Whether it’s at work or at home, the truth is that it can be a bit challenging to handle criticism sometimes. You, quite literally, have to sit (or stand) there while someone points out all your inadequacies. It’s like staring into a pit of your mistakes, and that’s never easy.
Challenging as it may seem, it is definitely not impossible. The following tips should help you to handle criticism a whole lot better:
1. Listen to what they have to say
As a self-defense mechanism, it is normal if you start to imagine that everyone who criticizes you does so to hurt your feelings. However, that’s not always the case. Some people would just genuinely like you to change for the better. But, you won’t be able to figure that out if you completely shut yourself out. So, before anything else, listen to find out what they’re saying.
2. Try not to become overly defensive in the process
While trying to handle criticism, it’s important that you don’t start trying to defend yourself. This is especially so if the person just wants to correct you. Don’t make excuses and don’t become passive-aggressive. At work, those could be considered rather unprofessional. At home, those attributes will make you unbearable.
3. Don’t take it personally
True criticism isn’t meant to attack your very self. The purpose of actual criticism is to point out errors in your work. So, if your boss tells you that that report isn’t quite as good as it could be, don’t take it too personally. If your spouse tells you that you could’ve performed better as a man, as difficult as it is not to, don’t take it too personally. Remember that they’re just trying to help you improve.
4. Actually work on yourself
Now, we’re sure you remember how it felt the last time you were criticized. It wasn’t pretty and it most certainly wasn’t a tea party. To avoid that feeling again, genuinely start working out ways to improve yourself.
This portrays you as a person who is willing, ready and able to develop himself. Additionally, it would help ensure that the same subject of criticism doesn’t come up again. A great way to start is by setting new goals and working towards them.
5. Thank your critic
As stated earlier, criticism, in its true form, is meant to help improve you. If someone sees a random person walking down the street with dirty clothes, they’re not likely to stop to tell them to wash their clothes. Why? Because it doesn’t really concern them.
In the same vein, for someone to have taken their time to criticize you, it means they’re interested in you and your life. They want to see you grow and help you. So, if the criticism is constructive, appreciate their feedback. This is one of the biggest signs of maturity you could display.
Before you go
By applying the things we’ve covered here, you should be able to handle criticism more effectively. You should note, however, that you might not become perfect at it all at once. Take it easy on yourself and keep practicing. Goodluck and happy new month!