Fighting Fire With Water

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Fighting Fire With Water

Encourager-In-Chief: February 20th, 2019

How to handle criticism

When we are attacked, it is our natural tendency to fight back. It’s part of our human nature. That is why it is so hard for us to fight against our nature and respond to attacks with a much healthier strategy.

If you attack back, your counterpart will either back down or fight back. A much better strategy is to disarm your attacker. You do this by taking the wind out of his or her sails. If someone criticizes you, respond with a comment like, “well, you’ve certainly given me something very important to think about.” You could say something like, “I had not previously considered your points. Some of them have true validity. Would you mind if I give your comments some thought and get back to you?”

Taking this approach makes it much more difficult for the attacker to continue attacking you. What you are doing in effect is dousing water on his or her fiery attack. You’ve left your attacker with nowhere to go.

Another benefit you get by taking this approach is you may even elevate the perception your attacker holds of you in his or her mind. Handling attacks in this mature and humble way will help you create greater rapport, have fewer conflicts, and help others see that there are better ways for them to also handle unwarranted personal attacks.

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, he was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.

– Epicteus

Let me hear from you!

(This blog is based on information from my seminar entitled, Conquering Conflicts with Difficult People.) I encourage you to order my Negotiation Excellence video program which also includes this lesson in much greater detail.