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4 Ways to Deal with Criticism Positively


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4 Ways to Deal with Criticism Positively


According to criticism is-

1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything

2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding

Criticism in a nutshell is feedback or opinions directed at our performance, behavior, actions, ideas, or beliefs. The feedback can be positive or negative in nature. It can be based on facts or assumptions. Criticism can come without being requested and at any given time.

Feedback of any kind and criticism in particular is not a terrible thing to receive. It can often be a catalyst for making us:

  • Stronger
  • Greater prepared
  • Aware
  • Smarter
  • Better
  • Innovative

That looks good on paper, but the reality is we as humans don't enjoy being criticized. We prefer not to have our faults or shortcomings highlighted for all the world to review.

"Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought." 

-Margaret Chase Smith

Criticism will come. It can be difficult to swallow, but it can be a genuine chance to grow, learn, and develop into a better person. 

Types of Criticism

Constructive or Positive Criticism-

This is the feedback that comes from a respected source that is framed appropriately, describes the performance or action that needs to change, and provides clear steps for improvement.

Constructive criticism is always given with your best interest and improvement in mind.

Non-constructive or Negative Criticism-

This is the feedback that comes with an ill-mannered delivery, is vague in the performance or action that needs to change, and fails to offer any suggestions for improvement.

Non-constructive criticism is usually recognizable because it is delivered aggressively, sarcastically, or in a demeaning way that attacks the person rather than the action.

It is good to recognize what kind of criticism you're dealing with yet that doesn't change the fact that our egos still hate to be examined or challenged.

Don't dodge criticism. Receiving criticism can be uncomfortable, but knowing that it can lead to growth and improvement makes it a valuable commodity if received in the right manner. Here are ways that can handle those critiques with an improved outlook.

4 Ways to Deal with Criticism Positively

1. Refrain from overreacting

*We often feel threatened by criticism and respond defensively or angrily. 

*Take a moment, breathe, and let a calmer you proceed.

*Assess the source as well as the content of the criticism. Look past your initial reaction and concentrate on the actual feedback.

*Remind yourself that constructive criticism can do a lot of good for your performance and self-development.

*Whatever you do, don't take it personally even if it feels like a personal attack. Always connect the feedback to what you are doing and not to who you are.

*Being mad and defensive may validate the critique and solidify the other person's viewpoint.

"You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose." 

-Lou Holtz

2. Request clarification

*Seek clarification to better understand the criticism. Ask questions but don't challenge the evaluation.

*Listen to understand fully without focusing solely on your response.

*Consider the source of the criticism and empathize, seeking to see things from their perspective.

*Receive this information calmly, even if you initially disagree with the feedback

*Compare to your truth. Be humble enough to review your performance and acknowledge to yourself if the criticism is justified. Filter the useful in and the useless out.

"Concern over criticism clogs creativity." 

-Duane Alan Hahn

3. Respond with grace

*Thank the person offering the critique. If the criticism is warranted, look at it as an opportunity to grow and improve. If it is not, thank them anyway. You'll gain nothing through anger and being grateful will totally disarm them.

*Humbly ask for suggestions on how to proceed. Seek action steps to elevate your performance or gain a new skill.

*Be positive and kill them with kindness (figuratively, even if you'd prefer to do it literally).

*Remain positive knowing that criticism well received can lead to self-development and improved self-esteem.

"Criticism is information that will help you grow." 

-Hendrie Weisinger

4. React with action

*If you determine the criticism to be justified (regardless of your initial position), work to implement the suggestions or ideals you were given for improvement.

*Don't fixate on the negative. Mistakes lead to growth and opportunities to learn. No walk of shame is needed here.

*Once measurable action is taken, request a review from the original source, showing progress and revealing your willingness to take criticism and improve.

*Apply what you've learned to future actions and continue to grow and improve your skill set.

"When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them." 


More on criticism

It would be a stretch to say we openly welcome criticism, but learning to handle criticism positively can be a sure path to strong self-development, continued learning, and improved future performance.

General rules concerning criticism:

-Don't take criticism from people you wouldn't ask advice from

-Some people criticize out of fear. Empathize but don't dwell on the feedback if invalid.

-Be aware of projecting. Some people will criticize you to mask their own shortcomings.

-Don't focus your energy on critics. Many times, we give too much weight to people we don't even know (internet, social media), getting sidetracked from our purpose in life.

-Learn to take criticism as a compliment. Nobody ever criticizes mediocrity. They only pay attention to someone up and coming, showing growth, or setting ambitious standards of performance.

                                                    Had to squeeze Elvis in for my mom...

"There is no defense against criticism except obscurity." 

-Joseph Addison

I hope this helped. 

Accept criticism.

Value the opportunity to grow, learn, and improve.

Embrace feedback.

Go live your best life,


"People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray." 

-Proverbs 10:17 NLT