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7 Ways Successful People Handle Criticism
Criticism can come from people you know: your co-workers, your boss, your colleagues, and even your loved ones. It can also come from strangers, people commenting on social media, rude customers, a driver on the road, and so on.
Criticism is that look that precedes the silent treatment the wife gives you (and you probably deserve) when you forget her birthday.
The point is you can’t go through life without criticism.
You will often find criticism hard to ignore. Criticism attacks who you are, how you see yourself, and your sense of confidence. The way you choose to deal with criticism affects other areas of your life. Therefore, you must put in place mechanisms and strategies to deal with the sharp, barbed arrows of criticism.
1. Take a moment before you respond to criticism
When you are the object of a critic’s acerbic attention, you mustn’t react in anger and create a situation that can get out of hand. Learn to look at the situation objectively and avoid personalizing it. Criticism is just the personal opinion of the critic and is not a reflection of who you are.
2. Distinguish between constructive criticism and destructive criticism
Criticism can be useful when the intention is to give valuable feedback, or it can be disastrous if the sole aim is to hurt. When you can distinguish between the two types of criticism, you will be better equipped to deal with any criticism you face.
The main difference between both types of criticism is the intent of the person criticizing you. Constructive criticism is made to point out your errors to help you identify areas you can improve. The goal of constructive criticism is to help you become a better version of yourself and not to put you down.
On the other hand, destructive criticism is often malicious, the person making the criticism is not offering any solutions or trying to help you get better; instead, the person is attacking your self-esteem and your confidence.
To identify the type of criticism you are facing, you should listen carefully and try to understand the intentions of the person criticizing you. If the criticism identifies a problem you have and it offers a solution, then it is constructive. If it doesn’t and just wants to run you down, then it is destructive.
3. Turn a deaf ear to destructive criticism
If reporting to a superior is not an option, then you should confront the culprit. You should make it clear how that person or group of individuals have attacked your character, and that you want that person to stop criticizing you.
4. Constructive criticism? Deal with it wisely
When you face constructive criticism, you should try and see things from the perspective of the person criticizing you, try to identify suggestions that can help you improve as an individual. If you see constructive criticism as a learning experience and you use it wisely, you will be a better and stronger person because of it.
5. Keep believing in yourself
It is also essential that you don’t allow criticism to impact your sense of self-esteem negatively. Stay true to yourself. By staying true to yourself, you can draw on your inner strength to deal with the setbacks you face.
6. Act on criticism
You have listened to your critic, you have decided if the criticism is constructive or destructive, now you need to act on the criticism.
If the criticism is constructive, address the issues raised by the person and work towards becoming a better person.
If someone has criticized you in a way that is helpful and to aid you in fixing your flaws, thank that person. When you appreciate sincere criticism, you have shown maturity, and that person will be more likely in the future to give feedback in a friendly and supportive manner.
If the criticism is hurtful, try to understand what motivated that person to attack you. The person could have been jealous, the person could have been lashing out due to a bad mood, or the person could simply be a very malicious individual. What is important is that you know that a person’s opinions do not reflect who you indeed are.
7. Learn from it
Criticism is everywhere. At home, at your workplace, when meeting strangers, you will always face criticism in one form or the other. This is why you must accept criticism as a fact of life.
Constructive criticism provides you with a learning opportunity, and it is feedback on the quality of decisions you have made in life. If you learn from it, you can become a better person.
If what you are doing works for you, and you can’t identify any positive suggestions from the criticism you face, then please don’t change who you are just to please others. It means you believe in your ability, and you don’t let the opinion of others affect your self-esteem.
Keep your distance from people who derive joy in hurting others and putting people down. Hang out with people who sincerely care about you, and who are comfortable with the real you.
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