Criticism is a part of life. There will be people who aren’t happy with you or who ask you to improve in some way. And that’s okay. Sometimes, it can feel like the end of the world when someone is critical toward you. Such actions can send our inner critic into a down-ward spiral. This is especially true if you’re someone who is sensitive to being criticized. There are ways to handle criticism with grace and to actually use it to your advantage.
The following tips will help you examine how to deal with criticism in a way that works more in your favor.
Consider the Source of the Criticism
First of all, it’s important to consider the source of the criticism. This can give you insight into whether the individual has your best interest at heart or if the problem might actually lie within them. People who care about us and desire a better relationship with us usually only criticize in an attempt to improve future interactions or to help us. Other times, it’s possible that someone may be critical due to their own insecurities or unhappiness. Try to determine which one you’re dealing with the next time someone is critical of you.
Separate Truth from Perception
In most cases, people approach you with criticism because they feel there is a valid reason to do so. So, it is important to try to take away the truth of their words and to look for the lessons in what they’re saying. What’s valuable about this critique? Is it coming from a place of good intent? If there is negative emotion attached to the criticism, try to separate that from the underlying message. It’s easy to let our inner critic bombard us with our biggest fears, rather than what actually occurred.
Separate Criticism from Judgment
Understand that criticism isn’t a direct attack on your entire identity. You aren’t usually being judged as a person. Typically, the person with the complaint is only addressing one issue or aspect of who you are. This can even be something that is temporary. Take time to evaluate whether the person would simply like you to alter one behavior or if they are unhappy with who you are. In most cases, it’s the former.
Find the Lesson
If you determine that there is some truth to the criticism, figure out how you can learn from it. What can you take away from the situation to improve your relationship with that person or to become a better version of yourself? There is usually value in critical communication if you take the time to look for it, rather than simply reacting.
Keep all of these things in mind the next time you receive criticism from someone. You can choose the way in which you handle such a scenario. Taking time to assess the situation and to look at the criticism rationally can help you to determine its intent and the ways in which you might benefit from it.
Until my next post ~
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