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25 ways to handle criticism

criticism

Nobody likes to be criticised, but everybody needs to be criticised. It’s how we learn to become better people socially and morally. Handling criticism can be tough, but here are 25 useful points to doing it well.

1) Listen to the words carefully.

How many fillers are they using? What key words are they bringing up? Identify the tone and content of what they’re saying to figure out why they’re criticising you, and if you should take heed.

2) Don’t be defensive.

Even if the criticism is unjustified, arguing with them in the situation will aggravate it.

3) Stay calm.

Keeping composure isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it will help you deal with your emotional reactions. [5 ways to lead a peaceful life]

4) Get a second opinion.

Talk to others about the criticism to get a more rounded view of what you should work on.

5) Don’t accept abuse.

If the criticism becomes offensive, vulgar or rude, point this out. You don’t have to shout, but you don’t have to tolerate it.

6) Don’t be an open target.

You’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. Some people will criticise you just because they can, rather than to help. Recognise who these people are.

7) Admit your flaws.

Nobody is perfect. Check your self-image and values regularly. Nobody is perfect, but nobody likes ignorance.

8) Delay your reactions.

Don’t let people get a rise out of you. Take full account of what they’re saying, think carefullyand make your response effective and to the point.

9) Never deny.

It’s more appropriate and professional to ‘acknowledge’. Denial makes it difficult to discern if you’re being truthful. ‘Acknowledge’ the criticism, then prove it wrong if necessary. [How to face up to feelings of denial]

10) Tackle the problem straightaway.

If there is an issue, whether your fault or not, remedy it as soon as you respond to the criticism. Your response should be carefully considered, but your actions should be immediate.

11) Make sincere apologies.

Forgiveness is the matter of the heart, not the mind. If you perceive your critic to be upset, be human when you say sorry. [Forgiveness is a force to embrace]

12) Preserve the relationship.

Even if you have a bad relationship with your critic, use their criticism to improve it and make the situation civil. If anything, you will have thwarted their original intentions to upset you.

13) Ask questions.

Making statements about yourself can be arrogant. Instead of saying ‘I didn’t realise I’d done anything wrong’, ask ‘what did I do wrong?’ Explanation and evidence makes criticism valuable.

14) Be honest.

Don’t try to think two steps ahead of the critic. Confess to anything even if it seems unrelated to the problem. You can’t be backed into a corner by the truth, and if you are, it’s because they are the dishonest one.

15) Don’t find a scapegoat.

Dragging other people into criticism that is focussed on you makes you look irresponsible. If you think others are to blame, talk about it with them in private.

16) Do something relaxing afterwards.

Criticism might leave the more sensitive of us feeling vulnerable. Have a lie down, put music on, play a game, whatever you want to relax yourself. [A checklist for chilling out & enjoying life]

17) Be motivated.

Use criticism to form goals for yourself. Work smarter and harder in the face of criticism, because being criticised is not the same as being defeated. Join our goal setting network for some support & motivation in your goals.

18) Put yourself first.

Always think about how the criticism affects you. It’s about you, so it’s not selfish to put you first. If you have to change, you have to do it for you, or you will never feel there’s enough of a reason. [5 ways to be kinder to yourself]

19) Think of its relevance to your life.

Is the person criticising you because they want you to fit in more with their life? You have to live for you. Consider if what they are saying is important.

20) Help someone else.

Be inspired to pass on constructive criticism to others, and you’ll realise it isn’t always a personal attack. We can all learn, but we can all teach. Recognise your part in the movement.

21) Solve personal issues.

Use criticism to reflect on your wellbeing. If you didn’t take it very well, why? This could be the trigger to helping you through issues you’ve buried deep in your mind.

22) Let go.

The stress of criticism is often caused by your thoughts. Let go of the negative emotions and don’t let them weigh you down long after the moment’s passed. There are medically recommended therapies such as mindfulness or counselling which can help. For mindfulness techniques book a session with one of our life coaches.

23) Stop looking for right and wrong.

Criticism is based on opinion and perception, including yours. It’s not based on fact. Don’t let your ego search for a way to be right. Be objective.

24) Don’t try to please.

It causes you to lose your sense of self. Being the best you can be involves honesty and integrity, and trying to please people will lead you to lie to yourself and others. If you’re being criticised for being yourself, it’s better than being liked for what you aren’t.

25) Fail forward.

There can be a lot of fun to failure! The pressure of being perfect all the time will lead to an inevitable failure at some point. The most important lessons are learned in failing. You never get it right the first time.

If you want some empowering support to help you to develop resilience and build your confidence via expert videos, eBooks and a community of support then join us now.

Criticism is a part of life. The quicker you learn to use it effectively, the more content you’ll be.

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Photo Credit: Copyright: czany / 123RF Stock Photo

Tags:criticised, defensive, insecure, judged

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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