Focus on Something Good About Your Criticizer
When you anticipate a hurtful comment, you relay fear or dread with your eyes and/or body language—and that will make the critique more likely to happen. So try this: Find a positive attribute of the person criticizing you. It could be as minor as the color of her fingernail polish or the charming way she laughs. Think about that the next time you see her and your warmth will be reflected in your eyes and your demeanor. She will feel respected, and nine times out of 10, she’ll reciprocate back to you.
Elayne Savage, Ph.D., is the author of Don’t Take It Personally!: The Art of Dealing With Rejection ($17, amazon.com). Her psychotherapy and workplace-coaching practice is based in Berkeley, California.