Don’t Wrestle with Pigs

If you speak, write books, or blog, you will get criticism. It is inevitable. I have certainly had my share. I’d like to say that my skin has gotten thicker with age, but it hasn’t. Criticism still stings.

Pigs in a Pig Pen - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/narvikk, Image #12327217

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/narvikk

Recently, I was tempted to respond to a blogger who had attacked my company. As I was considering what to say, I heard a politician on the radio responding to an opponent who had called him a liar.

He said,

A wise friend once told me, ‘Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pigs like it.’”

That was all I needed to hear. I dropped the issue and moved on.

Question: Have you had a recent pig wrestling experience?
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  • http://twitter.com/scottvandam @scottvandam

    Thanks for this post Michael! I think we all struggle with criticism, no matter if its in the blogosphere or in the general world of work.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think it is really true for every leader. If you stick your head up above the crowd, someone is going to take a shot!

  • http://Senseqblog.com Senseq

    Very true! I can see the application to work as well!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/wordwranglernc Donna Earnhardt

    I recently received some "anonymous" criticism. I knew that if I responded, the cycle wouldn't end. I needed to see this tonight. Thank you!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      There is something about responding that often energizes your opponent. I find it much better to just keep quiet, receive what you can, and keep doing what you know you are supposed to do.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    So true. Heard it also say that no cynic has ever changed the world. :)

    Many times those critics just want to insight a riot (so to speak). I've encountered this as a Christian many times with those who "appear" hostile to Christianity. In most cases though, they are just looking to validate their assumptions by pushing buttons to draw a negative response. What really throws them off is when you respond counter to what they expect… in love rather than justification and trying to prove a point. It's a choice of responding versus reacting. Reacting adds fuel to their flame. Responding snuffs the fire out (responding doesn't just mean replying, it can also mean choosing to stay silent).

    • http://www.darrellwolfe.com @DarrellWolfe

      So Daniel… what you are saying is that in some cases you need to: “Win The Person, Not The Argument”? I like it, good point!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Laurinda Laurinda

    Yesterday I was at a pig roast. I get not wrestling with them. But can we stick a large skewer through them and throw them over a fire pit? It was sure delicious!

    Criticism comes with leadership. I tend to keep quiet but it sure messes with me sometimes. I do try to hear any truth in it and receive correction. But the hurtful attitude behind it may bug me for a while.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Me, too. I wish I could just turn off my brain and stop thinking about it!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/sabaitechnology sabaitechnology

    Rock on Michael!!!

    Here's another truth… Don't try to teach a lobster to sing… It frustrates you and just makes the lobster mad :-) I think of this anytime I'm starting to work on convincing someone of something they'll never believe. Talking with Newt Gingrich about how great Obama is… or vice versa. It's trying to teach a lobster to sing.

    Thanks again for your posts and time that benefits us all! – William

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That is an awesome analogy, too. I’ll have to remember that one.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/chrisloach chrisloach

    this is great! just wondering, what would you do if that pig continued to attack your company? ignore? respond? block?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I think it depends. Every situation is different. What I don't want to do is give them a larger platform than they would otherwise have.

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  • http://kentsanders.net Kent Sanders

    Michael, thank your for this post. I love it! I read your blog regularly and appreciate it a lot. Please keep up the good work!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kent! I appreciate the encouragement.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    These little pigs are so cute. I wish we wouldn't eat them. Pork chops. So sad.

    Might you ever so subtly be referring to my review of the Lis Wiehl book?

    If so, no offense taken. If not, never mind.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No, not at all. I am referring to a personal attack.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Good to hear. I hope it isn't simply because you never read my piece ;-)

        People have wildly different thresholds for what they will perceive as an "attack," versus, say, a good-natured working-over that springs from verbal playfulness rather than genuine malice. I've certainly been called mean and malicious for the weirdest reasons (albeit perfectly legitmate ones from the point of view of the offended party, of course).

        I suppose it's all very subjective.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

          No doubt.

  • http://www.faithimagined.com alisa hope

    Speak to a fool and become a fool! I'm sure that person is not a fool 24/7, but it's good to ignore it when it happens. I've been a fool and, thank God, people ignored me. This gave God room to put a mirror to my face. Let's just say that I learned my lesson ;o)

  • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience

    As a farmer’s wife who has blogged that last six years (book forthcoming with Zondervan, 2011 and DaySpring blogger), this post made me smile.

