Dealing with criticisms from others can be a challenging task. Feeling defensive or hurt when someone criticizes us is natural, but learning how to handle it calmly and constructively is essential.
As an individual who has faced criticism numerous times, I have learned that there are effective ways of dealing with such situations without letting them affect my mental health.
In this article, I will share some techniques that have helped me cope with criticisms effectively. From Kundalini meditation to introspection in silence and going to the alpha frequency of the mind, I will explore different approaches to help you deal with other people’s feedback without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.
By implementing these strategies, you can transform criticism into an opportunity for growth and self-improvement while maintaining peace within yourself.
I’ve learned to take criticism with a grain of salt, but it’s not always easy.
I’ve received my share of constructive feedback, unwarranted opinions, and downright hurtful comments.
Through these experiences, I’ve realized the importance of knowing how to deal with criticism healthily.
Did you know there are 22 Types of Criticism?
According to Wikipedia, there are 22 types of criticisms. They are:
- Aesthetic criticism
- Logical criticism
- Factual criticism
- Positive criticism
- Negative criticism
- Constructive advice
- Destructive criticism
- Practical criticism
- Theoretical criticism
- Public and private criticism
- Moral criticism
- Scientific criticism
- Religious criticism
- Scholarly criticism
- Critical criticism
- Radical and revolutionary criticism
- Conservative criticism
- Liberal criticism
- Speculative criticism
- Foolish criticism
- Professional criticism
Personal experience with criticism
As I sit here today, reflecting on my journey through meditation, I can recall many moments when I was met with criticism from those around me. From my mother pouring a bucket of water over my head in hopes of deterring me from my practice to friends and colleagues scoffing at my dedication, I was met with opposition at every turn.
But I ignored their criticisms, determined to continue on my path. Here are just a few examples of moments where I faced criticism and chose to push forward:
- In the early days of my practice, my best friend visited me. As we chatted in my college hostel room, I excused myself to meditate. My friend rolled his eyes and commented sarcastically about my “hippie nonsense.” I could have been discouraged, but I let his words roll off my back and continued practicing.
- I lived in a small house with my parents and younger sibling when I started meditating. My mother was skeptical of anything she deemed “new age” and often criticized my meditating attempts. While waiting for Amma to serve lunch one day, I sat in meditation with my eyes closed. I felt a sudden rush of water hit my head. Amma had taken it upon herself to pour a bucket of water over me, thinking it would snap me out of my “weird” behavior. But I refused to be deterred. I narrated this incident to Vethathiri Maharishi. He had a heartful laugh. Eventually, though, I taught my mother to meditate.
- I attended silent meditation retreats as I became more dedicated to my practice. Our Swamiji led one particular retreat, encouraging us to sit silently for days. When I returned home and told my coworkers about my experience, they laughed and said I wasted time. But I knew the peace and clarity I felt during those extended meditation and silence introspection hours were worth any criticism I might face.
- When I first began teaching meditation, I was met with resistance from some community members. They accused me of trying to convert them to a new religion or being a “charlatan.” But I knew the power of meditation and was determined to share it with others, regardless of their initial reactions. Eventually, they learned to tolerate me and even asked me for advice.
- One of the most common criticisms I faced was that meditation wastes time. People often told me that I could be doing something “productive” instead of sitting around with my eyes closed. But I knew that the benefits of meditation were far-reaching, and I refused to let their opinions sway me.
- As I continued to deepen my practice, I began to explore different styles of meditation. One particular technique involved astral travel, which I found incredibly powerful. I was fortunate to learn it from Swamiji in 1987. But when I shared this with some of my friends, they scoffed and said it was “weird.” But I knew that astral travel helped me connect with something greater than myself, and I continued to incorporate it into my practice occasionally, although not regularly.
- Finally, as I discovered the depths of Simplified Kundalini Yoga taught by Yogiraj Vethathri Maharishi, I knew I had found something special. It didn’t involve mantras or idol worship. I stopped going to temples or chanting mantras. I come from a traditional Tamil Brahmin community. I faced skepticism from those around me. People would ask me what made this form of yoga any different from all the others or would roll their eyes when I talked about the transformative power of the practice. But I knew this was the path I was meant to follow, so I continued.
Looking back on my journey, I’m grateful for every moment of criticism and skepticism. It allowed me to strengthen my resolve, deepen my practice, and ultimately become the teacher I am today.
