Whenever criticised, you have two ways to go about it—take it positively and try to improve yourself or take it negatively and feel depressed. Often, we take criticism negatively. Why? Because humans are programmed to over-value the negative.
Even if thousands of people admire and appreciate you for the work you do, your focus will always be on the single nay-sayer. While our tendency to focus on the negative is harmful and unnecessary, we still have a tough time overcoming it. But many a time, it is best to ignore the criticism.
Here are five reasons why you should stop listening to criticism.
1. It Can Make You Unhappy
The unhappier you are, the worse you will be at work and life. Staying unhappy worsen your health and make you more unlikeable. Also, listening to all that negativity is bad for your brain. So, before letting a nay-sayer get to you, consider if it's really worth it.
2. Perhaps You Critic Have Questionable Motives
"I thought you needed to know", "I just have to be honest with you", I didn't want to leave you in the dark"—you might have obviously come across these phrases many a time in your life. But the next time you hear someone telling it to you, ask yourself if the person is really trying to help you out, or if they have some other reasons to tell you the bad news.
3. The Critic Isn’t Someone Your Respect
If the person giving your criticism is someone whose judgement your respect, then you should definitely pay attention. On the other hand, why should you listen to that person? Especially, why are you so keen on taking the anonymous online comments to heart?
4. It Is Stopping Your Progress
If criticism is stopping you from advancing forward, then you are better off plugging your ears instead of listening to them. Good criticism helps you improve your skills, whereas destructive criticism makes you abandon some great ideas because you fear the complaints of a few people.
5. Maybe You’re Starting To Believe It
Just like those popular TED talks that told you watching the news can be harmful because they make us believe negative is normal, listening to a lot of criticism might make you start believing them. To be strong, you should first believe that you are strong. What we believe happens. So, don't hand that power to people who don't deserve it.
So, How Can You Deal With Criticism Positively?
Dealing with criticisms positively requires a few essential skills of boldness and self-esteem. Every time you hear someone criticising you, you should know that you cannot control what other people tell you or think of you. However, you can definitely control how you take it, learn from it, react to it, and let it go.
Criticism will have unforeseen effects on various aspects of your life. So, it is best to find out ways to take advantage of criticism and become a stronger person. Here are three ways you can try out.
1. Treat Your Critic With Respect
When facing criticism, try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible and treat the critic with respect, even if it is someone whose judgement you don't respect. Being understanding of the other individual will help you keep the situation under control and resolve it as quickly as possible. This, in turn, will portray you as a stronger person who accepts criticisms readily. So, ensure you don't react and use any statement that the other person can take as a reason to counter-attack.
2. Look For Positives
To err is human and life gives us enough opportunity to learn from our mistakes with every passing day. Hence, despite what sort of criticism you face, always take a more in-depth look at it to see if you can learn something from it to improve yourself in the future. While it indeed is difficult to deal with an individual who is attacking you on your character or work, it doesn't mean you should avoid it.
Also remember that even when criticism gives out malevolence and bitterness, there will often be some genuineness in criticism. So, it would help if you took it as a reflection of how other people see you at work or life and take a reverse step to view things from a different perspective.
Consider asking your friend to give you their honest opinion if you are doubtful about the criticism you faced. Once you learn how others perceive you, you are more likely to improve your interpersonal skills.
3. If Nothing Works, Walk Away
If the above steps don't work, and if you still find it hard to deal with criticism, you are better off walking away. Particularly, if you find that you are losing self-control or if you think that you might end up saying or doing something that might hurt the other person, escaping the scene is the only ideal option that's left in front of you.
Do you remember any harsh criticism ? How did you handle it ? Let me know in the comment below.