Dealing with Criticism

The Wise Response


“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” The Inner Life of Abraham Lincoln: Six Months at the White House by Francis B. Carpenter

I think the wisdom of this quote by Lincoln invites us all to spend less time worrying about what people may be saying and instead focus our energies and our integrity on simply seeking to do our very best.  In addition we might consider that other people are in fact seeking to do the best they can as well. Extending them the same benefit of the doubt, and assuming that their intentions were pure, that we would like to be extended to us.


Kirk Out.


  1. Wow. I am the committee chair for a Boy Scout troop, responsible for getting adult volunteers to work together for the benefit of our kids. I have been saying “assume good intentions” for years! Dale Carnegie said much the same thing by saying that almost all of the time, people are doing what they think is the right thing. Otherwise they’d do something else! If we start from that standpoint, the conversations and resolutions go so much better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *