Dealing With Character Attacks!

How to cope with adversity is a positive way.

Recently I have come across some good advice researching how to deal with someone attacking you personally about who you are and talking wrong about you either to your face or behind your back. While reading some articles from a licensed therapist, it helped me to see some things more clearly.

Dealing with the Anger

Recognize that it is okay to feel the anger; it is healthy to feel the anger. Controlling this powerful emotion is extremely useful to harness the energy and redirect it to something constructive. Many people get stuck in thinking that they cannot feel something perceived to be negative, like the anger emotion, but it is an entirely normal human emotion.

Anger is a normal response to being attacked in any form, whether personally or publicly. Anger is an indication that you care or that something matters to you. When an attack is directly against who you are as a person or on your morals, calling into question your actions, beliefs, values, etc. then it affects you because you care.

We can choose to accept the anger and, more importantly, choose to act appropriately, redirecting the energy to a positive action while preventing ourselves from striking back, which will have negative repercussions.

Personal Attacks Can Cause Shame  

The modern attitude from the therapist suggests that all people feel some level of shame when attacked, more specifically, when confronted from a place of contempt or against our morals. When coupled with added personal information, the damage is worse and harder to deal with in general.

Learning to deal with this feeling will help people equip themselves to handle the controversy with grace, especially if the person is in the public eye. Everyone has details about themselves that they do not want to be general knowledge, so best to face the worst-case scenario and think about how you react if the whole world knew the information.

Ask yourself if it’s true; if it is true, then determine how you can live with it, make whatever adjustments required (within your control) to address the issue. If the information is incorrect, then think about your response and how to deliver the message in a calm, controlled manner. Please realize that the feeling doesn’t control you once you face it head-on.

Focus on Your Internal Opinion

It is normal to want others to see you as smart, kind, honest, etc. What is more important is to understand that how someone views themself is what makes them a strong person. This character trait is what will carry people through times of controversy.

When you care about your reputation, you are putting forth the effort to do the things you believe are right and treat others accordingly. Detach your self from the need to convince others and focus on the things that you have control over. The items you do not have control over are not worth investing any energy worrying about it, since you cannot control the outcome.

Placing too much attention to what others think about you will give too much control to a fictitious image that is controlled by other people’s opinions. Instead, focus on the internal audience of your conscience. Being honest with your self and treating you as your best friend is an excellent place to start.

Re-evaluate Your Values

Anytime a person’s actions, beliefs, or values are called into question, the intent is to cause the person to doubt themselves and rattle their cages. If this attack is successful, it will produce feelings of shame, pain, and rejection. These negative emotions can lead someone to act against their values.

If someone falls for this, they will be betraying their values and make themselves feel worse. Instead, look at this as a time to recommit yourself to maintain your standards and solidify your values. Over time you will strengthen your resolve and not be rattled when attacked by others.

Develop Protection By Connecting Acts

Knowing your values is one thing while having proof is something harder to attain. One therapist suggested developing “Agency.”  What they were referring to connecting your values to actions that you can point to as evidence of the trait.

Connecting your actions to your values empowers you to have a backbone and the strength to withstand criticism from others. Think about your beliefs and what those actions those beliefs inspire you to do. Do you think that you are a helpful person? What actions in your life prove to both yourself and others that you are, in fact, a useful person.

You do not need to shout this from the rooftops or call any unnecessary attention to yourself; instead, use the “Agency” to develop yourself, and others will come to know the truth about who you are.

It Takes Time and Repetition

Some attacks are more challenging to deal with than others, especially when it is personal. But, if people take something in the business arena as an attack on them, personally, the effect is the same as a personal attack.

Unless personal information used in the business environment comes into question, and a person’s character gets examined in this manner, the way you interpret the attack will determine how you feel about the incident.

The advice to not take things personally is good, but how do you do that? The guidance needs to come with instructions “don’t take things personally,” and do not ingest the attack. Instead, use negative emotions to inspire growth.

I hope this helps you in dealing with character attacks, ether personal or in the business world. It is all about setting your mind to the task and figuring out how to deal with these issues.

12 comments on “Dealing With Character Attacks!

  • Martin says:

    I can really relate to this post as I was a victim of some pretty prolonged slander against my character at work a few years ago. It was anonymous and I had no idea how to deal with it.  I lost a lot of sleep and felt dread going into work. I wish I had this post back then to help me deal with it. Great info. Thanks

    • Chad Trader says:

      I am sorry to hear about your struggles, glad that you found this post useful. Understanding how these emotions work within ourselves is key to handling future conflicts.

  • Beesean says:

    Thank you for sharing this, in my opinion, genuinely uplifting and blessed article. Coming under a personal attack is a recurrent theme in people’s lives as they will always be those who seek to bring you down and tear you apart. I think this article is incredibly helpful to anyone who has problems controlling their anger or can’t help but let personal attacks get to them. 

    • Chad Trader says:

      Glad you liked the post and found the information useful that is what we are trying to do for others you are encountering these types of problems in life.

  • Lex says:

    Thanks for this article. I’ve dealt with lots of attacks towards my sexuality, which is very frustrating. It made me feel angry at the attacker and ashamed of who I was. Eventually, I realized that what other people thought about me didn’t matter as long as I strive to be the best version of myself. I like that you mentioned we need to use negative emotions to inspire growth. I’ve had to learn how to do this in the past, and it helps a lot. Now when people say mean things to me, I don’t feel bad anymore. 

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with personal attacks and the pain it causes. We can turn something terrible into something useful when approached with the right attitude and use the negative energy towards a positive outcome.

  • Nath says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Though very underrated but very potent in the long run. Knowing how to deal with attacks can prove to be the difference in saving a relationship or allowing it to go sour. I value all you have shared here and honestly worthy to see here. Thank you

    • Chad Trader says:

      Glad you liked the post, and understanding can genuinely save a relationship, along with keeping your mouth shut at the right time.

  • Asaua Jr Sagote says:

    Thank you Chad for motivation,

  • Justin says:

    Many things can get you to lose focus on things that you’re doing, and not every one of these things comes to us from outside, sometimes they are from within, and we have to deal with it just like that, and I am happy to see how helpful this article is. Anger, especially, is something we have to pay close attention to in life. 

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject. When we stop and think about how we react to situations, the method we choose to control the (popularly perceived) negative emotions like anger & shame, can either empower us or take us down the road to resentment and a negative outlook on life.

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