We can all relate to being criticized and then feeling terrible. There is not a single one of us who derives pleasure from being criticized. It hits all of us very hard and certainly takes a toll for several reasons. One of the main reasons that criticism is so painful is because it stays with us longer than praise. This is truly a shameful thing, but it is the painful truth. Think about the last time that you got a compliment and were criticized on the same day. What hit you harder and stayed with you longer ? It was most certainly the criticism.
Criticism is a term for judgment passed or expressed, or evaluation, good or bad. It pops up everywhere. Anytime someone gives you criticism, they’re evaluating you against specific standards, whether it’s their own or those of another. Many people associate the word “ criticism ” with negative feedback, which is not the case. Negative motivations for criticism might include feeling jealous or insecure, but not all criticism is bad news. And while the word “ criticism ” may see more frequent use when discussing negative evaluations, not all criticism comes with bad or unhealthy intentions– even when it highlights failures and mistakes.
Types Of Criticism.
We’ve got two types of criticism, and they are:
- Constructive Criticism
- Destructive Criticism
• Constructive criticism
Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.
• Destructive criticism
It’s the criticism performed with the intention to harm someone, derogate and destroy someone’s creation, prestige, reputation and self-esteem
How To Identify Constructive criticism.
• It’s compassionate: The criticism in a way should indicate care for the recipient.
• It’s specific: The criticism should target the appropriate elements of the recipient’s performance and offer genuine guidance for improvement.
• It’s a match: Criticism should align with the recipient’s emotions. Knowing which type of criticism coming your way, helps you make better use of criticism.
To handle criticism properly, you must learn to:
- Listen for a critic’s intention.
- Decide if the feedback is constructive or destructive.
- Thank those who offer you constructive criticism.
- Don’t take the criticism personal and avoid exploding in the face of either a constructive or destructive criticism.
- Take a breath and set emotion aside.
- Minimize encounters with people offering you destructive criticism.
- Take action. If someone gives you a feedback with genuine view to help you improve and you’re keen on doing so, action is key.
Be The Fog
Act like a fog! Imagine you are a fog. When someone throws a stone at you, you absorb that stone without throwing the stone back. This is a very easy and effective technique to use against people who keep criticizing you or offering you destructive criticism repeatedly. It can be very difficult for many of us to accept criticism, especially if the criticism provokes strong emotions. This simple exercise will help you. “ Be the fog ” and learn how to regulate and modulate your emotions in a difficult situation.
For example, if someone tells you something like:
“ You just don’t understand. ”
“ You are always late. ”
“ You don’t feel responsible. ”
“ I understand I haven’t lived up to your expectations on this. How can I do better next time ? ” This can let someone know that you understand the situation and want to step up your game.
“ Yes, I was late. ”
“ Yes, I just don’t take responsibility. I’m really trying to improve. I’m going to redo this now and get it over to you, if you wouldn’t mind letting me know how my second attempt goes. ” This can indicate a willingness to improve and an immediate intent to sort any problem.
When you accept the criticism that is thrown at you [Without actually taking it to heart], you will find that you disarm the person criticizing you.
To practice, ask someone you know well to criticize you at rapid speed, one after the other, and employ the fogging technique to counter it.
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