There is no wonder that you find people around you criticizing about you. It is not uncommon to have people who seem to criticize and put others down for no apparent reason. Criticism affects everyone at one time in life or another in various forms. True that no one likes to be criticized, unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that one has to face it. There is no escape from criticism; rather, it needs to be responded effectively. Criticism is a spoken or written opinion or judgment of what is wrong or bad about somebody. It leads to point outone or more faults of a person that could be one of the greatest causes of low mood and depression impacting negatively on one’s self worth. Criticism is hard to accept and very few people can take it positively or in a gentle manner. It depends on a person how he or she reacts in such situations. However, it’s always better to take criticism positively. Here are some ways that you might find helpful in dealing with criticism effectively.
Criticism can be constructive or destructive – valid or unjustified. Regardless of whether it is constructive or destructive criticism, if not clarified well, both are challenging one’s ideas and abilities. So, being concerned with practicalities and differentiating between the types of criticism can help one deal with any criticism effectively.
The first thing to be done is to determine whether it’s constructive or destructive criticism. In case of former, it’s better to identify ways in which you can benefit from it. Though it drives a person who criticizes to point out your faults, but it includes practical advice as well. Constructive criticism may be defined as the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of constructive criticism is to improve the outcome. Constructive criticism can benefit an individual in various ways. It involves giving useful feedback which can promote constructive growth in individuals by providing a broader perspective or insight into the situations. It also helps one to know one’s weaknesses, so that one can overcome them or turn them into positive ones. However, Constructive criticism must be handled in an appropriate manner using acceptable terminology, else the adverse effects can lead to heartbreak or insulting or daunting even though the intention is good.
Destructive criticism aims to destroy the target of criticism. The intention is to show that the point of view of someone else has no validity at all, or lacks any merit. It is performed with the intention to humiliate someone or to cause emotional suffering or mentalagony. It leads to derogate and destroy someone’s reputation and self-esteem. It is not difficult to identify destructive criticism, as it does not show the feeling of cares, concerns or worries. Apart from that, facial expressions and body language of destructive critics can also be recognized easily. It’s thus neither valid nor true. In case it seems to be valid on the face of it, but the way it’s delivered looks unsupportive.
Enduring criticism without resentment is an important life skill. And indeed, fortunate is the person who has acquired this skill, as it leads to living a peaceful and balanced life. Living in peace is about living harmoniously with yourself and others around you. One of the greatest benefits of taking criticism without resentment, without getting hurt or defensive is that you can overcome your tension and control your temperament, irritability or sensitivity which can help you immensely to deal with the situation in an effective manner. In fact, criticism involves throwing negative energy at others and hurting their feelings. If you focus on the negative qualities of a person in such situations, chances are that you allow negative thoughts to enter your brain. When negative thoughts hit your brain, they will drain your energy and lead you to make negative things happen. It is therefore important to handle the situation coolly and calmly. When you are in control of your emotions, it will not only help you tamp down the emotional upset, but it will also enable you to deal with criticism successfully. It’s worth considering what has been pointed out in these words: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
While no one likes a critic, this is a fact of life that everyone has his or her own worst critic and criticism finds its way in almost every relationship. Undeniably, the best solution of criticism is to gain confidence to face it in an honest and straightforward way with the understanding of the problem - not running away from criticism.
K. A. Fareed (Fareed Siddiqui)
Writer, Trainer, Author, Software Developer
BBA, MBA-Finance, MPhil-Financial Management, (PhD-Management)
Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Programming
Level 1 - Leadership and Management ILM – UK
Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India