Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When people criticize you, don’t get offended, get a notebook

Defensiveness blocks listening, closes minds, causes withdrawal, destroys communication, halts growth, reduces learning. 

And those are just a few of the emotional responses. 

Physically, defensiveness has also been clinically proven to elevate blood pressure and increase heart rate. In fact, according to recent social epidemiology research, defensiveness is emerging as an important psychosocial risk factor for hypertension and future cardiovascular health problems. 

And so, both physically and mentally, there is no upside. There is nothing to gain when being buried under layers of defensiveness. Maisel’s book on toxic criticism put it best. He says that humans are amazingly adept at being defensive creatures who can deny almost anything. But when an event occurs, we ought to acknowledge that we took a blow, recognize that we suddenly found ourselves awash in stress chemicals, negative thoughts and bad feelings, and admit that something happened. 

Which doesn’t mean anything really important did happen. And it doesn’t mean that one person’s opinion should matter too much. But instead of getting defensive, we just own the fact that we’re hurt. That’s a huge emotional milestone. Because once we learn to respond to emotional events with a spirit of honesty and acceptance and curiosity, the opportunities for growth and healing are limitless.

Are you spending so much time and energy protecting yourself from having hurt feelings that you don’t recognize you’re hurting your future?

For a copy of the list called, "65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

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