Criticism is simply a part of life. Even if you decide to never talk to anyone or leave your house again, someone somewhere might still be saying unkind things about you. Since you can’t hide from it, you might as well come up with a plan to eliminate the negative impact it can have. Maybe you can even benefit from it! How great would that be?
This process will allow you to effectively handle criticism, learn from it, and move on:
1. Pause. In the case of receiving criticism, your first reaction is unlikely to be the best reaction. Take a deep breath and pause for a moment. You can always respond later. Walk away and give yourself the time you need.
- Emotional responses are rarely the best. The most positive decisions are made with thought and consideration.
2. Be a big person. Recognize that criticism is never more than a criticism of your actions, it’s not a criticism of who you are. Even if someone intends the latter, it’s not truly the case.
- Try to stay detached from all the emotion and look at everything in an impersonal manner. Your immediate impulse might be to attack back, but striking back solves nothing and only escalates the situation. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you rise above the silliness.
3. Learn what you can. Nearly all criticism has at least a speck of truth to it. See if you can identify the truth in the criticism you received. What can you learn? How can you improve? At the very least, you get practice dealing effectively with criticism! Don’t dismiss the criticism too quickly. You can learn something from everyone.
4. Thank your critic. It might be the last thing you feel like doing at the moment, but do it anyway. Maybe they are just having one of those days. But even if they are simply a rude, negative person in general, thank them anyway.
- You’re likely to catch them off-guard, and they’re likely to either expand on the reasoning behind the critique or apologize. You might even win them over when you accept their critique gracefully.
- Regardless of the other person’s reaction, it’s good to show yourself that you’re above it all. If other people are around, it will appear to them that you are an emotionally mature person that can’t be bothered by the riff-raff of the world. Your reputation will improve.
5. Apply what you’ve learned. Improve yourself. No one is always right, so give yourself the gift of allowing yourself to be wrong. Take the criticism and apply the lesson to your life. If you go through life constantly tweaking and improving your life and your processes, how could things not turn out incredibly well?
6. Let it go. After you’ve extracted whatever value you can from it, let it go. Any time spent brooding on it is wasted. Take what you can from it and move on. That’s what successful people do.
Don’t let criticism get you down! Take criticism gracefully, thank the perpetrator, learn, apply, and move on. Your time is important, so be the bigger person and let it go.
Most people are simply criticizing the things they see in you that they dislike about themselves. So they’re basically criticizing themselves; they just don’t realize it.
Now you can handle whatever criticism comes your way. With these tips, you can use any criticism to further your own success, instead of allowing it to be a cause for distress. Have at it and enjoy the results!