Somebody who didn’t handle criticism very well was the German composer, Max Reger (1873-1916), who, today is better remembered for his response to a literary critic than for his musical compositions. This is how he replied: ‘Dear Sir, I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. Your review is before me. Shortly it will be behind me!’ – That’s not speaking graciously!

Similarly, here’s another example of someone who didn’t handle criticism very well. I heard of how one US Senator used to reply when he received a rude letter. He would reply by returning the letter with a note attached to the bottom, which said: ‘I just thought you’d like to know that some nutcase has been writing to me using your name and address’.

Cited in Beware The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt by Harvey Mackay, published by Sphere Books Ltd