“If it’s a negative comment that’s hanging over your head, the key is turning it around.”

I don’t know about you, but often when someone makes a passive aggressive or critical comment, it can ruin my whole day. I thought I was the only one who would respond this way until I talked with a coworker who said they could relate.

I’m a fairly emotional person. I’ve always been that way, and I think that’s okay. I care about others, my work, and my happiness. I know many individuals in older generations view millennials as overly emotional. They use the word “snowflake” to depict millennials as fragile and sensitive. But I think that millennials, generally speaking, are one of the most accepting and compassionate generations thus far. Look at the recent changes regarding the LGBTQ community, for example. More equalizing legislation has arisen recently than ever before.  Body positivity and normalizing mental illness have also been mainstream messages largely constructed and bolstered by the millennial generation. So when someone calls you overly emotional, take it with a grain of salt, and thank them for recognizing your compassionate side.

Now that being said, I don’t always appreciate how my mind does respond to negative comments from others. Even things like constructive criticism can rub me the wrong way if presented poorly. So how can you take it in stride, learn from it, and move on with your day?

Spring Tree Blossoms

I’ve noticed it helps to begin by being mindful. Notice how the comment has made you feel. If it’s something hurtful, think about why the person has said it. Maybe it truly was a constructive comment. Take a step back and think about whether it’s actually something you can change – something that could have a good outcome. If it’s not a helpful comment, also think about why they said it. Are they hurting and therefore sensitive about something themselves? If that’s likely, try to apply your sensitivity towards being compassionate to that person. Try to understand what they’re going through. Passive aggressive comments may not really be excusable, but it certainly helps you, the receiver, if you know why something was truly said. Then you can move on.

Doing something that helps you forget about a negative comment can also help. Taking a walk, talking about it with someone, exercising, meditating watching a show, looking at your phone for a few minutes – all of these can provide a little distraction to help you move on and get through your day more positively. If you receive a negative comment about your work, think about what you can do for the rest of THAT DAY to do better. Reflect that night at home and make a plan for how you’ll do better the following day. Focusing on ACTIONS is more constructive than dwelling on the undesirable remark.

Everyone has bad days. If it’s a negative comment that’s hanging over your head, the key is turning it around. Know when to learn something from it – and when to cast it off. We all deal with unkind interactions differently. Work on becoming mindful and you will learn what works best for you.  🙂

Negative Comments: How to respond to move on