I was listening to a great Brene Brown podcast. She talked about people sitting in the cheap seats who are the hecklers. Often the peanut gallery and cheap seat people are those who have not had experience with what you are doing and experiencing. These folks offer insult, judgement and criticism. She says to not listen to those who judge and have no experience or credibility in what you are doing. So when you get criticized, first of all, consider the source.
A good way to look at criticism is in three ways, after considering the source.
An art therapy exercise that is useful, would be to depict yourself in the middle of the page and make a circle with three segments around you. Deciding how to react to criticism. After considering the person's intention and what their motive is for their judgement, make a segment about each of the following.
1. You can listen to their words and opinion with gratitude. Depict the person's intent, their knowledge, and that they have achieved what you would like to. Depict how you respect their opinion. These words help you take what you need from it and grow. For example, you may be struggling with an addicted family member, and you really value a person who has been through the same thing and came through it in a way you aspire to. Their support and guidance would be valuable. You may depict their journey as a lesson for you.
2. You can choose to let criticism go. You would do this if it doesn't resonate with you, it is not constructive and the person offering advice is not someone you respect. If it is someone with no experience with what you are dealing with or experiencing, their opinion is not of value to your personal growth or they are simply highly critical - let it go. You may draw their words in a balloon and you pop it with a pin and let it go for example.
3. You may use the information to learn something about the person who offered their negative two cents. Some people have a habit of judging others' lives. They tend to be a meddler and critical and they have zero experience in the issue at hand. They may have a parent who judges, criticizes and spreads gossip. If they tend to be very critical of others unless they are narcissistic, they are very critical and unhappy with themselves, so they project their feelings critical of themselves too. You may draw the person being sent love and wish them well. You may depict handing them back their words in a suitcase or garbage bag. You may depict their words being flushed down the drain.
Having run my own business for 25 years, and being on social media has led me to have vast experience with people from the peanut gallery. In the beginning, I took things to heart. Now that I have grown, I learn from my interactions. I thank those who had constructive feedback. I have come to realize, in certain situations, it shows me how a person's mind works. In personal situations, I have realized the person's dynamic and why they tend to be judging, I mentally return their words and send them good vibes.
I thought this would be of value during the holidays or for those who tend to feel down about the peanut gallery.