Do you often overreact when people say something hurtful? It's perfectly normal to feel offended when someone criticizes or insults you. However, if you feel inclined to explode in anger, cry, or feel sad for days, you should try to cultivate a mental steel of steel. While there's nothing wrong with being sensitive, it really isn't fun if you're easily shaken by mere comments. By learning to see things more broadly, have a positive attitude, and build self-confidence, you will become more resilient the next time you feel humiliated.
Method 1 of 3: Dealing with Criticism
Step 1. Think before you act
When you receive a negative comment, your first reaction may be to get defensive, get annoyed, or even run to the bathroom and cry. Your face will probably turn red and you may start to sweat. By encouraging yourself to think before you act, you will have more control over yourself. You may not be able to control the feelings a word can cause, but you can control how you react to it.
- Take a break and let the first wave of emotions wash over you. Let you feel it, then wait for the emotion to subside. Don't react until the first urge to be defensive is completely gone.
- It helps if you count from one to ten before saying anything. If you are alone, you can count out loud. If there are other people with you, count them in your head. Usually, ten seconds is enough time to clear your head.
Step 2. Distinguish criticism from ridicule
A critique usually relates to something separate from you. For example, your teacher might tell you that your writing needs improvement. Even though it hurts, it doesn't mean he's showing that there's something wrong with you. On the other hand, ridicule is used by others to demean you for something in yourself. Usually, ridicule has to do with something you can't change. Criticism has a positive function, while ridicule is intended to cause pain.
- Rethink the context of a comment. Does the person who says it have a good cause? Was the comment made by someone you respect and is in the right position to criticize you, such as a teacher, boss, or parent? Or maybe the person just intended to hurt you?
- Usually, when you think of criticism as ridicule, you will overreact. If you are able to separate the two properly, you will be able to better cultivate mental steel in school, work, and other places where constructive criticism can be.
Step 3. See if you can really improve yourself because of it
Are the criticisms presented to you true? This criticism may be difficult to accept, but the suggestions contained in it may indeed be valid. When you realize that a critique has some truth in it, try to accept it instead of getting defensive. By accepting criticism instead of simply dismissing it, you will be able to improve yourself.
- There is also the possibility that a given critique is completely wrong. But that doesn't mean you have to overreact. After all, that's just someone's opinion.
- When it comes to opinions, it is more helpful if you can get opinions from other people as well. This will help you know if you really need to fix something inside yourself.
Step 4. Open your view to be wider
With a broad perspective, you will be able to get through your day without getting too emotional. Remember, there's nothing wrong with feeling the first wave of emotion, anger, sadness, or defensiveness when you receive criticism. However, you shouldn't let your emotions drag you down throughout the day. If you look at it from a larger context-than a day, a week, a month, or a year-a single comment doesn't make much sense.
- If you feel like you can't see it from a different angle, just wait until tomorrow comes. The pain you feel will subside after a day or two has passed.
- While waiting, distract yourself. Spend time with friends, watch an interesting movie, or exercise.
Step 5. Aim to turn the criticism into something positive
The best way to deal with criticism is to make it an impetus for action. If you can't get it out of your mind, do something about it. Replace the negative feelings you feel with a positive goal.
- For example, if you receive a critical review of a report you have written, consider revising the report in light of the criticism you received.
- Without going too far, keep the critique in mind and aim for better results next time.
Method 2 of 3: Dealing with Ridicule
Step 1. Don't pay attention
Unlike criticism, ridicule is often uttered with the intention of hurting. Sometimes, the mocker doesn't even think about it. Any ridicule, including one made over appearance, intelligence, skill or something else, can feel like a personal attack. Since there's nothing constructive about ridicule, you don't need to pay attention to it. Unlike criticism, ridicule has no positive value at all. Give yourself a reason to reject the ridicule instead of using it as a benchmark for how you see yourself.
- A mockery is an opinion, not a fact. For example, if someone calls you ugly or stupid, others may think otherwise.
- After feeling the pain that the teasing brings, try to let it go. Think of the ridicule as a thorn that only hurts when it pierces for a moment, not a pain that bothers you throughout the day.
Step 2. Realize that an insult has more to do with the person making it, not you
People usually make fun of them because they have emotional or personal weaknesses. If you were really comfortable with yourself, you wouldn't say bad things about other people, would you? Realize that it's the people who make fun of you that's the problem, not you.
- Find out the emotion behind the ridicule. The person who made it up may feel sad, upset, or angry. Some people have difficulty expressing their emotions so they take their problems to others.
