How to deal with Negative Criticism: 6 helpful Tips!
January 14, 2019
“It is much more valuable to look for the strength in others. You can gain nothing by criticizing their imperfections.” Daisaku Ikeda
Criticism can come from anywhere whether from a close friend, an acquaintance or from someone that you don’t even know or relate with, it can be professional or non-professional but either way even a negative or destructive criticism can be turned into something positive and that is entirely up to you. Truth is nobody likes to be criticized but while criticism affects many, others smile at it and use it to their advantage. Therefore, no matter the type of criticism aimed at you whether at school, work or social club, try to deal with it in a positive way by learning something good from it. Try to think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff; take what’s useful, leave the garbage and keep moving! Practice the habit of letting go the things you do not have control over and focus more on yourself and how to keep your emotions right where you want it.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
What that simply implies is that you are the architect of your life and what you allow into your life. You decide your happiness and state of mind per time. Do not give someone else that privilege.
Either constructive or destructive criticism isn’t the problem but our receptiveness and how we deal with it is what matters the most. A person can receive a constructive critic in a negative way yet another person will receive a destructive critic in a positive way. Hence, our perception of a thing is what gives meaning to it and what triggers our emotions to either react in a positive way or in a negative way. But ultimately we are the one in control. Most times, criticism is mere speculation with no profound evidence.
We are not in Control of what other people will say to us. But what we are in control of is how we internalize it, interpret and respond to it.
“The truth is that the way other people see us isn’t about us—it’s about them and their own struggles, insecurities, and limitations. You don’t have to allow their judgment to become your truth.” Daniell Koepke
If you’ve been having a hard time dealing with criticism, here are some of the tips I have applied over the years to deal with negative criticism. You might want to try them out!
1. Don’t take it personally
“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” Don Miguel Ruiz
Some areas of criticism teach you not to sweat the small stuff i.e. take nothing personally and do not let someone opinion of you, becomes your reality. The problem is not in the critics because that can’t be avoided, the problem is in how you choose to receive or perceive it.
The truth is that everyone is entitled to their opinion whether valid or invalid and anyone can air their views at any given time. Taking to heart someone else’s opinion means you giving that person the access to decide your state of mind or mood instead of learning how to respond well the first time in order to prevent it from dominating your day. Happiness doesn’t depend on how few negative thoughts you have, but on what you do with those thoughts.
2. Decide What to Believe
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” Bryon Katie
What really matters isn’t what is said about you but what is important and what matters the most is if you believe in them. If we can recondition ourselves to not necessarily see things in black and white terms, there’s, therefore, no limit to how far we can go! Remember that the criticism represents just one person’s point of view. Know what your strength is and don’t let other people’s opinions keep you from working hard towards your goal and what you believe in. you don’t have to allow their opinion of you becomes your truth.
The more time you spend dwelling on that negative thoughts or on what someone said, the less time you have to do something with it. Even when you secretly agree with the critic, take it as a challenge to work on that area in order to do better next time for when you become great at whatever it is that you worked on, the credit comes to you. And mind you, be ready for more critics because as your work progresses more of it will surely come lol. Learn to expect and live with it because it is a part of living.
3. Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive thoughts
“Staying positive does not mean you do not have negative thoughts, it simply means you do not allow those thoughts control your life. “ Jay Shetty
It will amaze you to know that according to research 80 per cent of our thought is negative hence, it is important to transform ourselves by changing our habits of mind to stop dwelling on those negative thoughts. No doubt, negative thoughts will always Crip in but you have to fight them with all you’ve got.
Your thoughts and emotions that come with it if not well managed can affect your health. Anger, fear, resentment, frustration and anxiety are emotional states that many people experience regularly but they try to avoid. These negative emotional states if not properly-managed can result to issue like chronic stress amidst others. Changing the quality of your thinking is changing the quality of your life. Permit me to say, that you are what you think per time. Positive thinking tends to have a measurable, constructive effect on your personality. Always remember that those awful feelings you get from negative critics are just feelings of a temporal state of your mind don’t let them permanently destroy you. Don’t make a permanent decision for a temporal emotion.
4. Give it your own interpretations
“Your thought and the way you interpret any event triggers your feelings either negatively or positively.” Brian Tracy
What is being said about you is inconsequential but rather how you interpret it and feel about yourself is what matters. Your interpretation is what gives meaning to whatever is been said. Hence, learn to remove yourself from what is been said about you and focus on the issue that is being critiqued. What is been said about you are not true but only a perception of you and you can always choose to perceive things differently; you can either choose to interpret an event to your own benefit or disadvantage but like I said earlier is entirely up to you. Criticism will always come but how you choose to respond to them defines your true character. They are meaningless until an interpretation is given to it by you.
5. Receive it as a feedback
“It’s okay to care about what people think. Just know there’s a difference between valuing someone’s opinion and needing their approval.” Lori Deschene
Interpreting someone else’s feedback gives an opportunity for rational thinking. Learning to receive false criticism—feedback that has no constructive value—without losing your confidence is a must if you want to go forward in life. Receiving this feedback will remind you it’s okay to have flaws—imperfection is part of being human. Sometimes, despite a negative comment received, criticism can become incredibly useful depending on how you use it for to your own advantage.
If you can admit those weaknesses and work on them without feeling any less of yourself, you’ll experience far more happiness, peace, wellness and success than you can imagine.
We are all perfectly imperfect, and other people may notice that from time to time. We may even notice it in each other but remember, there is a huge difference between valuing someone’s opinion over needing their approval.
6. Make a commitment to be happy
“I have decided to stop saying yes to people and situations that don’t support my well-being. Instead, I will say yes to my happiness, and yes to my growth, and yes to all the people and things that inspire me to be authentic and whole, while at the same time accepting me just as I am. My yes, from here on out, is my pledge to live honestly, my commitment to love myself fiercely, and my cry to create my best life possible. Yes.” Scott Stabile
Deciding to stay happy and learning to move forward after criticism is a choice you will have to make. Even if you don’t feel incredibly confident after a critic, ensures that no comment is capable enough to alter your mood and prevent you from pursuing your dreams. Get rid of all the toxic critics of people out of your life: When you give in to critics, it simply implies that you are giving someone else the power to influence your mind and to control your life. You are in control of the outcome of your life don’t you forget that; you decide your own happiness every time and you don’t need some else’s approval for that.
Life doesn’t allow for us to go back and change what has been said about us or fix our past wrongs and mistakes, but it does allow for us to live each day better than our last.
“One day it will just click and you will realize what’s important and what isn’t. You’ll learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that they’d never recover. And then you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.” Unknown