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Strategies for Coping With Criticism in a Positive Way

Learn how to empower yourself through challenging moments in life.

There was a time when other people’s criticism really stung me. It brought all my insecurities to the surface. Other people’s opinions of me would cause me to question myself. I would experience profound remorse and regret. I would shame myself. I would isolate myself to avoid any further conflict. I would make myself small. I would give my power away.

The fact is, we all face criticism in our lives. There really is no way to completely avoid it. How can we deal with the criticism we receive? How can we respond? Here are some tips and strategies for coping with and moving forward from criticism.

Criticism is an opinion.

Opinions can be right, or they can be wrong. Don’t take them to be gospel truth. Criticism is only that person’s opinion of you. One person’s opinion of you does not need to become your opinion of you.

We are all stuck in our own perspectives.

You see and understand with your perspective. They see and understand with theirs. They may not see or understand what you were trying to say or do. They may have missed the point entirely. No one can see into your heart and mind. No one can know your intention unless you tell them. A lot of disagreements are born from misunderstandings. Communication is key.

You never know someone’s circumstance.

Maybe, that person is having a really crappy day. Maybe, what you said or did triggered them. Maybe, their reaction came from their own pain. Maybe, when they are lashing out at you, they are acting out their pain. Sometimes people misdirect their hurt and anger. The point is, you just don’t know what a person is going through. It’s better to be compassionate than reactive. You can still give a response, if you choose, but you could make it a compassionate one.


Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Your first instinct may be to cut the person giving you criticism down to size. I mean, after all, isn’t that what they just tried to do to you? But consider how much you just disliked what they said. Now, consider how much you would dislike yourself for acting in the exact same way. Don’t become what you hate.

Why are you emotionally attached?

If you feel defensive, get angry, offended, or disappointed by their criticism, stop and ask yourself why. Why are you emotionally attached to this? Is there an issue you may need to address? Do you need to engage in some self-care? Do you have a wound that needs healing? We have a choice as to what we emotionally attach ourselves to. We can hear someone’s opinion objectively. We can look at it for what it is without emotionally investing ourselves. This can save us a lot of trouble.

Know your intention.

Mindfulness matters. If you act with intent, no one can take that away from you. Even if the outcome is a complete disaster. We live, and we learn. We can apply new learning for the next time. We can’t undo what is done. If we did something with a good heart and with good intention, then obviously we did not intent to do anything harmful. By being mindful and remembering our intention, we can find peace and move forward.

You do not need to defend or explain yourself.

Recognize that you do not need to defend every action or every word. Ask yourself if it is worthwhile to spend your time and energy explaining yourself. Sometimes, people are very good at wasting other people’s time, either inadvertently, or intentionally. Not everything warrants an explanation. Not every relationship is worth fighting for. Sometimes we try too hard to hang on to people we will possibly never get along with. Ask yourself what you are investing your time and energy into. Is it productive, and does it serve you?

Don’t feed the negativity.

A good rule of thumb is to not respond to negativity with negativity. A person may have intended their criticism to be constructive. They may have had good intentions. They may be talking from ego. Or, they may actually have had ill intent. In any case, how you respond matters. Be the example. Rise above any negativity. You can be supportive and respectful to people you disagree with. Sometimes, we may disagree with someone but change our minds later. We are all learning, growing, and changing. It’s better to react positively than with negativity. Adding to the negativity doesn’t do anything to solve any problems. 


Engage in self-care.

Don’t neglect yourself. Take time for yourself. Look after your well-being. Find and keep your inner peace. When you look after yourself you won’t feel as needy. When you carry around inner peace you will feel less volatile. Both can make you less reactive to what happens outside of you. Make yourself a priority in your life. Remember, you are the one person you will have to live with for the rest of your life. Invest into that relationship. Love yourself.

Find Self-forgiveness.

There will be times when you muck up, when you make mistakes. It happens. It happens to everyone. Are you going to cut yourself up for it? Are you going to beat yourself up over it? Or, will you take the lesson and move on. Forgive yourself and let go. Don’t allow regret to anchor you in the past. Stay present in the moment, because here is where you have influence.

Have patience.

Sometimes, someone gives you criticism about something you are struggling with. You may feel a bit exasperated about having it pointed out to you. Recognize that change takes time. Be patient with yourself. Keep investing in yourself and your self-development. No one is perfect. We are all a work in progress. Be easy on yourself. Allow yourself some grace. Be patient with yourself.

