8. Respond rather than react. There is a very big difference between responding and reacting. When you respond, you communicate carefully and thoughtfully, with a long-term strategic goal in mind. When you react, you lash out with a short-term goal of “winning.”
It’s okay to be hurt by criticism and to disagree with it. And it’s okay to express your feelings on the matter. You don’t want to hold your feelings inside, but you must be very careful about how and why you express them.
When you respond to something, you have thought it through and you have a certain distance and control over your words. When you react, you behave impulsively. Always, always, always respond rather than react when you feel criticized or attacked. Remember, reacting will only make your critic feel attacked, and will likely escalate the conflict and give them more reason to think ill of you.