Not all criticisms are meant to be ignored. In fact, it’s often through constructive feedback that we can grow and improve. Here are seven instances where I learned from my critics and used their feedback to enhance my skills and abilities.
- Negative Criticism: When I started teaching meditation, some people criticized my way of teaching. They said my techniques were too simplistic and I wasn’t giving my students enough guidance. Hearing this kind of criticism was challenging, but I decided to take it as a challenge and work harder to improve my teaching methods.
- Constructive Advice: One of my students gave me some constructive advice about my teaching style. She said that I was too focused on the mechanics of meditation and not enough on the spiritual aspects of it. I took her advice and started incorporating more spiritual elements into my classes. This helped me connect with my students on a deeper level.
- Practical Criticism: When I first started teaching, I tended to talk too much and not give my students enough time to meditate. One of my colleagues pointed this out to me and suggested that I try to be more concise. I took her advice and started using more visual aids to help me convey my message more efficiently.
- Professional Criticism: As I became more successful as a meditation teacher, I started to receive more criticism from other teachers in the field. Some accused me of being too commercial and not sincere enough in my teachings. I took this criticism as a sign that I needed to stay true to my principles and not compromise my values for popularity.
- Self-Criticism: There were times when I felt like I wasn’t living up to my own standards as a meditation teacher. I would beat myself up over small mistakes and become overly critical. It took a lot of self-reflection and self-compassion to learn how to be kinder to myself and let go of my perfectionism.
- Aesthetic Criticism: when I first started practicing the physical exercises in simplified kundalini yoga, some people criticized the movements as too simplistic and not aesthetically pleasing. But I found the actions to be deeply satisfying and spiritually fulfilling. I learned to trust my instincts and not let others’ opinions sway me. As a result, many people realize how aesthetically pleasing and gentle Swamiji’s exercises are.
- Positive Criticism: Despite the criticism I received along the way, I also received much positive feedback from my students. They would tell me how much my teachings had helped them and how much they appreciated my approach. This positive feedback gave me the confidence to keep going and continue growing as a teacher.
How I Used Criticisms to Become a Better Version of Myself
Experiencing critiques can be a challenging but valuable opportunity for personal growth and development. For example, I remember the first time I received negative feedback on a project for Swamiji as the IT Director I had poured my heart into.
Initially, I felt defensive and hurt, but as I took a step back and evaluated the criticism objectively, I realized there were areas where I could improve. It was difficult to swallow my pride and acknowledge that there were flaws in my work, but ultimately, taking constructive criticism helped me become a better version of myself.
However, not all criticisms are created equal, and it’s important to discern between feedback meant to help you grow versus feedback rooted in malice or negativity.
When receiving critical comments from others, it’s natural to feel vulnerable and exposed – especially if the criticism hits close to home. But rather than allowing yourself to be consumed by negative emotions or self-doubt, try viewing the situation as an opportunity for growth.
Take the time to evaluate the critique objectively and determine whether there are any valid points that you can use to improve yourself or your work. Doing so will make you more assertive on the other end and build resilience against future criticisms.
Other’s Criticisms Don’t Define Me
As someone who has faced criticism throughout my life, I have learned that other people’s opinions do not define who I am. Getting caught up in what others say about us can be easy, but remember that their perceptions are not necessarily accurate or fair. An example is when Swamiji’s YouTube channel was banned due to a phishing attack. I was criticized for being careless as the IT Director. I was even accused of being characterless by a couple of people when I attempted to implement controls. They misunderstood my intentions and thought I was out to blame it on them. Instead of letting their criticisms bring me down, I embraced silence and used it to my advantage. The matter was amicably settled by the higher authorities. People were told not to criticize me. It was the last and final time when hurts were flung at me. I do my duties quietly and to the best of my abilities and opportunities.
Another instance where I learned not to let others’ criticisms define me was when I became a COO of a company, and the owner constantly criticized my work. Despite my best efforts, he seemed to find fault in everything I did. However, I refused to let his negative feedback discourage me. Instead, I used it to improve and prove him wrong. Eventually, he began to see my potential and even praised me for my hard work.
A famous comedian once said, “I never met a man I didn’t like until I met a man who didn’t like me.”
Remember that everyone will not always like or approve of our choices, but that does not mean we should let their criticisms define us. As individuals, we can choose how we react to criticism and whether or not we allow it to shape our self-image. By embracing our unique qualities and using criticism as a tool for growth, we can become stronger and more confident individuals.
