5 Ways To Deal With Negative Comments That Are Directed Towards You
Dealing with negative comments is never easy, especially in marriage, which can come in the form of complaining, attacking, pessimism, perfectionism, cynicism, discontent, and criticism, to name a few.
Negative comments can be cruel, unkind, thoughtless, and hurtful. They can make us want to sulk and fume silently or strike back in anger.
Here are five tips for coping with negative comments that are directed towards you that help you unlock your best life and marriage.
Don’t take the bait and get sucked in. Pause, take a deep breath, and be determined not to engage in an argument.
Let the other person know that you’re happy and willing to have a conversation seeking a resolution or solution, but you will not argue, engage in conflict, or tolerate hurtful comments.
Although your defenses might be on high alert, and you might feel rattled, remain calm. Why? Because you’re in control of your emotions. Don’t let them trigger you; don’t give away your power. There’s something very empowering about maintaining control of your emotions.
Besides, this approach is more conducive to seeking peaceful, productive outcomes.
Resist the urge to mirror their behavior; don’t raise your voice or resort to insults or name-calling.
If things get out of hand, you might suggest revisiting the conversation after both of you have a little time to reflect further on the issue when things are calmer.
You don’t have to be a doormat or a punching bag.
Ignore What You Can
Just because someone says something doesn’t mean you have to respond.
Ignoring negative comments can be an effective way to handle them.
Think before you speak to put things into perspective. Ask yourself if what’s being said is true, accurate, or important. Shrug it off if it isn’t.
Although it won’t be easy, respond maturely and confidently to comments meant to hurt you.
By responding constructively and confidently, you show that you’re in charge of yourself and won’t tolerate abuse from anyone.
Remember this: You have the right to disagree with whatever mean and hurtful things anyone says about you; the final say is yours.
Sometimes, we receive comments and remarks negatively due to a misunderstanding.
By keeping an open mind and a positive attitude that seeks to learn more about why they said what they did, you’re inviting them to explain themselves so you can understand the reason behind their comments. Maybe they have a point, perhaps they don’t; either way, you’ll find out.
By discussing it, you’re having a conversation, which is a two-way street, allowing you to share with them privately that their comment hurt your feelings. This kind of open, honest, and caring conversation should improve the relationship because it makes each person more sensitive to the other’s feelings.
Talk to a Friend
Face it: venting helps. And to whom better to vent than a trusted friend? Talking with someone about how you were angry and hurt makes you feel better while getting a more objective perspective on the situation.
Discussing things with a friend puts emotional space between you and the comment, helping you see things more clearly. Just ensure you’re not sharing private matters that should be kept between you and the other person, especially if the “other person” is your spouse. Sharing personal details about your marriage with anyone except a therapist or counselor is inappropriate.
Some people claim that negative comments are helpful; you may agree or disagree. The important thing is for you to be in charge of your thoughts and emotions by giving yourself space and time to think before responding to any negative comment.
Emotions can mislead you, causing you to say something that makes things worse or opens the door to even more negativity in the relationship.
Negative, hurtful comments are a part of life and marriage, unfortunately.
But by being determined to remain in charge of your emotions by not getting mean and ugly, putting space between you and the situation to see things more clearly, getting someone else’s input on the matter, or deciding if it’s even worth your time or energy to address it, and replying confidently and kindly when you do, maintains healthy boundaries and protects your life and important relationships from unnecessary conflict and negativity.