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The Fogging Technique

by Vidya Sury July 17, 2019 9 comments
How to use the fogging technique to build your emotional intelligence

Recently, I wrote a post about how building your emotional intelligence can make you happier and healthier. Today, I have a short and simple exercise to strengthen your emotional intelligence called the fogging technique. This will help you deal with criticism without letting it drag you down.

Practice it. Feel the difference.

How to practice the Fogging Technique

As the name aptly implies, this technique involves acting like a fog. Just imagine you are the fog. The moment someone throws a stone at you, simply absorb it without throwing it back.

This is an effective technique to use against the people who constantly keep criticizing you.

How to practice this?

Here are some examples.

Suppose someone says the following to you:

  • You just don’t understand!
  • You are so lazy!
  • You are perpetually late!
  • You are irresponsible!

What you should do is simply accept the criticism regardless of whether it is true or not—and then repeat it to the person who criticized you. Yes. Here’s how you do it:

  • Yes, I just don’t understand!
  • Yes, I am lazy sometimes.
  • Yes, I was late.
  • Yes, I am irresponsible sometimes.

Continue to respond in this manner—and the person who throws these “stones” at you will eventually run out of steam.

The Fogging Technique is a gentle and elegant way to put a stop to the back and forth argument that might usually result when someone criticizes you. Also, it makes the other person’s rage just flow out of him—like deflating a balloon.

To get into the habit of responding with the fogging technique, practice it with someone close to you. Ask them to criticize you and respond with the fogging technique—and see how you feel.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should use it wisely. Which basically means that you should use it in appropriate situations. So when your Mom says you never pick up after yourself, it is because she cares for you and it is not criticism. It’s character building. So, you simply go pick up after yourself!

How to use the fogging technique

Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.

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Samidha Mathur July 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Fogging technique seems to be interesting.. I am surely gonna try this. But don’t you feel that it may create a negative image of yours in front of others. As not responding to the cricticism sometimes depicts the acceptance of the same… Why do you say..? Please throw some light.


Vidya Sury July 22, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Great question, Samidha! Here is the thing: People who criticize tend to be generally aggressive (and arrogant). The fogging technique can divert an unpleasant situation — giving both people some space — avoiding a confrontation. When we respond by disagreeing, the arguement can be stressful. When we agree, the person who criticizes backs off a bit, because they don’t expect that. What do you feel about that? 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

Melissa July 22, 2019 at 6:25 pm

I love this technique. I’m going to start practicing it because I often either don’t know how to respond or respond and just feel bad about myself after. Thank you for this!

Karmen July 22, 2019 at 10:39 pm

This looks interesting… the only problem I have is how to not sound sarcastic, because I know myself, and I can not accept so easily when someone is confronting me about things that are not entirely true.. but yes, that is the easier way… I am not sure it’s always the best way. But I really appreciate you suggestion and I will definitely try it sometime.

Leana July 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm

The fogging technique seems quite interesting. Im sure it has worked very well for many people!

Vidya Sury July 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Thank you Leana! Yes, It is one strategy that’s easy and usually works!

Nicole July 23, 2019 at 10:54 pm

I’ve never heard of the fogging technique but I wish I had known about it sooner! It would have been extremely useful for me in numerous situations.

Roslia Santamaria August 5, 2019 at 11:44 am

Thank you so much for sharing the valuable post.

Mahima August 5, 2019 at 11:53 am

wow!! so many great things and amazing pictures.
Thanks for sharing this.


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