Dealing with Criticism – Positive or Negative.

When we are criticized, our first reaction is usually defensive. This is a very normal behavior and may range from mild to very heavy depending on how we accept the person’s judgment. This is true whether Criticism is intended in a positive or a negative way.

Either way, as my reaction is my very own, it isn’t a reflection of the person’s comment but of my attitude towards it.

Understanding this concept may help tremendously in dealing with Criticism in general.
How I deal with criticism and judgment is ultimately what counts.

If I can pinpoint points for personal improvement from this type of feedback, if I can let it help me improve, learn and grow, it could work to my advantage. At other times, the wrong vibes can emanate making the comments very difficult to digest.

Criticism for my betterment
Some feedback may be given to help you learn from experience and practice. Positive Criticism usually comes with a message that will ease the judgment in, helping the receiver accept it. When you are already in a learning environment, you may even expect this type of Criticism. Very close friends and family can also offer Positive Criticism and be open to discuss. This doesn’t mean that you may not get offended and upset by this type of well intentioned feedback. Sometimes, it still hits hard. Knowing that the person who offered it only did it with your betterment in mind, can help make it easier to accept.

Hurtful Criticism
Sometimes, Criticism is offered with a front of good intentions but with the actual agenda to hurt. This can be relatively obvious if there is a known but hidden conflict or one that is possibly waiting for eruption. Letting this type of Criticism upset or hurt you will only give winning points to the offender. Instead, letting it slide with full confidence that what was said had no truth to it, can help tremendously. Sometimes, even if there is a smidgen of truth to what was said, you can retrieve only the part that suits you and let go of the rest. The idea is to keep your head up, even if it takes a little while to stand back up after the initial blow.

The most important thing I have learned from my experiences with Criticism is that, no matter whether it is intended to help or not, my reaction reflects my level of confidence and self-esteem.

The exercise that has helped me the most over the years, is writing about my thoughts after I got feedback. What do I think of what was said? Do I think it is true? Can it be true but I don’t want to believe it yet? Do I know of anything I can do to change or improve? These are all questions that can help me determine how I want to react to the Criticism received after a step back to reflect.

 

 

 

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