It’s important to remember that criticisms are not a reflection of who we are as people but rather a chance for us to reflect on our actions and make necessary changes. By acknowledging the importance of dealing with criticisms, we allow ourselves the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow as individuals.
Kundalini meditation is a practice that involves focusing on energy centers in the body to achieve spiritual awakening. The benefits include increased self-awareness, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved overall well-being.
Personally, I’ve found Kundalini meditation to help deal with criticisms. It provides me with a sense of inner peace and perspective.
This practice has helped me become more aware of my thoughts and emotions whenever someone criticizes me. Instead of reacting impulsively or defensively, I’ve learned to observe these feelings without judgment and respond calmly.
Introspection in silence
When dealing with criticisms, I find that introspection in silence is a helpful tool. Taking the time to reflect on my thoughts and feelings allows me to process complaints constructively. This practice taught me how to navigate difficult conversations and grow from feedback without letting it consume me.
Importance of Self-Reflection
I take time for self-reflection when faced with critiques from others.
It can be easy to get defensive and dismissive of criticism, but if I don’t stop and reflect, I may miss valuable insights into the situation.
By stepping back and looking inward, I gain a deeper understanding of the critique and my reactions.
Self-reflection allows me to examine potential biases or blind spots that may impact how I perceive the criticism.
It also allows me to consider whether there is any validity to what has been said and whether changes need to be made.
Self-reflection can help me grow and improve my relationships with others by fostering better communication and understanding.
How to Introspect in Silence to Deal With Criticisms
Self-reflection has taught me that introspection is necessary for dealing with others’ criticisms. However, doing introspection in silence can be challenging for those not used to being alone with their thoughts.
Introspection in Silence – A Step-By-Step Approach
- First, find a quiet place where you feel comfortable and safe. This could be your bedroom or any space where you can shut out external distractions. Avoid electronic devices, reading books, watching TV, or sleeping. Stop talking and remain silent till the end of the exercise.
- Focus on your life force and meditate at Thureeya, Crown Chakra. Enter Alpha state of mind.
- Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, which can help you clarify your feelings about the criticism you received.
- List the criticisms of others. Write how you feel about them, your reactions, and the results.
- Categorize the criticisms. Should you ignore them or plan and act on them?
- Decide on the course of action. Then, conclude and write your new behavior plan.
- Close your eyes and meditate at Sahasrara, Crown Chakra. Enter Alpha frequency.
- Visualize the future circumstances and criticisms. Remember and visualize your conclusion and new behavior plan. Do it until you become positive about yourself.
Doing so will enable you to process your emotions more effectively and allow for growth from the experience.
Going to the Alpha Frequency of the Mind
Going to the alpha frequency of the mind is a technique that involves tapping into the relaxed state of mind in which our brain waves oscillate between 8-13Hz.
This state is associated with increased creativity, mental clarity, and reduced stress levels.
One can try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or visualization techniques to achieve this state. I use a simple method of focusing on my Kundalini Shakthi at my Crown Chakra. Within a minute or two, I enter the Alpha frequency of the mind.
I’ve found going to alpha frequency to help deal with criticisms as it helps me maintain a calm and centered mindset.
Explanation of Alpha Frequency
The alpha frequency, typically 8-13 Hz, reflects a state of relaxation and calmness, like the gentle hum of a well-tuned engine. It is often associated with meditation practices.
When we enter this state, our brain waves slow from the hectic beta frequency dominating our waking hours. This can increase creativity and problem-solving abilities as we become more receptive to new ideas.
In dealing with criticisms from others, entering into an alpha state can be beneficial in several ways.
- I can reflect on my thoughts and emotions more clearly and objectively.
- My mind is more open and receptive to new ideas and perspectives.
- I can identify and address negative thought patterns and behaviors better.
- My creativity and problem-solving abilities are enhanced.
- I experience greater feelings of relaxation and calmness, reducing stress and anxiety.
- I can tap into my intuition and inner wisdom.
- The alpha state allows me to cultivate a more profound sense of self-awareness and personal growth.
When I’m in an alpha state, my mind can slow down and focus on my inner thoughts and feelings. As a result, I have become less reactive and more observant of how criticism affects me emotionally.
It helps me increase my level of objectivity when it comes to criticism. I can reflect on what was said rather than taking it personally or getting defensive immediately. This allows me to look at things differently and see where the other person is coming from.
With this approach, I can better understand their point of view without feeling attacked or defensive. Ultimately, accessing the alpha frequency helps me take criticisms constructively rather than letting them affect me negatively.
