Do you feel frustrated when you are misunderstood or unfairly judged? And worse, can that criticism send you on an eating binge or sugar binge? Perhaps you never heard of a poem called “If” by Rudyard Kipling. But in it he talks about you keeping your head when all those about you are losing theirs but they are blaming you.
Do you wish you could keep your cool and not turn to sugar to make you feel better every time you get a little criticism? You can learn a little something on how to deal with criticism from Kipling. He says that learning how to respond to criticism is a step of maturity and personal development.
Most of us take criticism as an attack on our self esteem. Our attitude in response to that criticism is the way we try to protect our self from a painful experience. Just like you would put up your hands to prevent yourself from being physically hurt, you put on your defensive attitude to prevent emotional or mental health. And then you start eating something sweet that tastes good to make you feel better.
So what can we do to turn this around, and not reach for that chocolate cheesecake brownie, or the lemon pie?
Some positive ways we can respond to criticism are learned. And over time, you can develop them as a tool for self growth and maturity. Here are some suggestions:
If you do receive criticism try to take a step back before you respond. Thank the person for their words and say you will consider what was said to you. This approach enables both of you to calm your emotions and to discuss the situation later when you both have had chance to think about it. Plus you delay the need to have to go out and pacify your feeling with food.
Take a deep breath and think about the criticism. Ask yourself if it is justified. If it is, then just say so. It can defuse so many negative emotions for all parties involved. Then seek ways to prevent the situation from recurring. If it is not justified, take steps to refute it calmly and preferably with evidence, not sugary food.
Try to learn from the criticism but move on, and quickly. Do not let your self worth be determined by one moment in time. Let all parties know and understand that you acknowledge the criticism and you will keep ii in mind in the future.
That way all parties issues are heard and you don’t have to reach for the candy jar. And that’s a win for your health and your heart.
And try to keep in mind: If hunger is not the problem, then food is not the answer. That way you will look for alternate ways to deal with the criticism.
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