Compliments, Criticism, and Contentment
Let’s face it. We all love compliments. Who doesn’t? It feels good when someone says something nice about you. You smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right? Then one person can come along and say ONE negative thing and all the rest goes out the window. Now you feel upset and bothered by that ONE thing. You want to know why they said that/did that. You want to turn around and say something to them to make them understand you. Because if they understood you then they’d agree that you really are a nice and awesome person and wouldn’t think bad things about you. This roller coaster is a dangerous place to be. So how can we get to a place of peace and contentment despite the ups and the downs of others behaviors?
We have to understand what’s happening first. When someone compliments you it feels good. You then assume you feel good because they said something nice and that’s why you’re all warm and fuzzy inside. After all five minutes earlier you didn’t feel that way and now that they’ve said something you feel different. It must be because of what they said. This is kind of how your brain interprets these scenarios. With this thinking then we also think that we need MORE nice things said about us and to us for us to get that warm fuzzy feeling again. But them saying those things to you IS NOT the reason for the warm fuzzies. Them saying those things to you isn’t why you feel good.
THOUGHTS CREATE HOW YOU FEEL
You feel good because of a thought(s) in your mind. You think thoughts that agree with them, that give you permission to believe those things about you. You think thoughts that are nice and uplifting about them. YOU are CREATING the warm fuzzies because of the thoughts that circumstance presented. Remember, a circumstance is anything out of our control – including the actions and words of others.
So in this instance, the circumstance is a person or persons saying something kind about you. Then YOU generate thoughts about the circumstance. YOU give yourself permission to believe those words that were said. You think kind things about them. You think how much you like that person and what they said. You think kind things about you. Because of these happy, kind, loving thoughts YOU create HOW YOU FEEL. Now you feel warm, happy, and giddy inside.
FREEDOM FROM CRITICISM
This is GREAT news that YOU create how you feel because it’s going to FREE you from criticism as well. I know we’ve all been there. You can be having a great day, thinking happy things, people giving you high fives and great feedback, and then that one…that one person that says that one thing and suddenly all that happiness and high fiving feeling deflates instantly. You’ve lost all your warm fuzzies and now you’re feeling bothered, confused, annoyed, negative. Again, you want to blame that person. How could they think that? Why would they say/do that? Everyone else likes it, why are they so _____________?
Then no matter what anyone else says the rest of the day you’re still focused on that one thing. It’s hard to let it go. You may want to talk to them, to set the record straight – which isn’t a bad idea all the time. You want them to understand where you’re coming from. So now, you feel negative and deflated. It’s NOT that person that said/did __________ that made you feel upset. Sorry to tell you but it’s YOU making YOURSELF upset. I know it doesn’t feel that way. Again, you were feeling GREAT! Then THEY said that and now you feel bad. Therefore it must be them. Don’t let your brain try to sell you on that. It’s not what happened. THEY CAN’T MAKE YOU FEEL ANYTHING. Just as YOU can’t make them feel anything.
You upset yourself by thinking thoughts that created those negative feelings inside you. You had thoughts of: Why would they say that? How dare they! I was just trying to help then they turn around and do this?! Everyone else liked it, they’re just ___________. I can’t believe they said that! – What other possible feelings could this thought line create for you except something negative??? Are you starting to see that YOU created those feelings for YOU? It’s really NOT them.
I absolutely LOVE how Brooke Castillo teaches this. She says if someone were to come up to you and tell you something totally absurd, like, “I hate your blue hair!” and you don’t have blue hair, you have brown. Then it’s easy to let that weird interaction slide because it doesn’t mean anything to you. You think, “okay that was crazy and weird.” and you move on because it doesn’t apply to you.
But…when someone says something about you and about what you’re doing or did – then it holds more weight because there’s a portion of you that believes it. A portion of you now questions if what they said is true. Brooke says it’s like if you have small wound and they touch that wound it’s going to hurt a little. But if they touched you on the arm where you don’t have anything it’s not going to bother you at all because it doesn’t hurt. So when someone says or does something to you that bothers you – it’s because of your thinking. You need to spend a little time trying to figure out what’s going on in that head of yours that’s taking it to heart.
TAKE TIME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS
Same thing with the validation and compliments of others. Sometimes we can get so many compliments and still we don’t believe them because inside we’re not allowing ourselves to have those same thoughts that we did great, that we are great.
I like to sing. I get many opportunities where I can sing for others and perform but I remember this one time I performed for a group and I just didn’t feel like I did a good job. Inside I knew every time my voice faltered or I didn’t do what I wanted to and it didn’t sound great to me. So afterwards when people were coming up to me and complimenting me it was painful. Each time they’d say something nice my brain would tell me why they were wrong and remind me that it was really a bad performance.
If compliments were the reason for the warm fuzzies then every time we got a compliment we’d feel that. But I didn’t. In fact, I wanted to leave so quickly because I didn’t want to hear anyone else say anything that I didn’t believe. In my mind I had thoughts that they were lying to me, that they knew it was a bad performance and they felt bad for me so they were giving me kind words out of pity. It didn’t matter what they said really because I was so intent on believing it was a bad performance. The compliments don’t create the good feelings, YOU DO and in this case I didn’t create any good feelings because I was so focused on my line of negative thinking.
Because I assumed that all they said was out of pity does that make it true? That they really didn’t like the performance? No. How could I know that? Maybe to them it really WAS a good performance. Maybe they had no idea what I did wrong and even if they did, they didn’t care. We can’t assume to know what they other person is thinking. We can only control our own and that in itself is a full time job!
WHAT OTHER’S SAY OR DO IS MERELY A CIRCUMSTANCE
It doesn’t matter what people say or do. They’re words and actions are merely circumstances. Circumstances don’t mean ANYTHING until you label them with thoughts. So the BEST NEWS EVER is that you CAN feel CONTENTMENT all the time, anytime you want. You can feel content through the negativity. You can feel content through the compliments, knowing that what they say is really about them and not about you – what they’re thinking, their thoughts, their interpretations. You can feel contentment being you. Showing up and doing the best you can do always.
This is so beautiful because we don’t have to get on that wild roller coaster of emotions, the ups when people compliment us and us needing them tell us we’re doing a good job – we already know we’re doing a good job because we can tell it to ourselves. We can validate ourselves. We can generate thoughts for ourselves that create peace, appreciation, and love. We don’t need to be on the roller coaster when someone says or does something negative to us and then the ride plummets down a steep hill and you feel your insides doing summersaults. You don’t have to feel that because you know that what they say or do is a reelection of them and where they’re at in their life. It’s not about you (read more on that here). You don’t have to step foot on that roller coaster ever again. You can walk through life feeling how you want to feel. Feeling contentment that you have your agency and can CHOOSE how you feel because you can CHOOSE what you want to think and believe about you.
This really is the BEST news ever. You’re not dependent on others to help you feel good about yourself. You are capable of doing that on your own. It starts with your thoughts. Pay close attention to what you’re thinking. Write it down – write it all down! All the thoughts you’re having, you’ll see just WHY you’re feeling the way you’re feeling.
Try it. Let me know how it goes for you. I’d love to hear your feed back and experience with this!
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Also, if you’re having a hard time navigating around your thoughts or letting go of things others have said or done, set up a mini. Let’s chat. It’s FREE. No gimmicks or traps. Just a phone call. I love what I do because I love helping people. Try it. Book it HERE.
Brooke Castillo – The Life Coach School