    My husband and I farm 600 acres — and we raise hogs.

    Yes sir, I’ve dealt with more than a few stubborn pigs over the years — moving pigs into pens, on to trucks, into trailers, down a side road or two. Through cornfields and once even hosted a catch-the-pig event at a church picnic. (We oiled up the pig and invited folks to give it go!)

    And over the course of 2,000 posts, yes, too — the slipperiness of the blogosphere and the muddiness of criticism. The blogosphere can be much worse than the barn.

    And yes, Mr. Hyatt, may I humbly submit, as a pig farmer and blogger, you are wise and right:

    Best to maintain a silent and steady composure and lead the pigs by your grace.

    Excellent post. And may I too offer my thanks for your words in this place? Yours is a regular read and I deeply appreciate your ministry here…

    A farmer’s wife and longtime reader….
    All’s grace,
    Ann Voskamp

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your perspective, as both a pig farmer AND a blogger. What a combination. Maybe I should take up pigs. (I’m not sure my neighbors would appreciate that!)

      I appreciate the encouragement, Ann.

  • Reg

    Hope you dont mind if I copy the pig quote. Good one!! Thanks! You are great and extremely motivational and a positive thinker! Regarding this tho, it is so hard not to respond to criticizers, bit my tongue many times and am doing so currently with a situation! Getting past the hurt is a whole other thing tho. Very hard!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No, please quote it. It wasn’t original with me. In fact, if you Google it, you will find a number of people who say it.

  • lonestar

    This is certainly very meaningful to me right now. Someone came at me with both barrels, recently. I fretted. I worried. I withdrew. I examined my life and motives. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Then I gave it to God. I never did wrestle with that pig and I never will. I'm still praying. But I am free.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Good for you!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/chrisloach chrisloach

    thanks for the response!

  • Terry Wilhite

    This is really timely! I got knocked over the head this weekend because I had a typo in a Facebook post. Apparently because I'm the communications director for a school system that was totally unacceptable. I left out the "a" in beautiful. Oh wow, crucify me. The dart was from a city leader who surely has had darts tossed at him and knows how it feels. Great post, Michael. I've added it to the one recently by Seth Godin who reinforces the notion to not criticism keep us from shipping. I greatly appreciate your work. I most appreciate that you are real!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I get those, too. Some people can’t believe that the head of a publishing company would dare to have typos. Frankly, I probably have at least one in every post. But, as you point out, “shipping” is the important thing. I am in total agreement with Seth about that.

  • ReRe

    I think that's my biggest fear "criticism". As a person who is inspiring to write, I have already allowed criticism to bite me, and the crazy thing about is I haven't published my work yet! Aargh…!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Steven Pressfield refers to that as “The Resistance” in his must-read book, The War of Art. I encourage every writer I know to read it.

      • ReRe

        Thanks for the advise; purchased it and will have it in a few days…Can’t wait to read it!

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    Over the years in ministry I have faced criticism, as every pastor will. In my early years I thought it was best to confront my critics and in hindsight I realized that wasn't the wisest thing to do. There were times when I would win an argument but lose a person or more. Eventually I came to the place of seeing that if the criticism was justified then I stood to be corrected and if it wasn't, then I would let the Lord look after the matter. Criticism is never easy to take- just our nature I guess- but I have learned not to respond to it in a confrontational way. Critics can either be learned from or silenced when they get no response.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's a beautiful summary, Forrest. I think criticism is also a great opportunity to ask, “Where does my identity and security come from?” If it comes from God, nothing can shake it. If it comes from other people, life will be a roller coaster!

  • http://www.davidbmclaughlin.com davidbmc

    I understand the not wrasslin part but I also think if the pig breaks your fence you have to fix it. There are times to respond in order to correct the record, etc. i totally agree however that sometimes you may be giving the critic a bigger platform than they may have had otherwise.

  • http://www.paulgardner.info/ Paul Gardner

    Hmmm. Certainly hope this didn't relate to my little tongue in cheek post about "WOW" and BookSneeze! If so, please accept my apologies as I was just trying to point out something amusing!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      nope, sorry. I missed that.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jdavidtrotter jdavidtrotter

    2.5 years ago, I imploded my life through some heinous decisions that sent shrapnel flying in every direction. My email, phone, and the blog world lit up. Venomous, painful attacks. From the beginning, I didn't respond to a single word…not even to the people from my church who stood in front of my home taunting me.

