There are two kinds of criticism. Destructive and constructive. We are always op en to the latter but unfortunately we are faced with the more destructive type. We do our best, we follow the rules, we try new things, we do things that we think are ok, yet we can't hide from criticism and people are always willing to dole out a good dose of it too.
It doesn't matter what type of criticism we receive, it's an immediate blow, period. We feel it like someone took a sledgehammer and drove it into the pit of our gut. We sulk, tail between our legs and crawl home like a defeated warrior. We get home and sulk some more and cry. We are losers. Failures. Nothing we did was right. No one appreciates our efforts. And the negative self-talk begins. How long it lasts is entirely up to you of course.
Many people can handle criticism like a pro for a few simple reasons. Here are 5 ways they deal with it and let it go. Maybe try one or more of these tips next time someone deals you a critical blow. It could save you from a day of sorrow.
1. Remember it's not about you, it's about the person who is criticizing.
Many people are threatened by you and your courage to do things and because of this, they will be the first ones to kick you in the stomach. It's just their way of telling you that they are jealous of you and they feel inferior. When they criticize you, it gives them power over you and they feel better about themselves. It's not about you. Ever. It's their problem, not yours.
2. Take it in stride.
Listen to everything someone said, all bad and even the good. Take it home and analyze each suggestion or comment. Take it as a blessing and a learning lesson. Like a free college education. They are telling you something you didn't already know and they are offering it up for free. That's awesome! Take it. All this information will only aid in your personal growth and character development.
3. Recognize the difference between destructive and constructive.
When you know that it is clearly destructive, look at the source it is coming from and shoo it away. Dismiss it as a personal attack that comes from a place of anger or jealousy or hurt. Wherever it comes from, it is negative and it is not meant to help you grow but cut you down. Constructive is always a welcome criticism, if you want to call it that, but you can take something from it.
4. You are not perfect and everything you do isn't going to be perfect either.
There is always room for error and there will always be flub ups. People will see these times and use them as an opportunity to criticize you. They are only doing so to show you that you aren't perfect and perfection isn't exactly necessary or healthy. As none of us are perfect, you must leave the door open for suggestions for improvement, also known as constructive criticism. Accept it as it is.
5. Better luck next time.
You messed up this time but next time will be epic, right? People will be quick to tell you where and how you messed up. Use it as fuel to power your next project that will blow away anything you have ever done. We won't always get everything right the first time. We may even mess up the second and third time but that's ok. As people criticize your efforts, you learn and grow.
Criticizing from our childhood often carries into our adulthood and when we receive any type of criticism we cringe and revert back to memories from our youth. They are hurtful and damaging. People mostly really do want to help and see you succeed. They come from a good place, but there are the odd ones that use criticism to cut you down. Let them be. Just ignore them. It's negative power that they thrive on. You don't have any room for that. You are a warrior.