Opinions. We all have our own. Some of us like to stand up and shout them from the rooftops. Others keep theirs to themselves. Some like to push their own onto others, while many fall out with friends due to a difference of them.
I'm responsible for all of the above, at least I have been at some stage in my life. It's only in recent years, however, that I've learned to not take other's point of view to heart. If you do, it can really spoil an otherwise beautiful day. I like to try and give people the benefit of doubt, that is, when I hear something that can only be described as unnecessary negativity, I'll mentally label it as one of the following:
A) A dry sense of humour (this I like!)
B) Honesty (matter-of-fact-style, perhaps a critiquing)
C) It came out of their mouth with little thought
D) They're only trying to help
If it's none of the above, it's probably;
E) They're putting others down to make themselves feel better
Growing up, I heard a majority of E's. Probably due to teenagers' lack of confidence. Then over time, as I've filtered out the nasties, I'm a recipient of a lot of A's. Perfect. Oh and a few B's - as an arts 'n' crafter this has helped improve my work. However I do hear an occasional E still. It's easier said than done to just ignore and move on, as the ego gets defensive and wants a fight (I don't see the harm in an imaginary pummeling of the bully ;-) ). The last time an E was dished out to me, it was aimed not only at me, but also at my son (yes, a 3-month-old baby). My primitive instinct screamed in my ear to get the claws out and launch myself into the nasty piece of work that stood before me, but thankfully my intellect took over, I smiled and walked away. I was so happy as I really wasn't in the mood to mop up several pints of blood.
Anyway, I read somewhere that an argument is a form of verbal martial arts and I've found this to be so helpful. If something is verbally aimed at you, if you don't respond to it, it doesn't affect you. Better still, you can deflect it back at them with a question, eg: "Do you feel better now that you've said that?". This is a great one as it surprises them and you can see the look of disbelief on their face followed by what looks like overwhelming discomfort at not knowing how to respond. If you respond or not, just know it is a choice you make, whether or not you let it affect your mood.
Indulging in a bit of imaginary fisty cuffs, where you win of course, is always a bit of a pick-me-up too!