Do you take it personally if your boss tells you to be quiet during a meeting?
Does it ruin your day if someone gives you a judgmental glare?
Criticism hurts, especially for those sensitive to them. Some people seem to be able to shrug it off while others have a harder time accepting it. Perfectionists are especially sensitive to criticism. The reality is, everyone will face criticism at some point in their lives, so it's all about knowing how to deal with it.
Here are a few ways to deal with criticism when faced with it:
Consider the source: Criticism from a close family member could carry more weight than a stranger. No matter who it is, answering criticism with another criticism is not usually helpful. Even if you are offended and feel the critic is at fault, criticizing them is likely just to inflame the situation and cause it to escalate.
Consider what kind of criticism it is: Constructive criticism isn’t a personal attack as it can be helpful and move you toward improvement. It may be easier said than done, but it can become easier if you can detach yourself from the emotional aspect of the situation, it will help you stay in control. You may even want to just ask what they are feeling as some criticism may have nothing to do with you.
Have an attitude of growth: Be open to learning and changing. It’s important to assess if the criticism has any truth. Some criticism might hurt more coming from someone you trust, however they might very be trying to help you in some way.
Let go of what doesn’t feel true: You never know what someone may be feeling on the other side of the critique.
Feel your feelings: Allow yourself to feel hurt or angry. Once you’ve received and understood the criticism and have allowed yourself to feel any feeling associated with it, you are more able to seek to address any issues or concerns that have been raised with a better attitude.
Show yourself compassion: In addition to feeling those tough feelings, be kind to yourself. The more grace that you give yourself, the more you empower yourself to grow and thrive!
The next time you're faced with criticism, ask yourself: "How do I want to deal with this criticism?"
Know that your self-worth isn’t determined by how many people like you, your work, or your choices. Be open to feedback from those you respect, but also know that you cannot please everyone and that’s okay.
John Wooden said it right, "You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”