    After patting myself on the back until my arm was sore, I re-read Luke 6…
    "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

    Even a couple of years later, I felt like I should start praying and blessing these individuals to the point of mailing apology notes and gift cards to several couples. Ironically, they mailed the notes and cards back, but I am challenged to continually praying, blessing, and doing good…not just refraining from retaliation.

  • http://Joanna21.etsy.com Joanna Schiele

    Wise words! Thank you.

  • http://blog.simonhay.com.au/ Simon Hay

    I find it hard not defend others, but I’m able to ignore it when I’m attacked. I have strong views, and I understand that my opinions and experiences can unsettle some people. What happened to disagreeing respectfully? I love the title of this post.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I don’t know what happened to disagreeing respectfully. I think talk radio and television have polarized people and become increasingly disrespectful. It is rate to hear people debate without resorting to personal attacks.

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/childrensministryandculture Larry Shallenberger

        I agree with that thought. Most talk media approaches a sum-zero approach to conflict.

        I'm reading the new Bonhoeffer bio and I'm impressed with Bonhoeffer's willingness to befriend and engage theologians with whom he had strong disagreement.

        So Dietrich might be a celebrated martyr and theologian. But we'd never give him a radio show today.

  • http://randomjottings.typepad.com Elaine Simpson-Long

    I recently reviewed an autobiography in which the author mentioned hisseemingly disfunctional family. When the review was posted up popped an abusive and unpleasant comment from his sister who obviously took a different viewpoint. I wrote a polite but firm reply back and then left it. She had her point of view which she was entitled to and I told her this but did not mean she could be abusive to me – and that was that. First time this has really happened to me but it comes with the territory.

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Michael, So true. I try hard to live by (and encourage friend and family to) the mantra of "Picking your battles" in times of criticism. AND, my skin isn't that thick, either. In a case of harsh criticism, I prefer to pick up the phone and chat with the person or talk to them face to face. In John Maxwell's book 'There's No Such Thing as Business Ethics', he refers to the 8 rules of respect. I try to remember 1 & 2. 1) If you have a problem with me, you come to me…in private. 2) I will do the same for you.

    Or, in cases where you just can't hold your tongue, I use Mom's advice: "Kill 'em with kindness."

    And last but not least…Irish diplomacy – Tell 'em to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip!

    Not that I have ever received any criticism or anything like that.

  • http://hrringleader.com Trish McFarlane

    If we can step back and consider the source when receiving criticism, that is what differentiates whether or not we need to spend time on it. Coming from a friend, family member, or trusted colleague, criticism can be helpful as long as there is constructive intent. I let all the rest roll off my back. The biggest challenge is not what comes from other people, but the criticism I see people putting on themselves. Working in HR, it is a common occurrence to have employees at all levels being their own harshest critic. I guess we need to make sure we're not being the pig too. Nice post.

  • http://www.shrinkingthecamel.com Bradley J. Moore

    Michael – Criticism also comes with the territory, the higher up you are in an organization or in terms of public visibility. I just turned 50, and even with all those years of experience, like you, I still cringe when faced with criticism. You would think it would get easier with time!

    I have found that taking a deep breath and allowing for some emotional distance/detachment helps. Also, of course, it is important to have trusted advisors to bounce off and "vent" the situation, to help to know if and how to respond. It's so easy to go quickly into an emotional response, which does not always lead to the best outcome.

  • Renato T.

    That seems to be a old style version of “don’t feed the trolls”. Also makes me think if I haven’t been a pig a few times.

    Thank you for the post.

  • http://blessingmpofu.com Blessing Mpofu

    I like what Elbert Hubbard said, "To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. " Darn! i've just responded to someone, very politely but am just wondering whether i should have? Anyway, i think a good challenge is in "striking the balance" i.e. how do i determine whether this warrants my response and or not? thanks for the thought Michael… just made me rethink my "response strategy".

  • http://www.visiblechurch.org Don Heatley

    Or as I once heard a preacher say, "Never get in a spraying match with a skunk."

