I think it’s no secret that you and I may not see a huge number of poems and songs, paintings and bright unusual ideas because their authors have not decided to present them to the world for fear of being criticized, or once tried and ran into incomprehension and never risked to try again.
I would like to suggest a few ways to survive criticism that have helped me a lot in my time, and I hope that for someone else it will help to take the first step that you have not dared to take. So, the first and most difficult thing at first:
Take a pause
If you are criticized, you shouldn’t immediately jump to conclusions, let alone respond with the words that immediately come to mind. Instead, it is better to stop, take a short pause and try to separate your emotions from the essence of the claim.
Instead of out of habit, ask yourself: “Is what I was just told true?”. It’s a good idea to try to understand what makes you feel so hurt. Remarks on what subject hurt the most (appearance, personal qualities, work, status, behavior, habits)?
Once you have decided on the subject, ask yourself the questions:
- Why do I do not like this topic?
- Who first hurt you in this matter?
Try to build a logical chain:
- Who criticizes you?
- Why does he do it?
- Is there any truth in his words?
- Is this personal criticism or impersonal? Is there anyone else’s criticism that you feel most strongly about?
Learn to soberly assess your abilities and knowledge
We need to understand: Is the criticism directed at us objective? And aren’t we captive to our self-confidence and false ambition?
Alas, many people are confronted with this mistake. Let’s say a person won the city Olympiad in physics. This means that he has some right to think that he understands something in physics. But if a person has objectively average vocal skills, and he gets offended when his friends advise him to give up the Whitney Houston repertoire, that is false ambition.
Identify the real reason for criticism
It is important for you to understand whether criticism from a person is a way to increase his or her “expertise” and importance at your expense. You must understand that in such cases, hurtful statements are nothing more than a means of manipulating you, so you must learn not to react to such attacks in any way.
But how to understand what is really behind the criticism in your address: an adequate assessment or a means of manipulation? You just need to ask the one who made the comments to you, what would he advise you to change? Couldn’t answer your question, or was he generalizing and getting personal? Then it is likely that the critic was guided by personal goals and it is not worth paying attention to his words.
Definitely do not raise your voice after offensive words and try as hard as you can to prove that you are right. Do the opposite: remain calm and take a genuine interest in the comments.
If you are criticized it is better not to respond with aggression to aggression. This will help you to take the initiative and not to make excuses, but to set the course of the conversation as you want it.
Criticism against us is always hurtful. But try to look at this unpleasant moment from the other side:
Psychologists say: if you are not criticized at all, there are two explanations:
1. You are absolutely perfect.
2. You are dead.
So hence the next point:
Thank the critic!
This is a powerful psychological aikido technique – that is, when you stump your opponent.
Just thank the critic. And do it with a smile and sincerity. Most critics will be stunned by this kind of reaction. Then pause and say: “Anything else?”. After your opponent’s silence, just walk away and continue doing what you did before.