We're human. We prefer being complimented more than being criticized.
We prefer being spoken well of more than being spoken badly of. We
like it when people like us. We don't like it
when they don't. And that's just on the surface of it. Deep down it's
the master gyroscope, it's the very pilot of our lives
which is finely tuned to navigate toward approval and away from
disapproval. That's the GPS ie the Global
Positioning System which really guides us.
We want to look so good so bad (now that's a play
if ever there was one: wanting to look "so good so bad")
that we place others' judgements of us above our own
- that is to say we place our own
of others' judgements of us above our own
experience of Self.
Stop and consider this: reacting to being criticized or reacting to
being spoken badly of is exactly the same attachment as
reacting to being complimented or reacting to being spoken well of. Yes
it's the same attachment. The same reaction. The same
reaction. Except we prefer being complimented and being spoken well
of - as if our preference means something. We prefer being
complimented and being spoken well of, to being criticized and being
spoken badly of - as if being complimented and being spoken well of has
value, and being criticized and being spoken badly of doesn't.
As if ... and yet as attachments they're
identical. And here's the thing: we assume the value is in being
complimented and in being spoken well of. But I assert the
real value is in being criticized and in being spoken
If you choose to have it be so, I assert there's a hidden value in
being criticized and in being spoken badly of which isn't as
dramatically accessible in being complimented and in being spoken well
of. I assert if you choose to have it be so, being criticized or being
spoken badly of has the possibility of training you to really
listen. Being trained to really listen has solid gold put it in
the bank inestimable value.
I don't mean "really listen" as if being criticized or being spoken
badly of is something you should give credence to and take to heart.
To "really listen" is to give something the space to be what it is and
what it isn't. That's why it's harder to be coached to
really listen by being complimented and by being spoken well of. That's
why it's easier to be coached to really listen by being
criticized and by being spoken badly of. You don't want to learn
swordsmanship from someone who comes at you with a velvet
banana. You want to learn swordsmanship from someone who comes at you
with a razor sharp stainless steel cutlass.
We love being complimented and being spoken well of so much we're
seduced by them. Given the attachment, it's more likely
we'll bask in a compliment than listen it. And even if you
distinguish that's how being complimented lands for you so you can
listen it openly rather than be attached to it, the challenge of
listening being complimented ie the challenge of letting being
complimented be, doesn't generate nearly as potent an opportunity to be
trained as listening being criticized and being spoken badly of
It's easy to be open and to listen when they're saying
nice things about you. It's a lot more challenging to be open and to
listen when they're saying terrible things about you. But if what
you're after is being open and listening, then consider those who say
terrible things about you may be your most effective trainers. Not in
terms of giving credence to what they say and taking what they say to
heart. Rather, simply in terms of creating the space to let what they
Remember this: it doesn't matter what they say. It's just
their opinion anyway. It's just an opinion. That's all it is. And you
know what wise men say about what an opinion and an asshole have in
common? "Everyone's got one - and
So don't fret the bad press. Don't fret when they trash that
which you hold dear. If you really want to be trained to
listen, to let it be, this is actually a perfect golden
opportunity. Read all the bad press. Read all of it. Read every bit of
it. Read it over and over and over again until it's just what it is and
just what it isn't and you have no charge on it anymore and you have no
attachment to it anymore and you don't react to it anymore. Then your
training is really complete.
That's how you transform bad press into a good experience.