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Learning to Take Criticism

Updated on October 7, 2011
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Criticism is not an easy thing to take. Believe me, there are a lot of examples where people destroyed their lives because of criticism and the reason for that was not taking it positively. A number of us do not know how to handle criticism and that is what I am discussing in this article. Here are some of the things which can help you learn to handle criticism.

First of all, I want to share my opinion that receiving criticism and taking benefit out of it is a God given talent and there are a very few people who have this natural capability. The most natural reaction to criticism is to defend yourself and prove your critic wrong. While this may be necessary at times, this natural reaction can also cause us to ignore the fact that in certain occasions, the critic may have a valid point. However, this is one of those things that can be inculcated in a person's personality. The only thing that you need to do is to take your ego out of the equation.

Bracing yourself up

This is the first step in taking criticism. You should always be ready to take criticism and should think of it as a point to ponder upon. You should be ready for it whenever it comes and when it does, you should listen to it and should not try to defend yourself right away, even if it is not true. Although this is not a very easy thing to do, once you master this skill you will see yourself achieving balance and clarity.

The only way to assess the merit of a criticism is to do so with a clear and open mind. Being on the defensive and feeling offended will not place you in a state of objectivity. You need to be able to go over the criticism objectively and sincerely. If it has no merit, then go defend yourself and take apart his argument. However, if the criticism has merit, then you stumble upon an opportunity to improve yourself.


Listen to critics, regardless if the critics are being rational or a complete jerk. Keep your emotions out of it as much as possible  sit there looking cool as a cucumber. :)
Listen to critics, regardless if the critics are being rational or a complete jerk. Keep your emotions out of it as much as possible sit there looking cool as a cucumber. :) | Source

Focus on improving yourself

If you possess an attitude that makes you willing to make improvements in your personality then this will help your ability to take criticism positively. As you receive criticism, develop a habit of learning from it when applicable.

You should have a positive point of view towards criticism; treat it as a feedback mechanism. We learn more about ourselves through feedback we receive from other people. Our friends and loved ones would generally provide us with positive feedback about ourselves. However, to really get a well-rounded view of our total personality, we also need to know about bad traits and weaknesses as well. This can be found via negative feedback or criticism about us as a person.

By being open to criticism, you enable yourself to recognize your weak points and areas for improvement or change. Use this opportunity to focus on the weak points which you have identified through criticism you received and try to eliminate those from your personality to develop into a better version of your current self. Consequently, the more you improve and develop positively as a person, you are less likely to get criticism.


Been Subjected to a Lot of Criticism? Prepare, Learn and Profit from it
Been Subjected to a Lot of Criticism? Prepare, Learn and Profit from it | Source

Keep negative things at bay

I know that it is a very easy thing to say but, with fortitude, this skill take some effort getting used to. If you really want to take benefit from criticism, you will have to keep negative thoughts at bay and not let them take over yourself. Keep your ego out of the way and listen to that criticism carefully and take out all the beneficial things you could out of it. It is for your own good. You have to keep in mind that these people who are criticizing you today will be applauding you some day. It is possible that they may have been criticizing you because they wish for you to improve and do better. In a way, it shows that they somehow care about you to take the time and effort to point out an area for improvement.

Of course, there will also be unwarranted and downright malicious criticism that will serve no useful purpose other than to hurt or offend you. Again, keep the negative things at bay. Defend yourself and make your point if needed, but otherwise, let it go. As mentioned earlier, a clear head is needed in order to be able to objectively assess the merit of the criticism hurled at you. Emotions and passion can cloud your judgment. Be confident enough to brush away those that aren't true and is merely meant to harm you.

By keeping some of these things in mind you will be able to effectively handle criticism and treat it as a beneficial tool for you.

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

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How to Take Criticism

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    • moiragallaga profile image
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      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Durant, the picture is indeed a funny one.

      As for your comment, you have a relevant insight in that it appears that people nowadays no longer know how to take criticism. I kind of agree. Thanks for dropping by.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your comment prairieprincess. I'm glad you found the advice useful, I have need for it myself from time to time. I thought myself as someone who could handle criticism quite well but apparently, it isn't the case all the time.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      simpleroma, my apologies for the late response, but I would like to thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated and you make a good point about how a positive reaction to an initial criticism could sometimes lead to gaining the respect of the critic.

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 6 years ago from Canada

      The picture of that angry guy with the shoe is hilarious. It really got my attention.

      Less and less people know how to take criticism these days, so hopefully this hub will help!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Moira, this is excellent advice. You are so right in saying that criticism is not easy to take but to do so, is helpful. These are very good words, especially for this thin-skinned writer! I am definitely going to bookmark this article and share it. Thanks so much!

    • simpleroma profile image

      simpleroma 6 years ago from Lucena City, Philippines

      Great Hub. I strongly agree with you, keep negative things at bay and some people who criticize you in the past will applaud you in the future, only if you react on their criticism positively, we need to be a positive absorber to handle the criticism initially, thanks.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your comment Yalid. Yes, there are two kinds of criticism as you point out and the type of criticism made does tell a lot about the person making them. The type of criticism you receive from someone is a good indicator of that person's attitude towards you.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Feel free to share my hub with your husband Janeenjesse. I usually forward interesting hubs to my husband, especially those covering topics I know he'll like. He's not interested to join Hub Pages but he enjoys reading some of the stuff from here that i share with him. Thank you for commenting.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for the encouragement Shea Duane.

    • moiragallaga profile image
      Author

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      LorenAybe, I think dealing with critics and criticism is difficult and hard for anyone. It is for me, so you aren't alone in that aspect. Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

    • janeenjesse@yahoo profile image

      Joanne Kathleen Farrell 6 years ago from Rensselaer NY

      I wish my husband could read this!

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      Good hub.

    • LorenAyBe profile image

      LorenAyBe 6 years ago from Belgium

      Dealing with critics has being always hard for me, thanks for this hub that gives important tips to take it easy.

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