Personal Experience With Using Alpha Frequency to Deal With Criticisms
Using alpha frequency to handle criticism has been a game-changer for me, and I was surprised to learn that 85% of people report feeling anxious or stressed after being criticized.
I can relate to this statistic as someone who used to take criticism very personally. However, since incorporating alpha frequency into my daily routine, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in handling negative feedback.
I’ve trained to keep my mind over my Kundalini pulsations in Sahasrara Chakra at all times. It helps me stay calm and centered instead of getting caught up in my emotions.
I can view criticism objectively and ask myself if there is any truth behind it. If there is, I use it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. If there isn’t, I let it go knowing that not everyone will agree with or understand my actions.
Alpha frequency has helped me become more resilient when dealing with emotions of me and others and has allowed me to grow spiritually.
Superimposing Old Behavior of Reacting by Ignoring Criticisms
Superimposing old behavior refers to consciously choosing to react in a way that differs from our instinctual response. Recognize your patterns and triggers and actively prefer a different approach rather than emotionally reacting to others’ instigations.
I watched Swamiji listen attentively, take a step back, reflect on what was being said, and respond constructively instead of immediately reacting. He used to take several minutes to respond to any question. He would think deeply before answering. I attempt to remember him when I respond to criticisms. He is my role model.
Explanation of Superimposing Old Behavior
You may find yourself falling back into old patterns of behavior when you allow the criticisms of others to overshadow your own thoughts and beliefs. This is because we often react to criticism based on past experiences, which can be influenced by childhood conditioning or traumatic events.
When we are criticized, our subconscious mind triggers a response aligned with these past experiences, leading us to take it personally and affect us.
To break free from this behavior, sit in silence and recognize the root cause of your reaction. Address it head-on.
- Acknowledge your feelings: Allow yourself to feel all the emotions when you receive criticism. It’s okay to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated. Write them down while you silently introspect.
- Identify your triggers: Look for patterns in your reactions and try to identify what specific words or actions trigger them.
- Challenge negative self-talk: When you hear a critical voice telling you you’re not good enough, challenge it with positive affirmations.
- Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally by getting enough rest, exercising, meditating, and doing activities that bring joy.
Use the Power of Autosuggestion
Autosuggestion is a powerful tool to help individuals superimpose and establish new behavioral patterns. It is a technique that involves repeating positive affirmations or messages to oneself to influence the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is responsible for controlling our automatic behaviors and habits, and by using autosuggestion, we can reprogram it to adopt new practices and behaviors that benefit us.
The concept of autosuggestion was first introduced by French psychologist Émile Coué in the late 19th century. He believed that by using positive affirmations, individuals could influence their subconscious minds and improve their overall well-being. So Coué developed a simple technique where individuals would repeat the phrase “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better” to themselves multiple times daily. This simple message helped individuals to overcome their negative thoughts and emotions and establish new positive beliefs and behaviors.
Autosuggestion can superimpose old behavioral patterns by replacing negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones. For example, if an individual wants to overcome a fear of public speaking, they can use autosuggestion to reinforce positive beliefs about their ability to speak in public. By repeating positive affirmations such as “I am confident and capable of speaking in public” or “I enjoy speaking in front of others,” individuals can reprogram their subconscious mind to adopt new beliefs and behaviors.
Autosuggestion is particularly useful for individuals who want to adopt new habits such as exercising regularly, eating healthily, or quitting smoking. By using autosuggestion to reinforce positive beliefs about these habits, individuals can increase their motivation and commitment to making these changes.
Be aware of how the past influences your present reactions. Then, take active steps towards breaking free from old patterns. As a result, we can learn how to deal with other people’s criticisms more healthily.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has room for improvement – including ourselves!
Pro Tip: Autosuggestions work best in the Alpha state of mind.
Tips on How to Do It
It’s easy to get caught up in unfavorable self-talk or spiral into a rabbit hole of doubt and anxiety when faced with criticism from others. However, caring for myself has helped me approach criticism with a clearer mind and a more positive outlook.
Another tip I’ve found helpful is to try to understand where the other person is coming from when they criticize me. Sometimes their criticisms may be rooted in their insecurities or personal biases rather than accurately assessing my actions.
By trying to see their perspective, I can better evaluate whether there is any truth in their criticisms and use it constructively for my growth. Additionally, remembering that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s okay not to be perfect has helped me handle complaints with more grace and self-compassion.
