“We don't heal each other.
We heal our perceptions of each other,
which leads to healing."
— Alan Cohen
The old saying, sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me, is incorrect. Words are the most powerful things because they are vocal expressions of our thoughts and beliefs. So, it is easy in our wanting to please everyone we can attitude to give them more credence than they deserve. Just like when the phone is ringing, we are not obligated to answer it, whatever someone thinks of us, or what we do, needs no response in kind, and certainly no resistance.
How does one get to this place? Love. Take to heart what the Course of Miracles teaches as its primary agenda: There is only love. Everything else is a movement away from love. We love people for how they are, what they choose to think, how they choose to act. We respect their ability to choose. We need not agree with them, or join their cause, but love would respect their choices for themselves. At the same time, we love ourselves in that we have that same ability to choose.
So when someone attacks, love them. When someone is critical, love them. When someone disagrees, love them. Allow them theirs, while allowing ourselves our own. Therein lies peace.