PREVIOUS: Positive Responses (#4)
3 POSTS: ACoAs Dealing with CRITICISM
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
Review “Events+Emotions+PositiveThinking” parts of chart
4. APPROPRIATE ACTIONS Circle (cont)
🔸BETTER ways to respond (cont. from Part 4) =
a. Saying nothing
If the “problem” Event was the result of one or both people not listening carefully to what each was saying, & then jumping to a conclusion —> what’s needed is for us to check if what we heard was what was they meant. T.E.A. will include:
🚦paraphrasing each side, then asking for validation (Yes) or clarification (No). Acknowledge what each person felt (Es) about the dispute, & see if there’s a legitimate, respectful conclusion / agreement – or not (T or A)
c. Speak Up
For this to be effective it has to come from the Healthy Adult ego state. When we’re able to do that, it breaks the spell of tit-for-tat between the WIC-PP interactions of any 2 people, or one person in an unsympathetic group
EXP: Joe & Bev are in a good long-term relationship. In the early days when they were ironing out some kinks, Joe occasionally expressed frustration with himself: “I’m no good for nothing!”
One time, annoyed with Bev, he said “You’re no good for nothing”.
She didn’t comment, knowing he was projecting his self-hate. More importantly – she could feel in every cell of her body that the remark did not apply to her. So Bev calmly replied: “You know, that’s not a nice thing to say to anyone, Joe”. And he never said it again!
d. Walk Away
There are times when physically leaving is the best option. It may only happen once in a whole relationship – but it is a way of saying to the other person:
• I won’t put up with this, but I won’t fight with you
• I can’t stop you from being a jerk, but I don’t have to listen
• it’s better if I leave than say something I’ll regret
• you’re obviously not being an adult right now (either coming from PP or WIC) & I’m not going to interact with you until you are
• if you continue talking to / treating me this way, we’re done!
e. Rebut / Disagree
It’s legitimate to correct a person’s misconception or outright lie about us
— IF we can do it from a calm place – because we’re secure in our self-evaluation &
— IF the other person / group is receptive.
This is not arrogance or anxiety, it’s simply making a statement of fact.
We don’t have to actually convince someone we’re right. What’s important is that our WIC will know we stood up for the truth
f. Iron it Out
If a job or a relationship is important enough to us, we can try working it out with the ‘adversary’. For it to have any value, each party has to be able to acknowledge their side of the problem, without blame.
✶ It does not guarantee a ‘happy ending’, only self-respect
Maxine & Denise have been friends for a while but not BFFs. One day they’re talking about their taste in clothes. Maxine knows Denise was once a fashion designer & is pushing for an opinion on her newest purchase. Denise makes the mistake of giving an honest evaluation, which hurts Maxine’s feelings, who then gets a little nasty.
• They go home upset but decide the following week to talk about it. When they get together again, they’re both able to own what they reacted to – what was behind Maxine’s question, why Denise was so blunt & what buttons got activated in each.
They leave the dinner knowing they’ve cleaned up the small mess between them & feel good about that. However, they also realize they both have unhealed wounds that happen to overlap. So to prevent hurting each other again & again, they don’t continue their friendship.
NEXT: Positive Responses (#6)