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How to handle someone overly critical of you and come out positive.

Updated on March 4, 2014

Have you ever met someone who is critical of a tree?

That one should be thought upon.
That one should be thought upon. | Source

If you do not get defensive when criticized you need to make sure you have a pulse.

Be positive please and hang on to your self.

Criticism is really an attack. Get over it. How do you handle it? Let us learn about criticism together and develop our own plan of response or reaction.

An old partner of mine once said "if you are not being sued in court, you really aren't in business". Or with bad press; "At least they are talking about you kid". Be good to your self and never ever let someone else determine your own self worth.

Try to think of a time when someone was critical of you and what you did had no impact on them. Please try hard here. Even the bullies on the internet that seem to attack you out of nowhere -- clearly are effected by what you write or post.

So let us start out on a positive note. If someone is criticizing you, you are making an impact and isn't that a true compliment and our social responsibility?

We should all be glorified so much that others care to spend the time to critique our work. That is rally great.

Some how and some way we must stay positive.

Same trees in fall. Incredible

Helmut is the author's brother in law from Austria. What a great photographer!
Helmut is the author's brother in law from Austria. What a great photographer! | Source

Let us just get right to the "how to" part.

Better you do not have to slog through 1300 words to get to some helpful hints. So when you are overly criticized handle it just like you would a proper criticism. First thing first is to take notes. Mental is good but written is better. Concentrate on interpretation of the criticism so you can apply it. It might just be helpful or it might just be the criticizers problem. Do not judge that immediately. Only time can tell that. Certainly immediate reaction cannot, it just cannot. And if it can, do not trust that.

So to make it easy we have some "mantras" to say. It is suggested that these be employed immediately upon the slightest inkling that criticism is beginning. There are triggers and all you need to do it sit down and feel/think about those feelings. For some a tightness of breath and for others starting to get mad like fight or flight. So as a rule just employ these techniques immediately.

All of these are kind of in quotation marks as it is both and internal and external dialogue.

Excuse me let me get this down so I do not miss anything

Wait a second I need to pay attention here so give me a moment

Let me get my pad of paper

Can we do this later?

OK! let me concentrate

I got you coach, let me try it again (my favorite as an athlete and a coach)

Could you say that again I want to be sure I get this

Hey baby this is for you -- you write for a living and want to get into the game look over here. I am your cheering squad!

Special segment for writers

We use a key board. That is how we ply our trade. That key board is your friend just as it is your enemy. Your real friends are those that comment on what you write. It may be harsh but generally it will be uplifting and inspiring. And that is good.

In the harsh ones. Slowdown and look also to the writer. It could be a cry for help. Yes sometimes we see or hear criticism that people can let loose on a writer. It is almost like we are there bartenders, they need to vent and sometimes they focus on us. Please consider this an honor of our trade. (we exclude forums here as we can see the critics are not serious writers and should be seen more like drunks in a bar, nevertheless this can be instructional and help a writer to handle normal criticism better)

Real based criticism is usually paid for with money. All others are suspect. And we are best to look at the source and decide if that is a target audience we want. But if you are really looking for helpful criticism at least write them back and ask for clarification. Criticism in writing without dialogue is really not a good idea.

Are you cool with criticizing a fellow writer?

Have you ever been asked for a critique?

See results

There are a lot of boulders on the way to the top.

If you do not like climbing around boulders stay unnoticed please.
If you do not like climbing around boulders stay unnoticed please. | Source

The trap in the office.

It is just a fact of life. Those people in life that get ahead in a profit making center are animals. On good occasion you will find folks who get ahead by getting the most out of the people around them. But we are sorry to note that they are the exception. Most get ahead by building cases against those that they internally compete against.

So half of all your criticism in an office setting is not about you but about the person one rung above you. Please get over that. Please get into that and learn and grow.

Awhile ago a fellow by the name of Carnegie wrote some stuff on motivation and criticism. He recommended a sandwich approach. Praise, criticism, followed by praise. It makes perfect sense and requires the superior to think. Here is the problem. In the late 1970's and early 1980's corporations we being sued in court for wrongful termination and the praise portion showed clearly that the employee was doing a good job. So the heavy onset of Human Resources, a group we call HR.

They put a stop to that and nowadays the business structure requires harsh criticism that will late give rise to the ability to fire an employee. We think we can agree that that is some sick crap. Lawyers are not to blame, actuarial dudes, accountants and business is to blame for a general downturn in motivation.

Do not let someone else take your Glory Days. You are the best. Stand tall and keep living them.


Oh boy this is a hard one but you are up to the task and your new family and friends love you for who you are. Family of origin crap needs to be classified, booked and filed. Youngest of six children and you are not worth the snot out of your nose. Bull. You are you and you are awesome and that criticism helps you move forward if you give it the chance.

We must rise above criticism. We must not avoid it. We must love it and grown from it. Embrace it and learn and grow from it. It is our friend.

There is no professional group that gathers that does what problem resolution is. And our clients do not give references as to do so would admit a problem and that is our job to keep quiet. Think of that show "Scandal". All the time we are brought in to fix a problem and 90% of the time the folk act like we caused the problem. And our only hope in helping is to be critical. And that makes us hated. In families it is the same. Stay focused and write notes and assure attention to concerns. And buck up and take it like a woman.

