How you deal with criticism can have a knock-on effect on your life. More than often, criticism causes anger and aggression and it can lower self-esteem of a person if taken negatively. But it is honesty, take it positively. Learn to resolve inner conflicts by accepting the facts about yourself. If you wish to be successful as a student, professional or be a better person, learn to admit your mistakes. Here are 7 tips on how to take criticism in a positive way:
1. Ignore Destructive Criticism
If someone is using destructive criticism for you, it might be a thoughtless and foolish gesture or might have been done intentionally to harm you emotionally. Do not get perturbed. Let it go by ignoring such remarks. If a person is habitual of criticising everything, let it be and don’t bother yourself too much by such critical comments. Also, do not form biased judgements about such persons. Continue to have a congenial relationship with them, accepting the fact that you are the best judge about yourself. Let it not lead to anger and aggression. Let it not hamper your productivity.
2. Learn From Supportive Criticism
Supportive criticism is that which is done to point out your mistakes, so that you get aware of them and try to work towards improvement. This one is easier to accept and manage. Though accepting one’s own mistakes is not something that you would want to do every time, try to give it a thought. If someone points out your shortcoming, sit back later and analyse with a relaxed mind about the actual truth. Are you really lacking as pointed out? If yes, how would you benefit from correcting yourself? What are the ways that can help you overcome your pitfalls? Search for answers within yourself and work on them. That way you can mould yourself into a better personality personally as well as professionally.
3. Don’t Be Angry
Avoid unnecessary arguments when you have been criticised. Try to stay calm and respectfully come out of the situation without showing disregard or using counter-criticism. This way, you can prove yourself stronger by exhibiting self-control. Anger is misleading. It makes us spit out hurting words which cannot be taken back. It breaks relationships and causes unnecessary harm to emotions. Anger takes a high toll on our body’s health too. Instead of getting angry, you may excuse yourself and walk away to a more peaceful corner. This gives you time to relax and re-compose your thoughts about dealing with the finger pointed at you.
4. Don’t Lose Confidence
Making mistakes is a human trait. You are a human being after all! It is natural for each one of us to keep making mistakes in life. Nobody is a perfectionist everywhere. If someone tells you that you are wrong, don’t take it as a setback. Losing confidence when criticised makes us weaker. Keep your head held up high and think about re-starting from where you were proved wrong. This should not be done to satisfy others’ demands, but as a measure for self-improvement. Instead of drowning in low self-esteem, take it as an opportunity to develop newer life skills and take up the challenge to overcome your drawbacks.
5. Be Thankful To The Critic
If your boss just passed a critical comment about your style of working, a good strategy would be to express your gratitude for the same. Even though you might have feelings of resentment and protest inside, keep your exterior calm and be thankful for the criticism. This strengthens inter-personal relationships and people will appreciate you for gracefully accepting the criticism. Be humble in saying ‘Thank You’ after facing critical comments. This is not easy to do, but will definitely pay off, especially when it is not expected by the person who had commented.
6. It Is Not An Insult Always
Depending on the source of criticism, every critical comment is not meant to be an insult. Yes, sometimes, people do pass intentional remarks to spark your fury or to particularly lash out at your personality. But that is not the case every time. You have to judiciously decide about what is the truth. Gulp it down, and leave the rest. Feeling insulted is not the right way to react when someone is trying to show you the mirror, in order to strive for improvement. Try to think with an open mind as you are not always right.
7. Do Not Attack Back
When we are criticised in public, for example, in an office meeting, or on a social website, we tend to backfire with similar comments. By doing so, we are degrading ourselves. There does not remain any difference between you and the person passing comments. There is no need to stoop down to lower levels of etiquette by counter criticising. A much better way would be to identify ways in which you can use criticism to your benefit.
Rise above the criticism and behave in a matured way. Acting in grace and staying calm will surely pull you out of the storm peacefully. Then step back, give it a thought. If it is worthy, change yourself for the good.