If you have never been criticized before then you have never done anything for others and if you have never criticized anyone then no one has ever done anything for you
But if you want to be praised, you should also know you can also be criticized as well because you are not going to be perfect all the time
That’s why you need to know how you can positively deal with criticism during different situations in life
Table of Contents
What is criticism?
Criticism is the act of expressing opinions of disapproval about the faults or bad qualities of somebody or something
Criticizing as a human behavior
This is the best way to help you better understand why and how criticism comes about, have you ever noticed that you easily see the mistakes of others but if you were in their shoes, you might also not see the mistake
Interestingly when we are not in someone else’s shoes, not only are we able to see the mistakes but also find the perfect and accurate solutions to those mistakes and ways they can fix them
As humans, we tend to see things from a different perspective when we are not in a situation and that could be the reason single people can give good advice about relationships
Here is an example, if you watch sports; you will listen to sports pundits’ criticizing players and managers about how they should play so as to help a team win
When you listen to what they say, they’re actually right and offering good advice even though most of them have actually never been players or managers but the advice they give is on point and good
Another example would be political analysts, they are always criticizing what governments are doing wrong and they offer good expert solutions to what governments should do for good governance
Interestingly most of these people have never been leaders or politicians themselves but can always see the faults of others and criticize them
Even financial advisers, most of these people are not millionaires or billionaires, but they can offer good and factual reasons that are keeping you poor and also provide you with useful tips to get you out of poverty
Other examples could be fashion shows criticizing other people’s dress codes when they personally don’t even own a fashion label or music shows criticizing other people’s songs when the critics personally have never had a song or a hit
This shows that in most cases the criticism you receive is constructive even though the person being criticized may take it personally.
How to deal with Criticism
Here are 12 ways how you can handle any kind of criticism in life constructively;
1. Take any criticism you receive as constructive criticism
Constructive criticism is when someone points out a flaw, a fault or mistake in a bid to help you get better by offering unbiased and objective opinions in a friendly manner
If you take any criticism as hate you will not be helping yourself at all.
As you have seen from the above example of criticism as human behavior, it’s a lot easier to see the mistakes of others than your own and not only see the mistakes of others but also find solutions to those mistakes someone is doing so as to correct them
So if you take criticism as constructive, it will only help you get better.
2. Use criticism for learning
Even though most people never see this in criticism, sometimes you are criticized for something you did wrong but in reality, you didn’t even know and had you known, you would have actually done it right
So you should take into account what you were criticized for and learn more about it to get better at it as a way of preventing it from happening again
In another instance, it’s the critic that actually doesn’t know and needs to be taught since he would be criticizing as a result of their ignorance
Either way, being criticized should drive you to learn more on what you have been criticized about
3. Ask for clarification
This is one of the most important aspects of criticism you should take into account.
There are a couple of instances when you could be criticized and you can’t see what you did wrong.
This where you should ask for clarification on what exactly you did wrong and what exactly the critics say it should be
If you don’t, you will actually keep on repeating the same thing over and over again
4. Practice makes you better
Not every criticism issue is going to be fixed within one day, in some instances, it’s going to take you a while to have the issue solved
And in some instances you should practice or train at what you have been criticized for to become better at it
For example, when you are criticized for poor English, you will need to keep practicing English to get better at it.
Apparently, while you are still trying to get better at your English you could be criticized since it could still not be good enough
5. Use criticism as an assessment
Well as being praised is an indication that what you are doing is quite good enough for acknowledgement.
Being criticized is an indication that what you are doing is not certainly good enough and definitely needs a reaction through improvement
6. Ask for an alternate opinion
When someone says you are not smart, they may just be sarcastic and they literary don’t mean it. Asking for someone else’s opinion on the same topic helps you clarify the issue
This is also very useful in case of destructive criticism.
Destructive criticism is when someone criticizes you with an intention degrading your work, creation, destroy reputation and self-esteem
In this case an alternative opinion becomes very useful because you could honestly be misled by a hater
In instances where you feel you are getting carried away by emotions due to words of a critic you can walk away instead of reacting in a way you will regret
7. Some are people naturally critics so don’t take it personally
In this case, this is not something that should bother you a lot as some people are hard to please but either way, that doesn’t imply you take what they say for granted.
This comes in the aspect that most people that over criticize can also demotivate a lot due to poor choice of words but either way it would still be good to take their criticism into consideration and work on the issue at hand
8. Accept the criticism and assure the person you will work on it
This is more relevant in a workplace where you are always going to be evaluated on your performance and results
If your performance and results are good from someone’s perspective or based on facts, you will be praised and if they are not you will certainly be criticized
So you will have to assure the critic that you accept the flaw and you will work on it
9. Don’t defend yourself without even listening to what is being said
Sometimes we end up knowing nothing because we understand everything too soon.
You may end up interrupting what is being said and you will end up not understanding what exactly or why exactly you are being criticized
So you will instead end up doing the same mistake again because in reality you didn’t know or understand what you where being criticized for
And in this case if you still can’t get the essence of the criticism ask for clarification
10. You should draw a line between excuses and reasons.
There is a thin line between an excuse and a reason.
The difference is in how you perceive why something happened like when you defend yourself during criticism it could appear as an excuse to someone else well as it’s a reason to you
For example, you could be criticized for being late and you can defend yourself with a traffic jam reason well as to another person that is an excuse because you are supposed to try and beat the jam
In this case, when you are criticized, you can try can reasoning with the critic to understand your point of view, for example, you could be late because your car broke down and you had to first fix it
11. Show a positive attitude towards the critic
A negative attitude towards the critic is just going to create bad blood for both you
As people, we can read and judge how people respond to us using their facial expressions and body language. Even a fake smile can be detected by another person
A bad body language can be detected when someone is criticized for example if someone criticizes you for being slow when walking. Trying to, move faster shows a positive attitude towards the criticism
But if you are criticized and you walk even slower than before, that shows you handled the criticism negatively and your reaction says it all
12. Evaluate yourself
This is the final piece of the jigsaw
This means checking yourself if you have become better at what you were criticized for earlier or if you have fixed it.
And if you haven’t got any better then you could be doing it wrongly or you need to keep trying.
You should not always wait to be criticized, you can evaluate yourself and work on your flaws without waiting to be criticized
You can’t be perfect all the time and at some point, you will be criticized, it’s advisable to take all criticism as a way of helping you improve by fixing all possible flaws
In fact, when you keep on fixing all the things you are being criticized for, you will be moving closer to perfection because, in the long run, you will be doing everything right
And this can only happen if you take all criticism you get as constructive criticism