Unfair criticism is the most dangerous type of criticism because it can affect your self-esteem, pride, and health.
It all depends on your personality, though. Some people can easily ignore feedback and criticism, forget about it in a few minutes, while others dwell on it and can spend a few days overthinking the words and crying before they calm down.
Constructive criticism is a lot better than an unfair one, but it still hurts even if you know they tell the truth.
Learning how to accept criticism positively is the art that not everyone can master.
I personally have trouble dealing with negative feedback. I’m a highly sensitive person so the words of critique affect not only my pride but my soul too.
I’m sure, I’m not alone. There are many other sensitive personalities that struggle with criticism the way I do. But rather than react with tears, frustration, defensiveness or anger, I handle it calmly and professionally.
How To Take Criticism
Is that person important to you?
That’s a question you should ask yourself every time someone delivers you the criticism. If you don’t value the opinion of that person or they are unfamiliar to you, remind yourself of that before worrying about their words.
If that person is your boss, family member, or significant other, try to find wisdom in their words.
If their criticism is unfair, try to forgive them. Don’t hold grudges. Negative feelings and emotions will do nothing but hurt your physical and mental health.
Look at criticism as a chance to grow
This one is easier said than done. But just like failures and mistakes help you grow, criticism can help you become the best version of yourself.
Looking at criticism as a chance to grow means accepting your weaknesses and working on turning them into strengths. Remember, you are the only one who decides how to react.
You can choose to feel depressed or offended, or you can simply take advantage of those words to improve yourself. Gratitude attitude is one of the most powerful ways to deal with any type of criticism.
Don’t react at all
Stop reacting as soon as you hear the first words of critiques. Just don’t listen. Pretend that you are listening to them, but think about some positive things.
While this is not the smartest way to handle criticism, it can help save your nerves, and keep your self-esteem and mood high.
Use this method during the hard times when the last thing you want to handle is criticism and fill your day with anger and disappointment.
Are you sure criticism is directed at you personally?
Maybe it’s directed to the whole team or family. Or maybe the person that delivers you the criticism is simply in a bad mood.
Many bosses snap at their employees when they don’t actually mean to. Take criticism objectively and don’t try to cope with unhelpful criticism. Otherwise, you can end up feeling exhausted and stressed out.
Believe in what you do, and be confident about yourself.
Ask questions to figure out the root
Instead of swallowing your resentment, ask questions to find out the root of words of a critique.
Whether it’s your boss or neighbor, feel free to share your perspective. Try to understand whether this is hatred, an isolated issue, or something that you have never thought about.
I used to run away from solving feedback until I realized that hiding isn’t an option. It’s better to ask calmly for further explanation and know what the reasons are than spend hours playing guessing games.
Give yourself a break
Don’t respond and ask questions when you are not calm. When I’m not sure that I’m calm, I avoid talking to anyone. I take time to calm myself down first.
If you are in the same boat, give yourself a break. Speak in a friendly tone to reduce the tension and solve the problem.
Realize you can’t please everyone
If you are sure that the words of a critique are biased and the person who delivered them is stubborn and toxic, don’t try to prove you are right. Sometimes you need to just allow some people to express their opinions so that they feel better.
If you hold a high position in the company, your managers and coworkers may criticize you because of jealousy. The higher you climb; the more ill-wishers you gain.
So be prepared to deal with negative and biased feedback on a daily basis.
I remember the situation where my boss criticized me for nothing – he simply was in a bad mood – know what I did? I looked him in the eyes and said, ‘Thank you for your fair feedback.’ Of course, he knew he wasn’t right, but I let him know about it in a kind manner.
If you don’t like conflicts, express gratitude instead. Do it genuinely. Even if they don’t notice it. You’ll at least know that you are smarter than they are in this exact situation.
Realize that they are just critical people
Some people are critical by nature.
They won’t fall asleep until they criticize someone. They literally criticize everything and everyone regardless of anything. Consider it as a serious disease and don’t take their feedback too seriously.
Do you get offended when a sick person says hurtful words to you? Probably, no, right? The same goes for critical people. They need help because they are truly sick.
Learn not to sweat the small stuff
If you have a critical boss who gives negative feedback on a regular basis, you will gradually get used to it and stop sweating the small stuff.
Critical employers make bossy bosses so you can either quit your job or stay and prove that you are a pro at what you do.
Dealing with criticism and negative feedback you get from others isn’t easy, especially if you are an introverted and highly sensitive person.
Remember you have a choice about how to handle it. Push yourself to be more positive about negative feedback. This way, you will keep stress in check. If the people critiquing you are doing it simply to bring you down, then removing them from your life would be best.