Here is the deal. I love you, can you love yourself?

If you read this silly article all the way down to here. Then you are "in progress". But to me you have been constantly in progress because something made you read this.

We do not write to the masses here. We write to writers and caring people. Care about yourself like I do. My yolk is very light and I will help you carry yours if you let me.

OK, not me, but another. That is the last piece of the puzzle. Share what you feel and feel what you share. A day that goes by when no one make fun of my 155 and above IQ is a day I failed to stick my neck out for you. I suck if I do that. Bring that problem home to your loved one and feel like they care and can add to the criticism. And just love all criticizers because they care about you.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, I have been defensive for so long I cannot break the habit. But now I do not have to act or speak on it immediately. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      4 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I had to learn to take criticism. As a writer it was not fun because you want everyone to relate and understand you. I knew I had grown as a writer and as a person when I began to understand that I was who God created me to be and I couldn't tailor myself to meet other peoples expectations. I love constructive criticism it helps me grow. But if I feel someone is trying to tear me down, I just ignore them... Great hub. voted up !

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise, If I spent half the time I spend criticizing myself about my work I would get twice as much work done. We are indeed funny creatures that way. Thank you for sharing on my hub.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I am my own worse critic! Yes, I receive criticism from others, but not as often as I receive it from myself. It is that old "perfectionism" routine. I am a recovering perfectionist. I have not been able to master total abstinence. Your suggestions are good here, to take notes, write it down, take a look and see if it is warranted, and then let it go and move on. Thanks!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oh boy you are so right Nadine. One time I got 8 new clients in one day after some bad press. And the disputed matter that hit the press was resolved that same day.

      Open it up and air it out and stand tall! You are a shining light.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      tsmog just the other day I did things perfectly -- for about 20 seconds. We are fortunate as humans to have other humans to keep us good. I thank you, and never hesitate to criticize me ;-)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      This is a very good hub that immediately addresses any reader to look at themselves. I learned that a negative criticism in a newspaper turned out to be the best publicity I could have asked for. After that I stopped worrying if someone did not like my art work. Today I'm using words to paint a picture, so I learn from any criticism.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Agreeing much with what is shared of criticism I applaud the effect this article caused with this self through the process of reflecting. I thank you for that. This article promises both understanding and offers valuable solutions. Well worth the moments reading and pondering.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Grand old lady. Another hub for that one. But let me say that Passive Agressive Behavior is all self centered. I use it very well. (that probably is bad)

      Tell that kid that just like them, we know when we act wrong and do not need someone to tell us so.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Naturalife I can do that because I have the worlds greatest comedian by stupidity sitting in me in the chair with me. I am hilarious by all the things I done wrong. If you react bad sometimes, know that I act horribly wrong and terrible. But even I can do better. I am a funny guy because I am silly.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill my man -- I feel we share a humility based on realism. And yet by exposing ourselves we can lead our friends closer to the big happy.

      Well happy to you today my friend.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      I didn't see anything about passive aggression. That's a favorite attack because the attacker is the "victim". You're right about talking things out. I never do that. My kid just scolded me today when I told her about a woman who bugged me. The kid said if I don't say anything I'm letter her do something wrong without her understanding that it's wrong. I actually did a rare and rather large favor for her but she felt upset because of something she didn't like about it. Still trying to think of how I'm gonna talk to this person about that.

    • naturalife profile image

      O William 

      4 years ago

      This is an awesome hub. I love reading your hubs because you wonderfully coat any important subject or issue with humour. I read it from start to finish and armed myself with ammunition on how to deal with criticism. I do react bad and sometimes get upset when criticized.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      it is a rare person who does not feel personally attacked by criticism...I am not that rare person. LOL But I'm getting better, and when it comes from a loved one I have even learned to accept it with love...and that is huge progress.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John your comments always add to the substance of a hub. You are the great conversationalist.

      Your poor neighbor.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sparklea I am blushing, thank you. I think we actually can learn on the forums. At least if we try we can practice this crazy hard lesson of acceptance. Have a great day.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Eric my friend, your hubs always challenge us in different ways. Can we handle criticism as well as dish it out? Some of us have no problem with one or the other, some can do both and feel good about it. Some of us take criticism as a personal insult and don't even try to learn from it. You are right that if you can evoke criticism then you are having an impact. Like the old saying "any publicity is good publicity"because it makes you noticed. Oh yes, I have heard someone criticise a tree. An old neighbour of mine asked me what type of trees I was planting along the fence line, because he hated any tree that dropped its leaves. Well written, voted up.

    • Sparklea profile image


      4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Eric, voted up and bring out points in your hubs that I would never think of, and this excellent write is no different.

      For example, you say to love your criticizers because they care about you. I never thought of it that way.

      You also bring out the fact that if someone is criticizing you, you are making an impact.

      The best thing you wrote is: 'share what you feel and feel what you share.'

      I congratulate you on the phenomenal hubs you share on a daily basis. The most impressive is that you are genuinely sincere with every word you say.

      I thank you from my heart for being responsible for the comments on your recent forum. Your topics entice writers to really speak up and say it how they see it.

      You are BRILLIANT, and I thank God I know you through Hub Pages.

      Blessings always, Sparklea


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