Can You Handle Criticism? Ways to Deal

Updated on January 3, 2020
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Lanecia is enjoys inspiring others through self-help articles. She has a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State.


Criticism can hurt sometimes, especially if we are trying to stay on the right path. Oftentimes it's very frustrating to hear someone talk about how we can improve or be better at something.

Our critics are everywhere, and it's pretty hard to avoid the extra advice. However, here are some ways to deal with criticism, especially if it affects you in a negative way.

Express Yourself


Let's face it, some critics will have a lot to say about what we are doing wrong. Sometimes it's hard to hear bad things about ourselves, and that can force us to become more offensive. Encourage the other person to explain his/her perception a little further.

Allow yourself to see things from the other person's point of view. If you have a problem with what is being said about you, it's best to express yourself and explain why you don't agree. What do you think the other person is a misunderstanding about you? What makes them say what they said about you? It's best not to get negatively affected by things that are said about you, whether it is good or bad. Focus on having more meaningful conversations about ways to improve your skills instead.

If you understand that there is room to improve, focus on improving, and move along. If you seem to be getting nowhere, you have a choice to either accept what is being said about you and work on it or don't accept it and work on becoming a better you despite the criticism anyway.

Keep Your Emotions At Bay


Our emotions are only shown when we allow them to be. In other words, we have complete control over how we feel when others say things about us. What we don't have control over are the words of someone else. Sometimes, when we are criticized about things, it could cause us to feel as if we are being attacked.

This could lead to our emotions getting the best of us, which could lead to even more frustration and defeat. For example, if you worked all night on a new hairstyle, and the next morning someone calls it ugly, you probably wouldn't be happy to hear that. In fact, you may get angry and proceed to argue and protest otherwise. It's always best to refrain from this behavior to prevent unnecessary conflict and useless arguments. If you feel that you did your best work, that's all that matters! Not the opinion of a person who knows nothing about the work you put in.

Remember that people will say things as a reflection of their own thinking, it has nothing to do with you. Focus on trying to improve yourself for yourself, rather than feed into silly comments about your efforts. Your thoughts and emotions are always what you allow them to be.

Don't Take it Too Personal


As I mentioned before, you have total control over your own thoughts and emotions not the opinions of others.

Let's face it, people will have something to say about you whether you like it or not. There are times when people will say mean things to suit their ego, but try not to take it too personal. It is not about you, but rather their own emotions and feelings.

Consider for a moment that the person is having a bad day or maybe taking their own frustrations out on you. Try not to let this get to you personally, especially if the criticism is rude and nasty.

However, there are also times when we receive criticism for things that we are truly doing wrong. It may be hard to see what you are doing wrong, but first consider what the person is trying to say. Try to figure out the reasoning behind this criticism. Not all criticism will be bad, but that is ultimately up to you to judge, and up to you to take action on.

Know Yourself


One thing that you must work on before learning to accept criticisms is to get to know yourself. When we develop a strong sense of self-worth, we tend not to get too involved with what others say about us. In other words, we become less troubled by the opinions of others. Take some time and get to know yourself.

What are you good at? What makes you stand out? What useful qualities do you have that have made you successful? These are the type of questions you should ask yourself before becoming offended by criticism. If you know who you are and what you have to offer, you are more likely to appreciate yourself despite what others may say.

Don't Be So Hard on Yourself


Sometimes, you may get criticized many times for something. It is best not to take it too personal, or beat yourself up about it. Look at it as a way to improve and work on what is lacking for your improvement. Think logically about the situation and ask yourself is it worth it to put yourself down. Actually, you should refrain altogether from putting yourself down about any type of criticism that you receive.

Realize that you are not labeled a failure at anything in life. Success actually can come from failing at some point. No one is perfect in this world. People will have something to say about you regardless of what you are doing. It is up to you to decide how to respond, or not at all. The more you realize this, the more you will not fault yourself for the opinions of others.

Develop Tough Skin


Critics can be harsh sometimes which can affect your mood, or even cause you to do things that you'll regret later. Instead of getting upset, try to stay calm and remember the person you are and how opinions shouldn't affect you. Practice ignoring mean and nasty comments, since they are not a reflection of the real you.

Even when you receive more useful criticism, try not to let it affect your mood. If nothing is physically harming you, it's best to interpret the situation otherwise. Someone could say that you are a lazy worker. Instead of getting upset about it, think about what is being said and how it applies to you. You might find that sometimes you tend to slack off a little from time to time. Even if it is not true, never take criticism too personal or become offended by what others have to say. It's when you realize this that things will start to change and you'll become a master of dealing with criticism.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Lanecia Smith


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