Criticism is a tough thing to take, much like how a necklace stored in a Swiss safety deposit box is tough to take. Unlike a necklace stored in a Swiss safety deposit box, criticism is not shiny and won’t make you feel like a million bucks. However, like a necklace stored in a Swiss safety deposit box, criticism usually has an evil past.

If someone starts to criticize you, adopt a defensive stance. If you are familiar with the sport of basketball, you know that a defensive stance involves standing with your legs shoulder length apart, knees bent and one arm extended towards your Critic. You’re doing this because in life you must protect yourself, like a fierce lioness protects her young. This means that you will play the roles of both lioness and cub. Don’t stress, there’s no need for costume changes. A faux fur rug draped over your head will suffice for both. And, no, if you’re a man you cannot play a lion. You’re a lioness. Get over it.

Now that you’re in a defensive stance and have a faux fur rug draped over your head, it’s time to go into offensive mode. Because, as we all know, “the best defense is a good offense.” Socrates said that, but in Greek.

The epitome of something that is both defensive and offensive is a bayonet. You can fashion one out of kitchen utensils and a broom handle, or a Swiffer handle if you’re fancy. You could also simply use your grandfather’s old bayonet, which he used to ward off snooping neighborhood children. If you’re feeling extra offensive, you could attach kitchen utensils to the actual bayonet so it’s a hybrid Swiss Army bayonet. Ironic, as the Swiss are neither offensive nor defensive.

There is no significance to the fact that the Swiss have been mentioned twice thus far. But it is worth noting. If you are critical of that, you would do well to keep it to yourself, unless you’re wearing bayonet proof armor.

Once the Critic sees you in your defensive stance with a faux fur rug on your head, wielding a bayonet, he will most likely retreat in terror. However, this only works in person. If the criticism is done over the phone or the Internet, your bayonet and lioness costume will prove useless. You could try and take a picture of yourself brandishing the bayonet threateningly and sending it to them, but this might not work. Not least of all because it would be hard to take a self-portrait while holding a bayonet.

“Know your enemy,” is what the Huns used to say, but in Hunish. That is why if the Critic says, in his critical accent, “I find your writing to be… what’s the phrase… not good,” you have to know as much as possible about him so as to swiftly counter with a cutting and personal retort. However, as the Critic is also a human being with feelings, you should avoid being overly harsh. It is safe to assume that the Critic has never known a day of happiness nor laughed in his life, so an example of a mild yet effective retort would be something along the lines of, “You have no sense of humor and will never love or be loved.” If that doesn’t silence the Critic, you could always make fun of his stupid hair, because his hair is most likely stupid.

That being said, people should be able to take criticism from you, because you have great hair and you are of course just trying to push them to do their best work. Also, your opinion is held in very high regard in many circles, so if you were to tell someone else that their writing was not so much good as terrible, and that they should just quit altogether, you would merely be saving them from a lifetime of pursuing a dream that they will never achieve. And if they can’t take your criticism they are babies who can’t even brandish a bayonet properly because they have tiny baby hands.