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Negative Self-Talk Eliminator


Handle It – Dealing with Criticism and Negative Feedback (Part 7)

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(…continued from last week)

Shame and/or Inadequacy

Nearly everyone at some point has suspicions that they really aren’t very adequate or capable in some part of life. We develop this very early in childhood, and hopefully with the opposing sense that we are also okay.

Yet sometimes feeling shamed, feeling inadequate comes through. Better to say something like, “Okay, yes I did miss the target. I will work on it next time. I’ve got to find a better way to organize it myself so I don’t have to do that again.” Shame and inadequacy don’t really help you or the situation.

Of the six reactions to criticism – fear, anger, counter attack, denial or blaming, defense, shame and inadequacy, I mentioned that the most common of these is anger. Let’s talk about that for just a moment.

Steps to Anger

Anger has six steps to it. If you become angry you went through all six steps. The first two steps only create frustration. But as soon as you cross over from number two to number three, you have fallen into the trap of anger.

The Six Steps To Becoming Angry Are:

Step 1

“I want my way.” You can want whatever you want. If you don’t get something you desire it is simply frustrating, not anger producing, it is just kind of uncomfortable inside.

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Step 2

They, it, the situation is stopping or blocking you from getting your way, accidently or on purpose.

#1 – I want my way, #2 – Something is blocking you from getting it. That’s normal.

As you go through the day, all kinds of things happen that can frustrate you. There’s no hot water left for you to shower. The milk is all gone for your cereal. You can’t find the papers you need to complete the memo you are writing. Someone’s supposed to come to a meeting and they don’t show up on time. Traffic blocks you and you are late getting where you need to get to. You have dinner and the dinner is mediocre and you spent a lot of money on it. Whatever. Those are just frustrations, they are not big deals.

When you cross from #2 into #3 you move into anger.

Step 3

“I must have my way!” It’s a demand. “I must have X!” “They must agree with me!” “I must get this thing I want!”

When you move from #2 into #3, you are table pounding. To some degree this is irrational. What makes you so special that you should get everything you want? So #3 is I must have my way.

Step 4

“You are wrong or bad for disagreeing with me.!!” Meaning, you are blaming them. So step three is a demand, “I must have my way”, fourth is blaming “You are bad for not giving me what I want!”

Step 5

“You deserve to be punished!!!” Meaning that they should receive harsh treatment because of what they did or did not do. They deserve to be hit, yelled at, spanked, given the silent treatment, ignored, made to wait, etc. They deserve punishment.

Step 6

“I am going to punish you!!!!” Which is letting them have it because they did or didn’t do ________.

Now there are lots of ways of punishing. Yelling, throwing things, breaking things, not giving someone something they want. When someone gets angry they’ve gone from simple frustration – “I want my way and I am not getting it.” to “I must have it!” demanding. “You are wrong or bad for not giving me this thing!!” which is blaming and choosing them as the target to vent your anger on. Next is “You deserved to be punished!!!” which is making a decision that the target really does deserve to be treated badly. And sixth is shooting the target with your words, actions, etc.

When someone is angry at you the very first thing you must do is manage yourself. You must keep your cool.

If you have ever dealt with an angry person and you managed the situation effectively, it’s because you managed yourself first. You must keep your cool. You must listen to them, hear what they say even if it’s not very pleasant. You have to see if you can get the facts as they know them, so that you can have better control over what’s going on within and around you.

Then when appropriate you must politely close the interaction, move away from it and leave it behind. These steps help you break through the criticism, the negativity and the anger that all too often happens automatically.

(to be continued…)

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