It’s easy to get caught in a defense spiral when facing negative opinions. You follow the defensive impulse and tend to build scaffolds for surpassing that opinion. Well, it’s not about them, it’s about you. If you keep your focus on that opinion, you won’t have any focus left for what you do best. And sooner or later you’ll become a match for that opinion, because you stopped doing what you’re good at.
Focus on what you really want. Allow others the right to talk about you in their own words and you do what you do best. Moving your focus from negativity or defense to creativity is the best thing you can do. There isn’t much to win over a negative opinion, unless there is something true about that. In that case you should be thankful, as I said, but if there is nothing true about that opinion, make yourself a nice present and forget it.