Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

New Responses to Criticisms


We can get upset by someone hurling criticisms at us. Who wants accusations and negative qualities attributed to us! No one!

How do we react to such experiences? And how would we prefer we respond? Let’s become of aware of our thoughts and choose what we desire.

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“You have anger problems,” she screamed at the teacher. “You are obsessed with defending yourself.”

Carmella’s Tale

New classes are beginning for Carmella, the teacher. Recently a student in one of her classes quit. This person did not merely walk out: She hurled some mean-spirited comments on the way.

Inside Carmella, those statements hurt. Then C felt annoyed with herself that she would let that kind of thing bother her.

Our star called a wise advisor for support.

The Advice

Carmella: Why do I care what that student thinks of me?

As I processed the incident, I began to worry about my career. I started feeling overwhelmed and that I never get enough done. I feel miserable!

Counselor: First of all, I recommend that we be kind to our dear selves. We all feel uncomfortable when someone points out unwanted qualities about us! Isn’t it quite human to have some reaction. Let’s accept that. Let’s make that ok.

Yes, you have been working on shifting some outdated patterns of thinking, one’s like blaming. One good thing worth noting: in this instance you did not start to call her names! You mastered yourself and did not blame her.

“Why do I care what that student thinks about me?” thought you. Isn’t it great that immediately you realized you did not take her word as being true about you! You would rather feel balanced. That is a step toward higher consciousness, a positive aspect.

In this story, someone blamed you and then you blamed yourself for getting triggered. Since we know most humans would feel some reaction, let’s make it ok that you felt your response. Let’s ACCEPT this human process.

Carmella: I can get lost in the habit of self-blame and in feeling overwhelmed.

Counselor: Yes, those are well entrenched habits of thought. And you are already on your way to shifting them. Good for you that you persist. Good for you that you already see progress in noticing you are running a pattern.

Take Away

Let’s ACCEPT that this is what the process of changing thoughts looks like. We do them, and then we notice them more. Then we acquire ability to make a change. Bit by bit.

Such an important milestone to shift from self-blaming to self-accepting. We can say “Uh oh I am doing that again. Isn’t it great that this time I am noticing!”

Simple on one hand, yes. And simple first steps are like planting an acorn. Innocuous seeming action—and wow what magnificent oak of a being we are growing!

Do you have a story to share? Please comment! We all benefit.

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