How Do You Handle Harsh Criticism From Customers?

pecans nuts and shellsHarsh criticism hurts, and it hurts even more when you think the criticism might be true.

Yes, you can protect yourself from obnoxious customers, but is that always the best solution?

No, it’s not, but Tim Sanders, the best-selling author of Today We Are Rich, has the perfect answer for you.

The “Nuts and Shells” Exercise

In Today We Are Rich, Tim Sanders provides you with a framework for handling criticism. It’s called the “Nuts and Shells” exercise.

On the surface, it seems like common sense, but, as you know, during the heat of the moment, logic is often torpedoed by emotion.

That’s where this exercise comes in. When you’re feeling hurt, this exercise pulls you back into reality and anchors you there.

Here’s how it works:

When you eat nuts—like pecans—there’s a protective shell that shields the edible portion of that nut.

How do you get to the tasty center?

You use a nutcracker.

And then, what do you do with the shells?

You throw them out.

And that’s it.

How Do You Use the “Nuts and Shells” Exercise to Handle Criticism?

Think about it.

No matter what people say, whether it’s positive or negative, there’s an opportunity to learn something from their comment.

How can you take advantage of that opportunity?

Grab the nutcracker, and crack that comment WIDE open.

Then, learn what you can, and throw out the shells.

It’s that easy.

I know this sounds like some “woo woo” stuff here, but it works because it’s practical.

How I’ve Unknowingly Used the “Nuts and Shells” Exercise For Years

Yes, I’m quick to ignore customers and prospects who are rude and obnoxious.

However, I’ve always looked for ways to turn their reprehensible behavior into an opportunity.

For example, over at Social Triggers, people often mistakenly think that using psychology to persuade people to buy products is equivalent to manipulation.

I’ve even received “hate mail,” but I can’t blame the haters.

If you intend on manipulating people, you can.

But are the strategies inherently evil?


It’s the people who use the strategies, and now, after I’ve attracted some haters, I make sure I point that out regularly. And surprisingly enough, I haven’t received much hate since then.

I essentially used the “nuts and shells” exercise. I took the harsh criticism, discovered the root of the problem, addressed it, and threw out the shells.

The Bottom Line

Have you received harsh criticism lately?

How did you deal with it?

Did you let it get you down?

Do you think the “Nuts and Shells” exercise will work for you?

Also, if you like Tim Sanders’ style, you should check out his new book Today We Are Rich. You can head over to his site, and download a portion of his book for free by clicking “Download the Free eBook” on the top right.

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