They say that it only takes one insult to undo the good work of ten compliments. In other words, according to this often-quoted idea, if you’re ever insulted you’ll need to get complimented again ten times before you can get your mood up to what it was before.
Of course the cynical among you will know that ‘facts’ like this are completely arbitrary. There are too many factors to take into account to make a sweeping statement like this and expect it to be accurate – obviously it also depends on the nature of the insults, on your individual disposition, and the kind of mood you were in at the time.
The reality is still that most people find insults generally more impactful than compliments, I’m just saying that there are confounding variables – and that it’s possible to lessen their impact if you know how. And if you could make yourself impervious to insults, then you’d be almost bulletproof. You’d be in a better mood more of the time, no one would be able to get you down and you’d be a lot more successful in arguments and debates.
Read on to learn how to become bulletproof and to stop getting hurt by insults and jibes. Sticks and stones…
Know What’s Important to You
The first thing you need to do to stop getting hurt by insults, is to decide what your priorities are and to decide what’s important to you. For some people it’s having a loving family and looking after them, and for others it’s being a success in their career. Either way, once you know that your main ambition in life is to become the next great internet entrepreneur, you’re hardly going to care if someone says you have a big nose. What people say or think of you doesn’t matter once you have a mission statement, and ultimately your actions will speak louder than words. Likewise, knowing what’s important to you will help you to have a better ‘sense of self’ which will give you direction, confidence and drive.
Surround Yourself With the Right People
Compliments don’t always need to be spoken, sometimes they’re small and unspoken gestures. For instance, if someone asks your opinion on something, then that’s essentially a compliment because it’s implicit that they value what you have to say.
If you are surrounded by the right friends and family then, you’ll find that you’re constantly being ‘complimented’ in little everyday ways. That’s only if you spend time with the right people though – some people (mostly those who are insecure themselves) will do nothing but drag you down. Learn to tell these groups apart, and make sure to spend more time in the company of the ones who will build you up.
Focus on Your Positives
From a neurological perspective, remembering a compliment is almost as valuable as being given one. If you are currently having a hard time with criticism then, make a habit of actively remembering your successes, the previous compliments you have received, and all the things in your life that point to your effectiveness. You might have a large range of friends and family which shows just how popular you are for instance, you might have been voted ‘most likely to succeed’ at school showing just how naturally charismatic you are. Your friend might have thanked you recently for always being there, or you might just like to remember how successful your latest business venture was. Do this occasionally and you’ll find that insults are like water off a duck’s back.
Question Their Motives
If you take an insult to heart, then this essentially implies that you value that person’s opinion. In most cases, insults do not accurately describe us but rather reveal the insecurities or hidden agendas of the ones giving them. Chances are that the person insulting you needs to do so in order to build themselves up, or that they are just angry at you for something you did previously. Once you recognise this fact, you should find that the insults lose all their power.
Make the Choice
Most importantly though, you can simply make the choice not to let insults upset you. If the insult is about something you can’t change, then fixating on it isn’t going to get you anywhere (and if you can change it, then you have no need to worry about it). You can choose to let them win, or you can choose to play to your strengths and move on. And by doing so you’ll prove them wrong, come out of the encounter victorious, and look incredibly confident.