Appreciating Unintentional Advice
Is it possible to be sensitive and accept snarky criticism with gratefulness? Of course, anyone should be able to turn criticism to personal advantage for success. Either in the work environment or personal life we can benefit from other people's perhaps jealous or just plain derogatory remarks. Instead of getting upset, successful people turn these comments into advice leading to achievement. If you can convince yourself hurtful words aren't personal attacks, but unintentional advice you will recover quickly and decide if you want to take away anything from the comments.
Common wisdom encourages us to believe success results only from hard work or luck. Without being open to listening to the snarky criticisms we miss out on good unintentional advice or compliments. Sometimes even with flat out dig in the dirt until the fingernails would look better bitten and the dirt so deeply embedded I'm considering donating my skin for a turf-graft, I don't get what I want or what I need. I believe in the power of listening to my critics for winning information, the real inside manure-into-compost step-by-step details.
Luck does work in terms of appearance. I shine in a picture, the camera loves my baby blues, pink apple cheeks and pouty bottom lip and if I just sent pictures with my resume and intended to pursue a career where being photogenic was vital, I'd have all the luck I need. I can hear the snarky remarks from certain critics already. "If she has that big an ego she doesn't need luck." "She gets what she deserves." "She needs to take down her pinup over the bed."
Instead of getting upset, I say "thank you" for the criticism. Because the sweet moment of success would taste like every other bitter experience without something vile for comparison. For the record I'm not beautiful. I believe cute might be an appropriate term, but my secret is sparkle. Cuteness factor aside, criticism whether creative or just plain jealous blathering provides feedback. For those who haven't been fed a lifetime of criticism or who think the result in the mirror is the ultimate proof of success will not appreciate or be thankful for criticism. View criticism as another opportunity to improve. Say, "I've made certain decisions and taken chances, now I need to know whether I'm doing the right things and if they are working or not."
If you care why I can make something derogatory into a positive, the talent is learned. My grandmother and mother both speak the unvarnished truth regardless of whose feelings they hurt. I raged against it during my teen years and perhaps buried an effigy or two in the back yard as a protective measure. What I learned from them is to never criticize a rival because doing so just gives her the dirt she needs to triumph over me.
To really hear the advice instead of ignoring it, listen for comments that aren't phrased in a gentle and politically correct manner. You might agree with the words, "Hey you need a shower". The right words to send you immediately for soap and water are the flat-out "you stink". Success isn't achieved by following a recipe or a series of how-to guidelines. Having the courage to accept the scads of unintentional advice is one path to the summit.