How to deal with Criticisms




What is he thinking? While everyone is leaving the company, he chooses to return. He must be out of his mind.

What I overheard from the passengers at the front seat reminded me that whatever you do, people will criticize you.

Let’s be honest! Not all criticisms are bad. In fact, some are helpful. Still, we don’t like being criticized as much as we like giving criticisms. Being criticized stings.

Every time I get a criticism, I remind myself of the ABCs in dealing with it.




Assess the nature and intent of the criticism.

Is it sensible? A criticism is sensible if it is based on facts and something that is within your control. If you are criticized based on your tardiness at work, then do something about it. Don’t be late. But if you’re criticized based on the size of your nose, ignore it, unless your nose is your business and you can afford to get a nose job. If it’s just about how you look or sound, get over it.

Is it from a person who truly cares, like a mentor, a loved one or a trusted friend? If yes, then pause and reflect on it. The people who love us say things to us with good intentions. They are the ones who want the best of us. As John Maxwell said, it is better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool. Also as written in the the Bible (Proverbs 27:6), faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. If a criticism comes from a random stranger or an acquaintance who only want to “get involved,” it’s a waste of time. Move on and do something else productive.

Is it too judgmental? If it is malicious and with negative intent, then don’t take it too personally. Perhaps, the criticism is a product of envy or hurt. It won’t help you if you listen to it.




Breathe deeply and show a poker face.

Image from http://www.theschoolofsinging.com

It’s a human nature to feel the urge to defend his pride against the oppressor. Remember that an unguarded emotion can make you engage in irrational actions. Relax. Don’t give in. Don’t show any signs that you were affected. The enemy will see it as your weakness and he will enjoy it. Don’t let him claim his victory over you. Instead, inhale deeply and in silence count from 1 to 10. Scientifically, inhaling deeply fills in enough oxygen for the brain to think clearly. At heat of the moment, the only thing you need to remember is to breathe deeply.




Cheer up.

If someone criticizes you, it means that you have done something worthy of their attention. Criticism is the price you have to pay if you want to succeed in life. People who avoid criticism avoid doing something for themselves.

Avoiding criticism is very easy. You just have to follow what everyone tells you to do. You have to play safe. You shouldn’t attempt to do something to upset the status quo. You could also lock yourself in your room and do nothing.

However, if you want to achieve your dreams, do something! And thicken your armour to face criticisms.

Remember that criticisms are like noise. If you focus on it, it would bother you. If you ignore it, you would hear the beautiful and important sounds from the surroundings.

In the end, regardless of what people say, you make the final decision. It’s your life. So, next time you are being criticized of what you do, take it as if you were an observer rather than a victim. Assess its nature and intent. Breathe deeply. Cheer up.

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