  • http://blessingmpofu.com Blessing mpofu

    i read this sometime and sort of forgot about it – the air force web response chart:
    http://www.webinknow.com/2009/01/us-air-force-web

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    It amazes me how critical people can be at times. Take the iPhone 4 as an example. It's unquestionably one of the best pieces of technology ever invented, yet it is disparaged over a very minor antenna problem that affects the phone only if you hold it in a certain manner. Obviously this was a case that ignoring the complaint made it worse. Or look at Toyota, complaints and recalls about an accelerator problem that may not have actually existed, and instead been a case of driver error. The fallout has been severe. Both of these are great case studies for doing business and responding to criticism in a hypersensitive world.

    • Joe Papp

      With three engineering degrees (one of which is in Chemical Engineering), 20 years in nuclear power, 5 years in medical devices and 5 years in 3 other fields…I’ve finally figured out that most people are technically illiterate MORONS. Not worth the time to explain the difference between H2O and He4…! Makes life easy, knowing that unless it’s a surgeon who could save my life, or a roofer who can and DOES fix the leak on my roof, most other people can be ignored.

  • Chris Spradlin

    great post Michael! wrestling w/ some pigs right now and i in the past month i have made the intentional decision to get out of the mud pit, clean off and never go back! no upside.

  • http://twitter.com/jhwist Henrik Wist

    I live to the mantra “Never argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

  • mke mouse

    Applies in many venues — parenting is another one. Some (many?) times it seems that the kids see arguing as entertainment…

  • http://www.kendavis.com Ken Davis

    Mike, What a great reminder at a perfect time. I have had very few pigs over the years but have spent days wrestling with them emotionally and mentally. I don’t often get in the pen with them anymore. HOWEVER, your blog reminded me of a couple of times I HAVE BEEN THE PIG! Ever wanted to take “send” back?

    • http://davidbmclaughlin.com davidbmc

      i have a man crush on ken davis. nice to see him commenting here!

  • http://theperkinsblog.net Michael

    Unfortunately I have wrestled with pigs, especially with blogging. At first it really bothered me, because all I want to do is encourage, but I understand that some have other agendas.

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive @obihaive

    Great advice….I don't know what that other guys' beef was with Thomas Nelson but I think you all are great! Especially this blog. I read it almost every day and it challenges me to be a better leader.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/moweezle moweezle

    Thanks for this! I recently had a similar situation and I was also tempted to jump into the dirt, but now I know what I can use instead ;)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TravisRobertson Travis Robertson

    Great and timely post, Michael! Thanks for reminding me that strength of character is often not shown in how we respond, but in when we choose not to respond.

    Cheers!
    Travis Robertson

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/anthonyharden Anthony

    I love the quote. Do you worry that by refusing to engage, you may miss a ministry opportunity. I have trouble distinguishing pigs that are truly mean and inconsiderate from those that are just in pain and scared.

  • http://www.kathybutryn.com Kathy Butryn

    Great reminder! Thanks for sharing Michael. Very timely!

  • Blair

    Mike,
    I totally understand your frame of mind. It is difficult not to defend yourself or at least send back a friendly “you’re welcome” message.
    But as I was reading your post I was thinking of something I heard a preacher (I believe it was Leonard Ravenhill) once say. After he finished preaching at a church a young gentleman approached him and said “sir, I didn’t like your preaching tonight”. With that the preacher responded and said “young man, I totally agree with you. It should be better”. The young man went totally silent and that was the end of the conversation. The basis of the preacher’s point behind this story was that the enemy will try anything to move you away from God’s plan and have everything be focused on you – basically pride. But when we become more like Christ pride gets stripped away and then it really doesn’t matter what anyone says to us because it is not about us. I always admired how many times Jesus kept silent and let things just roll off his back – so to speak. This may not relate totally to your incident but I thought I would share it cause it helps to remind me when things like this happen to me.
    Blessings,Blair

  • http://bradleyaharmon.com Brad Harmon

    I wonder if we don't like the wrestling too sometimes. I've noticed that self-righteous people tend to get a sense of enjoyment from being offended. It's almost like they seek it out. I've been guilty of this myself.

    Like you, I don't think I've learned how to not let criticism sting me. I've done a good job not displaying my wounds to others, but often it festers in secret. It's in those times that I have to stop and ask myself why it is bothering me that much.

    Am I just being self-righteous or is there some truth in the criticism that I don't want to face? Too often it's the latter; however, I've learned a lot about myself when I take an objective look at the criticism.

