Dale Carnegie discovered early on that although he couldn’t keep people from criticizing him unjustly, he could do something infinitely more important: He could determine whether he would let the unjust condemnation disturb him.
Carnegie once asked Matthew C. Brush, president of the American International Corporation, if he was ever sensitive to criticism; and he replied, “Yes, I was very sensitive to it in my early days. I was eager then to have all the employees in the organization think I was perfect. If they didn’t, it worried me. I would try to please first one person who had been sounding off against me; but the very thing I did to patch it up with him would make someone else mad. Then when I tried to fix it up with this person, I would stir up a couple of other bumblebees.
“I finally discovered that the more I tried to pacify and to smooth over injured feelings in order to escape personal criticism, the more certain I was to increase my enemies. So finally I said to myself, ‘If you get your head above the crowd, you’re going to be criticized. So get used to the idea.’ That helped me tremendously. From that time on I made it a rule to do the very best I could and then put up my old umbrella and let the rain of criticism drain off me instead of run down my neck.”
Remember—when you are unjustly criticized do the very best you can; and then put up your old umbrella and keep the rain of criticism from running down the back of your neck.
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