Dealing with criticism

Ever had someone said something to you that was unpleasant to hear or someone’s disapproval due to your faults or mistakes? Perhaps, you were at the other end of the situation where you were the one expressing disapproval over someone else’s mistakes. All of us have probably been on both sides of this situation, both receiving and giving criticism. Should we be doing so? How can we handle such a situation? This article seeks to find out. 

4 types of critics

Feedback can be invaluable to your learning and growth. Sometimes, it is obvious that silly comments need to be ignored. But sorting out those silly ones from those that are valuable may not be as straightforward as it seems. You have to consider the source, their intentions and their knowledge, which may not be easy to identify. Luckily, this clever matrix by journalist Ann Friedman may be able to help:

Constructive vs Destructive Criticism

It is best to identify yourself to be a lover or critic by giving constructive criticism instead of giving destructive criticism

Of course, you may also find yourself criticizing someone. It is best to identify yourself to be a lover or critic by giving constructive criticism instead of giving destructive criticism, identifying yourself as a frenemy or a hater for it can have unnecessary strain on your relationship with someone. 

Constructive criticism points out faults, but also includes practical advices on how these faults can be corrected. The person who receives the criticism, is not personally attacked and is thus more open to improvement. The aim of giving constructive criticism is telling the person how they can do better in a nice way, without sounding too controlling. However, this does not mean that you are patronising the person, but rather telling them the harsh truth in a way that they do not take offence. Focus more on how you are going to say it rather than what you are going to say. 

Destructive criticism is on the other hand, something which no one wants to hear

Destructive criticism is on the other hand, something which no one wants to hear. It points out faults and directly attacks the owner. It aims to show that the person has no value and validity and no practical advice is given on how to improve. If you ever find yourself giving these kind of advices, you might want to ask yourself if doing so will help your friend improve. We need to be aware that sometimes our lips may move faster than our brains. It important to play the criticism and its consequences in your mind before saying it or it may add unnecessary sorrow to the person you are saying it to. 

How to deal with criticism

Now that you know how to identify the different kinds of critics, it is important to know how to deal with their criticisms. If you receive constructive criticism, always take it positively and use it to improve yourself as those who give it are the people who care about you and have given those criticisms with good intentions. However, if you ever come across destructive criticisms, you should hold your head up high and ignore them. You can even go out there and prove them wrong!

Everyone makes mistakes. What is important is to use those opportunities to learn from them

Everyone makes mistakes. What is important is to use those opportunities to learn from them. So, no matter the criticism you are getting, analyse them to find out if you can learn something from it. If you are the one criticising, make sure you are doing it to help someone instead of giving personal attacks.

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