Find self-acceptance.

It’s important to accept and love yourself fully as you are. Don’t just accept parts of yourself you like. Love all of you. Discard the ideal and impossible standard of perfection. You can love and accept yourself and still work on yourself. The love and acceptance you have for yourself is not conditional on your performance. By loving and accepting ourselves, we can empower ourselves. Empowerment can allow us to overcome and achieve so much!

Do you have any tips or strategies to share which can help us to best move forward from criticism?

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Akiroq Brost

Akiroq is a Human Potential Inspirational writer, who has a passion for helping others explore and harness the extraordinary potential that lies within each and every one of us.

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Mary aloise
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Mary aloise

Some people have been listening to the same negative feedback

For over 17 yrs. Enough. Is enough.

Mary aloise
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Mary aloise

Thank you for all of these articles..very interesting. Sorry about
My complaining. I just had to move on.

Mary aloise
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Mary aloise

Who needs criticism when you are alone and ill…and the. Person
Doing the critiszing knows it/. Sorry for the poor spelling.

Jackie Wilushewski
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Just a great way to look at how to handle criticism or even any negative or unfamiliar situations SUPER thank grateful for this article <3

Kenny morris
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Kenny morris

So many people let other’s criticism affect thier daily.use the criticism to strengthen ones inner self for you know what you are capable of doing.treat other’s how you want to be treated,laughter is good for the soul. laughing at criticism instead of anger will show the critic their words are meaningless to you,for they are trying to anger you or make you feel useless.

Gloria
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Gloria

It’s hard when criticism comes from someone who is in a position with more authority than you have so it’s their way or the highway. Instead of thanks for all you do and i’ll Think about what you said .

Vasudevan Bhattathir
Member

criticism is a thing which we have to face in life this can be positive or negative act it all this depends on factors such as ] who is criticizing, the intention behind it , how we are taking it etc even a criticism is an opinion we may consider the same as we may be wrong sometimes it should be taken into consideration and do it as we think correct
this is a good article which opens our mind . thank you

Rahima
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Rahima

Thank you for the good article.

Tiffany Newsome
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Tiffany Newsome

I firmly believe and agree with this article wholeheartedly. A wonderful read indeed!!!

Heather Dozier
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Heather Dozier

I needed this in the place I am, not having much of any kind of support I found this to be God’s conformation to my prayers & how I should feel about a choice I made to end a realtionship, that was toxic & unhealthy, ppl do not understand power that are in their words, words can cut the spirit in half, they can be used to speak life over people & belive or not death. People can curse other people, not knowing it’s a tool of witchcraft. In God’s eyes words are very important, & if the words we use doesnt, build up, speak healing in their life, blessings, give them word that tell them how God views them, special, wonderful, awesome, & yes sometime we need to let people know that thief behaviors are not good & change needs to happen. If people can’t live understanding we all have boundaries & if we don’t we need to get some, boundaries are their to teach people that we desire respect, & need this to have healthy realtionships, if we allow certain treatments they havegave to us over & over, & WE live with it & they have know consequences for the treatment they give us, *& confusing us by telling us they love us, it’s In their actionshow they respect us, value us talk to us with words that are edifying us, instead. Of tearing us down with words you think comes from no other source but hate, & rage. This relationship is not healthy, isn’t in God’s eye’s a marriage or relationship he wants for us, toxic anger people damage us, & in a lot of cases, where they stay for long periods, they start acting out what’s been projected onto them. If children see this kind of treatment on the opposite sex that see them as not any value, worth, gifts, there life to them is of no importance, they think is normal & everyone relationships are like this. I have always sticks & stones will brake the bones but words will never hurt me, so very untrue & children need to know the power our words have on others, yea some things that are not so traumatizing to hear, that can be easily look at as these things will not define me, but there some words much more cable of damage that can cause years for heAling from their effects on their minds, hearts, & spirit. I was told that a child who has heard a negitive, critical, thing. It takes ten words that are positive to correct the one negitive. I member having words like said to me, they go thru your mind over & over, effecting how you perceive yourself even if the words hold no truth, it’s how we hear them then they take root& we begin to see ourself, or question if we are what they say. I hope this helps someone, I know I get carried away, if some is wondering where in the bible it talks of our words & their power, it’s In the book of proverbs18:21 blessings overtake you, joy pour from you, peace that could only come from God above. I pray you have this all the days of your life! Thanks for writing. The article, the truth it holds for are well bieng, & happiness !