When it comes to criticism, it is surely mored blessed to give than to receive. No one enjoys being on the receiving end of a critical comment and it's harder still when the criticism isn't fair.
When the other person's criticisms feel flatly irrational, or just plain wearing, we listen defensively. We automatically listen for the inaccuracies, exaggerations and distortions, so that we can refute errors, make our case, and remind the other party of their wrongdoings.
You can decide to listen differently. I'll use a couple relationship as an example, but these same 10 steps apply to your relationship with a friend, parent, or boss.
1. Listen attentively to your partner without planning your reply.
2. Ask questions about whatever you don't understand.
3. Find something to agree with even if it's embedded in exaggerations and inaccuracies.
4.Apologzie for your part.
5. Don't counter-criticize. There is a time to bring up your own grievances, but that time is not when your partner has taken the initiative to voice her complaints.
6. State your differences ("Here's the piece I don't agree with...") only after your partner feels truly heard and only after you are calm enough to do so without putting down your partner.