Regarding my spiritual service, YouTube channel, and social media presence, I remind myself that not everyone will agree with me or appreciate what I do, but that doesn’t diminish the value or sincerity of my efforts.
When your partner criticizes you, it can feel like a bolt of lightning striking your chest and leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Feeling defensive and angry is natural when someone you love has something negative to say about you. But criticism is not always an attack on your character or worth. Sometimes, it’s simply feedback on a specific behavior or action.
To deal with relationship-related criticisms, approach the situation with an open mind and willingness to communicate. Instead of immediately becoming defensive, step back and try to understand where your partner is coming from.
Ask questions and seek clarification if needed so that you fully understand their perspective. Remember that listening actively is just as important as speaking clearly in any conversation.
By doing this, you can turn their criticism into an opportunity for growth and improvement in yourself and your relationship.
Spiritual Service-Related Criticisms
Criticism can be like a thorn in the side of spiritual service, but with an open mind and willingness to listen, it can also be a catalyst for growth and improvement.
As someone who’s dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of others, I’ve become accustomed to receiving feedback from those around me. Unfortunately, while some comments are supportive and uplifting, other criticisms can feel harsh or even downright hurtful.
Remember that everyone has different perspectives and experiences. So instead of immediately becoming defensive or shutting down entirely, take a moment to reflect on the criticism being offered.
Is there any truth to what’s being said? Are there areas where you could improve or grow in your service? By approaching criticism with an open mind and willingness to learn, you may discover valuable insights that help you better serve those around you.
YouTube Channel-Related Criticisms
You need to hear this if you’re running a YouTube channel – negative feedback can be harsh, but take a step back and evaluate the criticism offered.
As content creators, we put our hearts and souls into our videos, sometimes spending hours perfecting every detail. So when someone criticizes our work, it can feel like a personal attack. But remember that not everyone will like your content, and that’s okay.
When receiving criticism on your YouTube channel, try not to take it too personally. Instead of dismissing the comment as hate or negativity, try to see if their words have any truth. Is there something you could improve upon? Could their feedback help make your content better?
Remember that even some of the most successful YouTubers have received critical comments at some point. I don’t let it discourage me from continuing to create content that I’m passionate about.
Social Media-Related Criticisms
Moving on from criticisms of my YouTube channel, I’ve also received negative comments and feedback on my social media accounts. It’s never easy to read harsh words about yourself or your work, but I’ve learned to handle them more healthily.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that not everyone will like you or agree with what you post online. That’s simply the reality of social media. However, that doesn’t mean their criticism is always constructive or helpful.
Before responding or taking any action, I take a step back and evaluate the comment objectively. Is it something I can learn from? Is it just someone being rude for no reason? Reflecting before reacting has saved me from making impulsive decisions that could harm my online reputation.
Additionally, I remind myself that these comments come from strangers who don’t know me personally – their opinions do not define who I am.
So, to summarize the tips on dealing with criticisms, I need to remember that it’s not about being defensive or taking things personally. Instead, I should try to understand and reflect upon the feedback given.
In my final thoughts, addressing criticisms is essential to personal growth and can help me become a better version of myself. Therefore, I urge you to take action and try the techniques mentioned so they can also learn how to deal with criticisms effectively.
By practicing these tips, you’ll be able to handle criticisms in a way that promotes personal growth and fosters positive relationships with those around you.
Criticism can be hard to hear, especially from people we respect and admire. However, it’s essential to approach criticism with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
It may not be easy initially, but becoming a better version of yourself is crucial. The techniques mentioned in this article are just some ways to start constructively addressing criticisms.
Don’t be afraid to try these techniques and see what works best for you. Remember that criticism isn’t meant to tear you down but to help you improve. If there is value in criticism, accept it, act on it, and improve yourself. If it is meant to hurt you and has no constructive basis for it, learn to ignore it and move on in life.
You can choose whether or not to let criticisms bring you down or help lift you toward personal growth and success. So, try to see its positive impact on your life.
Through practicing Kundalini meditation and introspection in silence, we can learn to quiet our minds and go to alpha frequency, where we can better handle others’ criticisms.
Superimpose old behaviors of reacting by letting them hurt us with positive behavior at the Alpha frequency of the mind with the power of autosuggestion.
With time and practice, handling criticism can become second nature.
You are not born to suffer.
You are born to succeed.
Be Blessed by the Divine!
Krish Murali Eswar.