The world is full of people who try to assert their opinions and judgments on others. They want people to conform to their way of thinking and if they are thwarted (which happens a lot), they resort to complaining and criticizing. This creates a negative environment regardless of where it happens–at home, in the office, at the supermarket, or in restaurants.
How do we handle criticism so it doesn’t affect our mental and physical well-being? The key is to not react when we are criticized. We listen to what the other person is saying without judgment or reaction. We observe the criticism against the background of stillness so that the negativity it produces is absorbed into space and thereby loses its energy. If the other person persists in spewing hurtful words, this negative energy will not touch us or it passes right through us and goes right back to the criticizer. We realize that when the other person talks about our faults, they are really talking about their faults because the negative traits that they see in us are also in them. And what are traits but just a bunch of beliefs that are being acted out? They are not real and they are not personal. There is really nobody there. When we come to this realization, we have reduced the criticism to nothing so it doesn’t bother us anymore. This frees us from resentment, hurt, stress and anxiety and leads us to peace. In short, we de-personalize the event and allow the universe (formless) to move into form (criticism, judgment, complaint) and transform it into something wonderful!