There are times to be stern with yourself and Eat Your Peas as I said a few days ago and then there are times when you need to put away all the "should’s and have to’s" and be gentle with yourself. Sometimes our expectations can lead us down a path of despair. As I said yesterday, we all are human.
One way we can be gentle with ourselves is in the area of feedback and criticism. It is inevitable that at different times we are going to get feedback from others that they didn’t like something we did or said. We can handle this information in many ways, we can get defensive, we can use it to beat up on ourselves because we aren’t perfect, we can get mad or we can listen and give ourselves time to evaluate what of the feedback is valid and what of the feedback is not helpful.
Telling someone, "I need time to process what you are telling me before I can respond" is an option. Many of us faced with criticism especially, criticism we feel is unjust, lose our ability to think on our feet. But there is no rule that you have to respond the minute the feedback is given.
Setting time to sort the truth from the emotion and reaction can help us be gentle with ourself and have better relations with others.