How to Take Criticism Well (& the Benefits)

Criticism, despite the fact that many times can be hard to hear, is a really helpful tool. If you’re using this tool right, you can only win something out of it. This article explains this and more.

You see, it’s all about perspective, the way you receive the message – you have the power to let a critique affect you in a constructive or destructive way. It’s really your choice.

Of course, sometimes people don’t really mean well when they criticise you, but you have to be smarter, to be better than their jealousy or envy. Criticism is nothing less but a lesson which you can contest, ignore, or leverage.

It’s all about what kind of person you really want to be. Therefore, you can decide to learn how to deal with criticism in your favour in order to learn something from it and improve yourself.

That’s why, in today’s post, we’re presenting several essential tips that will help you take criticism well and leverage its benefits.

Control yourself – don’t be impulsive

In most of the cases, critics are perceived as a form of attack, so our first impulse is to fight back – to defend ourselves. But that’s what animals do, they are the ones that respond impulsively.

Us, as humans who have rationality, we can stop our impulse to defend and filter what the other person really wants to say. Once you overcome your impulse, you’re allowing logic and reason to step in, so you can act like a mature, wise person.

Critics aren’t meant to sound nice, because someone’s critic is what he or she believes to be true. Everyone has their version of a story, which means that the truth is actually somewhere in the middle.

Improve your employee engagement

Improve your employee engagement in less than two minutes

Get started for free today.

Free sign up

Therefore, you should ignore the impulse to defend yourself, and just listen to what he has to say and reflect on this question: “why did he really wanted to give me this critique?”

Look at the bright side

When you’re looking at something in a negative way, it’s more likely to have a negative outcome out of it. For instance, when you’re giving a stink eye to a baby, is very likely that he will cry or at least there won’t be a positive outcome.

The same goes with critics – if you’re perceiving the critique as a negative thing, feeling of frustration and angriness, it will trouble you. On the other hand, if you’re looking at the critique with a positive eye, you’ll feel the need to become a better person, to do something better.

No matter of the intention of someone’s critique, there’s always hidden a little piece of truth. According to the expert team from Academized Reviews, criticisms are nothing less than opportunities to improve something at yourself.

Be grateful

During one day at work, you can receive dozens of critics from your colleges and bosses. Some of them may be harsh and rude while others may be constructive and more helpful, but most of the times it depends on the person’s current mood.

Therefore, no matter the person’s intention to criticise you should be grateful that he took his time to share his perspective with you. Even say “thank you” for sharing your thoughts with me.

You may catch him off-guard and mistaken your gratitude for something else, but it will still be something good for you. This gratitude implemented as a habit it will keep you humble and it will constantly remind you that critics are good for your personal growth.

As well, in time it may gain you some friends by simply winning their respect by appreciating their critics. Everybody likes to feel appreciated.

Take your time and reflect on the criticism

After you learned to see the good side of a critique and to be grateful for it you need to take your time and reflect on it, learn something from it. Otherwise, the other person just wasted his breath and you took your time to listen in vain.

Of course, when you strongly believe that you hold the ultimate truth in front of others, this may be a hard lesson – as you don’t really believe that you have something to learn from someone below yourself.

But, isn’t it common knowledge that someone can be mistaken and that no one is always right? So, it’s very possible for you to be wrong and the other person to be right. All you have to do is to give it a thought and treat the subject objectively – after all, you’re doing it to improve yourself.

As the expert team from Custom said, critics are the perfect tool for personal growth, so you should be humble, let your vanity go, and look for something you can learn from any critique that you get.

Don’t take it personally – be the better version of yourself

In most of the cases, criticism is taken very personally as it’s often perceived as an attack. Well, even if sometimes that’s what someone’s trying to do – to attack us verbally – criticism isn’t supposed to be an attack and you definitively shouldn’t take it too personally.

If you’re taking the critique too personal, then you’ll respond to your impulses, attack back, and fail to see the good part in that critique, to be grateful for it, and actually learn something.

In other words, if you take a critique too personally, instead of leveraging that critique to improve something at yourself, you’ll only let it bring you down.

Why not be the better version of yourself – rise above the animal instincts to attack back and be wise, learn what can be learned from that experience, and be grateful that it happened.

Anyone can take things personally and respond to his instincts, but only a few are able to control themselves and be the better version of themselves in such situations.

Moreover, you’ll feel really good about yourself because you didn’t let someone’s low consciousness affect you and you avoided a time-consuming conflict in a nice manner.

So, do you want people to admire and respect you for your gracious way to handle criticism or to pity you? It’s your choice.

how to take criticism well

Image: Unsplash

The benefits of criticism

You can’t really control what others want to say to you, but you can control yourself. Some people don’t mean well when they criticise you, but we have something to learn from every experience we have in this life.

Most people, when they think about criticism, they connect it with negativity. Only a few dare to think about the benefits of a critique in one’s life. Therefore, here’s a list of the benefits that come with a critique if you learn how to take it well:

  • You learn to be humble by looking for seeds of truth in critics – it’s hard to be honest with yourself and admit your weaknesses, but you can only evolve this way.
  • Every critic is an opportunity you can take to improve yourself.
  • Criticism opens up your mind by revealing more perspectives about yourself and ideas that haven’t crossed your mind yet.
  • With every critique that you get, you have the chance to learn how to genuinely listen to someone and to practice gratitude and forgiveness.
  • Every time you control your impulse to defend yourself by a harsh critique, you’re learning how to control your emotions.
  • Criticism can touch some very sensitive spots sometimes – an aspect that can reveal unresolved issues with yourself.
  • Criticism helps you divide the emotional, subjective perspective from the rational, objective one.
  • Some critics are a direct attack to our insecurities – which may be all the impulse that you need to fix your problem and boost your self-esteem.
  • Taking criticism well means that you understand that you can be wrong and that it’s ok to have flaws as you’re only human – aspect that allows you to increase your confidence every time you learn and improve something from a critique.

In Summary

You are in control of your reactions – remember this every time someone’s criticising yourself or your work. Letting a critic affect you is letting someone control how you feel or what you believe.

Don’t get me wrong, critics are good and very necessary in order for someone to grow, to evolve. It’s all about how you’re taking them. Pay your full attention when someone is criticising you and spot out what you can learn from it.


About the Author

Jacob Dillon is a content editor and proofreader. Prior to finding his passion for writing, Jacob worked as a web designer and manager. His top priorities are using his experience, motivation and knowledge to help readers at blogs.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q