says more about them than it does about you. Maybe they’re insecure; maybe they crave attention; maybe they’re just nuts. If you get sucked into trying to get their approval, you will find that they will never be pleased with the results, because they are not programmed to see anything positive. So if you want to change (‘I guess I do want to lose a little weight’) do it for yourself, not for them.
Beware, however, the belief that self-improvement will protect you forever from haters. Classic case: celebrities. They’re beautiful, talented, rich, and adored by millions—but their very success attracts even more bashing! So whether you lead a quiet life in an Oklahoma farm or have 10 Oscars lined on a shelf in your huge Hollywood home, know that just by being alive and human, you will run into somebody who doesn’t like you. The good news is that they don’t have to like you! Do your own thing, live your own life, and let them say what they will. You weren’t born to make them happy. (Nothing can make them happy—but that’s not your problem.)
Set standards for accepting opinions
A doctor’s a good authority on your health, but would you let him tell you how to decorate your house? Or ask your interior designer about what you should take for your cholesterol? No. In the same way, why would you take parenting advice from someone whose kids you despise? Only take opinions from people you respect, and only on the areas that they are good at. Take a good look at the haters who affect you and think, ‘Do I really think this person is an authority in that area?’ Remember, someone can only insult you if his opinion matters to you.
photo from pamsheppardpublishing.com