4. Listen carefully. It can be very difficult in the midst of hearing criticism to listen carefully to what the other person is saying, because the urge to defend yourself will kick in. Your heart might race with indignation, and your adrenaline might start to churn in preparation for a “fight.” You must stop these physiological reactions in their tracks.
Use mindfulness techniques to focus yourself on the here and now, and push your own need to react away. Focus on listening. Remind yourself that listening to what someone else says is not the same as accepting it or agreeing with it. You will have time to respond later. The better you listen now, the more you understand, the better equipped you will be to respond productively.
Watch your facial expressions. Keep a poker face if you can. Studies show that eye-rolling and smirking at your partner during a disagreement is one of the biggest indicators of divorce down the road in married couples. Respect your critic’s opinions, even if you don’t share them.