- Use this information to help yourself prevent a mockery from hurting you too deeply. A mockery may hurt the heart, but be aware that the ridicule is just a curtain to hide the mocker's true feelings.
Step 3. Find out if you have any deep wounds
If you have a tendency to perceive the most negative comments as insulting, you may be experiencing deeper emotional problems. You may have feelings of deprivation that make it difficult for you to accept even minor comments. Knowing this can help you grow mentally stronger.
- For example, maybe you've been unsure of your intelligence since you started taking a difficult class. Ridicule like “stupid you” that someone casually throws can hurt you more than the person thinks.
- The solution is to overcome the sense of deficiency that leads to your sensitive point. Once you feel more confident in your intelligence, you will let comments like the one above pass you by easily.
Step 4. Act well
Resist the urge to retort with more taunts. It won't make you feel any better. Replying to ridicule with ridicule will only lead to worse feelings. Instead, give a reaction that you can be proud of if you look back on it later.
- You have the full right to ignore ridicule. Whenever possible, act as if the ridicule was never made.
- Or, try lifting your chin, looking at the person making fun of you and telling them, “You're wrong; That is not true."
Step 5. Self-defense if necessary
If you are constantly being teased, you may need to take further action to stop it. Some people find happiness from hurting others. If you feel the ridicule has gone too far, consider doing the following:
- Face them head on. Tell them that you want them to stop teasing you. Sometimes, rebuking the scoffers will break the habit.
- Get help. If you feel that you are being bullied, confronting the mockers head-on will not help. Talk to a teacher, boss, or other person who can help you deal with the situation quickly.
Method 3 of 3: Building Long-Term Confidence
Step 1. Be proud of your strength
If you are proud of your natural abilities, personality, and other strengths, negative comments will have a hard time hurting you. You can take criticism wholeheartedly and use it to improve yourself. You can realize the emptiness of an insult. Building high self-confidence is the best way to cultivate mental steel.
- Do you know your strengths? Try writing a list of everything you admire about yourself. By knowing exactly what you're really good at, you'll be able to push yourself back to where you were when you felt down.
- Master your field. Use your time to practice, learn, and always strive to be better. In this way, you will have the awareness that you are an expert in your field. Criticism and insults will not bring you down.
Step 2. Don't try to be perfect
If you aim for perfection, every single comment can bring you down. It's great when you have something to keep building on. There's no way you can be perfect at everything you do all the time. This doesn't mean you have to lower your standards-just realize that what's important is to give your best, not achieve perfection.
- Being a perfectionist may seem good, but perfectionists often don't have the mental strength of people who know they can fall and make mistakes.
- To get rid of your perfectionist tendencies, challenge yourself to learn new things. Learn a new skill, sport, language, or anything else that interests you. Learning from scratch is a good experience. You will realize that perfection is impossible to achieve. What matters is the journey.
Step 3. Spend time with positive people
Perhaps you are surrounded by people who are very critical of you. You will find it difficult to see yourself clearly when people expect you to reach impossible standards. The solution is not to try to change, but to spend time with people who accept you for who you are.
- Pay attention to how you feel after you interact with certain people. Do you feel refreshed and happy? Or do you feel worse afterwards?
- When you're with people who accept you for who you are, you don't have to worry about being sensitive. Once you build trust, you will realize that a true friend will love you even when you are feeling insecure.
Step 4. Take care of yourself
Confidence is hard to come by if you don't take good care of yourself. By having a good self-care routine, you will feel healthier both mentally and physically. Your mental state will improve, and you will be better able to ignore negative comments made to you.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise. You may have heard this one piece of advice many times, but in fact, it really helps. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
- Enough sleep. A tired body will increase your emotions, making you more prone to misinterpreting things.
Step 5. Seek help from others
If you can't shake the feeling inside of you that people are trying to bring you down, maybe you should see a doctor. Depression, anxiety, and other ailments can make it difficult for you to cope with negativity. See a counselor to discuss your situation and get help.
- Talk therapy can be very effective in building self-confidence and fostering mental strength. You can also accept that being sensitive isn't a bad thing.
- If you suffer from chronic depression or other illnesses, medication can also help. You should discuss with your doctor the best option for your condition.
- Know that no one in history has been free from criticism. Some of the most successful people in history have received so much criticism.
- You need to practice patience and it takes time but the results will be worth it.
- Sometimes, the issues we are most sensitive to are the ones we dare not confront on our own. By having the courage to face these things through change or self-acceptance, you will gain more confidence in the long run.
- Having a steel mentality doesn't mean being rude or indifferent.
- Not everyone who criticizes you wants to hurt your feelings. There is a difference between constructive criticism and sheer rudeness.