    Knowing your character, I'm sure the criticism was baseless. "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" is still hard for me to do, but I've learned to be thankful for people who give me this opportunity because it makes me a little more like Christ.

  • http://www.inkhornblue.blogspot.com Rosslyn Elliott

    This post made me go back and read your "Friends, Critics, and Trolls" post, which is just excellent. I have received painful criticism many times, some of it with an element of truth, some not. A friend recently sent me this study, which I honestly think is the best study I have ever read on the subject. The quotations are so excellent that I repeated them to myself like a healing prayer during a recent difficult time. Perhaps it will be of help to you too, as I know it can't be easy to hear abusive stuff as frequently as you must.
    http://www.ccel.us/mountain.chap13.html

    It's from a study called "A Man to Match the Mountain" that my husband has been reading.

    I count myself thoroughly blessed as a newly-signed TN author, and I have really appreciated your posts here for the past two years.

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  • http://www.dadtoday.com Stefan

    good advice! not sure where you heard it, but I remember mccain pulling out this zinger in ref to a debate with romney. hadn't thought about it in this context, but you are so right on

  • http://www.marcmillan.com Marc Millan

    That is an awesome, short, sweet post and memorable quote bro, thank you.
    M_

  • http://www.garrickdconner.com Garrick D. Conner

    This is incredibly accurate. Anyone in leadership gets his fair share of criticism, and I'm pretty good at being able to look to find truth in it. As a pastor, I get all kinds of criticism — much of it probably well-meaning but ill-conceived. Of course, the frustration lies in the fact that there are just certain things you ethically can't disclose in order to 'set the record straight.' I've learned to respond to unwarranted and misplaced criticism with a simple word that lets the person know I heard them (or in the case of the coward, received the email). I simply reply, "Perhaps." I've found that I get fewer and fewer rude criticism from the same people.

  • http://www.rhythmformcolor.com Heidi Segal

    So true and such difficult thing to practice. Sometimes you just can't reason with the unreasonable. And as my mom always tells me, it's God that protects our reputation if we are unjustly criticised. The truth comes out in the end.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    I think part of this is that we all need to learn how to deliver CONSTRUCTIVE criticism rather than just offensive, destructive criticism.

    There are always those who just want to be pigs and I agree completely that they should be ignored but then there are those of us who genuinely want to help.

    Maybe you could write a post on how to present constructive criticism?

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/mitchebie Mitch Ebie

    I have not had to deal with this too much, fortunately. However, I appreciate this advice as I expect to have to deal with it more in the future. In most cases, the criticism from others will not cause near as much harm to my character as I could cause by retaliating.

    • chol cabral-caldito

      true!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/orualundone orualundone

    That is literally the best thing I've heard all day!

  • http://www.ipeccoaching.com Ryan Stanley

    Nicely done Michael. As you mentioned, it’s inevitable that we’ll receive criticisms anytime that engage in a public format in which we put ourselves out there. The important thing to remember is that anytime someone has something negative to say, their thoughts are really more about who THEY are and the life that THEY’VE led then it is about you. In the same sense, if someone finds something positive to say about you or likes what your presenting that is also about who they are, and those are the people who you are writing/speaking to anyway. In others words, we need not worry about those who don’t like our product, because we’re not making it for them anyway. Thanks for posting and keep up the great work!

    RMS

    Ryan Stanley
    Director of Strategic Alliances
    The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
    http://www.ipeccoaching.com
    http://www.facebook.com/ipeccoaching

  • Mandy

    I am going through that right now at work. I prayed and prayed and even though, I wanted to get down and dirty, I believe the Lord told me to let the matter drop. I didn't want to at first, but in the end I didn't give up, but decided to pray for those who were slandering me. After all, God's in control and He knows the Truth.

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  • Patty

    I have always liked this quote, I think that it came from John Maxwell.

  • Roland

    Another pig aphorism, unknown source: “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

    Hey, maybe there's a book idea here–Everything I Need To Know I Learned From My Pig, or The Wisdom of Pigs, or The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pigs, or…..

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  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/rogerfields Roger Fields

    "There is no greater gift than a fierce critic" Tom Peters.

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Good advice!!

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  • http://www.kristerdunn.wordpress.com Krister

    Very, very sage advice…and hilarious!

