Seven resourceful ways to deal with criticism
We all respond to criticism in different ways when we receive it. One individual person will emotionally respond to the exact same negative feedback completely different to another. In addition not all criticism is well intended either.
Generally people who criticise should have a positive intention behind their words. In reality this is not always the case and it’s important to know the difference between what has a positive intention and what doesn’t. Consistent negative feedback can be very draining and upsetting and although we can never be in control of what other people say to us, we can always be in control of how we respond to what they say.
Here are seven resourceful ways you can deal with criticism:
1. If you are sensitive to negative feedback or something has recently upset you, notice if the particular comments you have received have reflected a feeling about yourself that deep down you know has relevance. Subconsciously you may have pushed these feelings to the back of your mind and often other people can scratch the surface on something we want to avoid confronting.
2. If a comment hurts or upsets you, take time to go into the hurt you are feeling. Ask yourself what it is that has upset you and why it has bothered you. Chances are it’s made you feel exposed or vulnerable – someone may have revealed something in you that you are trying to hide.
3. If there is something that you are trying to hide, what could you do to confront it? The more you push down your emotions, the less you tune into your mind and as a result you will end up getting the same repeated feelings and responses when a similar situation happens again.
4. What could you do to change these feelings? Many people are carrying around stressful memories and experiences. The body and mind are connected so if you experience stress, it’s important to release it in some way so that it does not manifest as pain in your body.
5. Be open to other people’s feedback. Often we can learn a lot from the relationships we have with other people. Whether these are our colleagues, friends or partners. They all act as a mirror for us to understand ourselves more. So could this person be giving you some useful advice after all?
6. If you have hiccup at work, it’s good practice to take responsibility for any oversights as people are far more forgiving when you can agree that something didn’t work out how it was intended to. Not only are people more forgiving, but they will respect you more for your honesty and integrity. When you have respect from other people, they tend to be more understanding and less critical.
7. Not all criticism is necessarily welcome or intended to be nice. Sometimes we can be on the receiving end of bullying or at worst, abuse. If you feel you are being singled out or picked on, it is important to discuss this with someone you trust. If the situation is work related it is important to speak to your manager or supervisor, or another manager if the situation is related to your manager. In addition if you are experiencing consistent negative criticism from a partner or a friend, consider how you could release yourself from their negativity. We always have a choice about who let in to our life so if someone is impacting negatively on you, consider if it is useful to stay connected to them.