Ask HaviOkay, this might end up being the shortest Ask Havi ever.

Because I’m answering this question by pointing you to a. my next noozletter and b. some book reviews. Whee!

Confidential to TL in Wisconsin

Re: your request for tools and concepts to help you deal with other people’s unbearably awful and unasked-for criticism.

Yeah. Yuck. Criticism overload can be completely crippling sometimes. Ugh. Sorry.

The good news is: you’re in luck because I’ve decided to devote the next noozletter to this very subject.

So expect a more thorough discussion of the dealing with criticism issue on Wednesday.

Also, you might get a kick out of two old noozletters — if you’d like some additional perspective on dealing with uncomfortable situations as well as what to do about all those bubble-bursting joy-suckers.

But let’s get you some recommendations!

In the meantime, while you’re waiting on the upcoming noozletter, let me recommend some really great books that will outline useful communication techniques.

These give you some great techniques that you can use in all sorts of situations, not just when you’re suffering from criticism overload.

And you’ll also get some more concrete ideas about how exactly to respond (both in your head and out loud) when other people start throwing criticism at you.

Read this first.

Read pretty much any of the books in Suzette Haden Elgin’s “Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense” series.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Suzette Elgin is a genius.

Great tactics for verbally outwitting pretty much anyone, but — more importantly — it’s a way to practice consciously taking care of yourself.

Pictured here: “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense at Work” — just because I thought this one might be the most relevant for you.

Then read this.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” is one of the most useful communication books there is. Ignore the “Kids” part.

This book is not really about kids. This book is for anyone who ever was a kid.

Also, this book will make you such a better communicator, and help you get that much better at deflecting (or even better — understanding) any negativity that seems to be coming your way.

Finally, read this.

Because it helps to have some more theory. And a method.

Marshall Rosenberg’s book “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” is a total keep by the bed book.

It outlines a user-friendly formula for dealing with conflict. Or any potentially uncomfortable situation, for that matter.

Aside: My gentleman friend and I live by this method — thanks to Jonathan Sheff for making me read the book!

Just to be fair, I must warn you that in this book, in addition to the great method, you will also find some of the most excruciatingly cheesy bits of poetry every published.

I know! Just ignore those though because the method rocks rocks rocks.

That’s all the homework for now.

On Wednesday you can read my “dealing with criticism” noozletter and maybe that will shed some more light on things as well.

In the meantime, happy reading.

Good luck with everything you’re working on and let me know how it goes.

The Fluent Self