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  • Anonymous

    Yes, today actually! Sticky spot….when to speak out, and speak up for someone who is hurting – and also receiving an enormous amount of mockery and ridicule from folks who claim to follow Christ. But, this is a great reminder – thanks Michael.

  • http://michael-hotard.blogspot.com/ Hotard Michael

    Matthew 7:6b

    neither cast your pearls before swine,

    Some people want to argue just to argue. What is true has no meaning to them. I have had many heated exchanges on Youtube and Blogger. When my opponent resorts to vulgarity and ad hominems, I know it is time just to walk away. The truth is too valuable a treasure to allow the pigs to just trample over it.

  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    Thanks for re-tweeting the link to this. I needed that today.

  • Carltown

    Yes, I’m involved with a small group trying to lead out city to amend the city charter next week to protect the parks. People with money see the parks as a land bank they can use for highways and other non-park uses. Great quote for us. They enjoy getting dirty.

  • Julia

    Thank you for the reminder. I have had 3 pig interactions this week, ugh.

    The mud they sling may hit me, but that doesn’t mean I need to go crawl down into the mud to respond. Here’s to letting go of the sting and staying out of the stink!

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    Thanks for the openness. That principle works and helps us to move on track.

  • Joe Lalonde

    That’s a nice way to deal with criticism and attacks!

  • Asfa

    I regularly wrestle myself from responding to trolling or angry comments. 

  • http://www.WinningAtRomance.com GinaParris

    Uh yeah! I blog about sex & marriage and even have a radio show on the topic. You can imagine the responses – I make my co-host at sexymarriageradio refrain from forwarding me any that are truly hurtful! I can say though, that we are called to both attract and repel – and I love the wrestling with the pigs illustration.  Besides, the lives we help are worth it all – especially when we’re obeying God!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Gina,
      I can only imagine the stories you must get! But what a great opportunity to help people and speak word of encouragement!

  • Erin Joy Hollister

    I love that quote! I keep a magnet with it (worded slightly differently and attributed to George Bernard Shaw) hanging on my filing cabinet at work. It’s been a great reminder to keep my mouth shut on so many occasions.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I need to get the magnet!

  • http://frankjkenny.com/ Frank J. Kenny

    Michael, I used to run a local chamber of commerce. In such a visible community position I was often criticized for this or that. What I came to realize was that there would never be a time when 100% of the people liked me or our positions. It was simply part of life. Somebody would always be upset with me (or us).

    Some things that helped me to deal with it was the  quote, to paraphrase, “Nobody kicks a dead dog” and Churchill’s, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

    One last thought….It is not your enemies that hurt you deeply. It is your friend’s criticism that burrows deep and leaves a scar.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Frank,
      This is great input, and I totally agree about the scars from friends and family leaving the deeper wound. good stuff.

  • http://www.kenmcintyre.org/ Ken McIntyre

    This is a brilliant post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jim Fletcher

    That is so weird that someone would “attack” Thomas Nelson.

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  • chol cabral-caldito

    Haha! yeah I’m wrestling with a pig now and when I saw this post, you’ve made me decide to drop it. I am starting to get dirty and it’s not worth it! Thanks for this simple but straightforward post!

  • http://www.darrellwolfe.com @DarrellWolfe

    AH! This happened to me just the other day! Good reminder.

    One way I did find of backing out of it once you engaged it, is to back up. Stop “arguing your point”. And start asking WAY more questions, and stop making any kind of absolute statement. Start playing dumb even. “Oh… that’s interesting. What makes you say that…”

    One of sever things will happen.

    1. The Pig will turn him/her self around in circles and fall away.
    2. The Pig will learn from his/her own words.
    3. You will find that You Too can learn from Pigs.

    Thanks for this reminder Michael. I needed to hear this today.

  • jeff

    That’s awesome advice I enjoyed that I’ll have to pass that on

  • http://teachingstewardship.com/ Brian Horvath

    I recently had a “pig-wrestling” experience; however, this time, I had the appropriate footwear, so to speak. I waited longer than I should to respond to this person (this person was awaiting a response to something that was connected to the criticism) which allowed me to settle my anger and deal with it in a Christ-like way. The person apologized; however, I don’t think they’ll be “changing their style” anytime soon. Bottom line: that’s not my responsibility and overall I’m improving in this area! Thanks Michael for the way you connect with us Platformers!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your story, Brian.