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How To Handle Criticism?

Jul 2, 2008
Criticism is difficult to handle. None of us likes to hear the bitter truth about our mistakes and inabilities. But we face criticism in life everyday and cannot escape it. We also criticize others so we know that it is a two way street. How to handle criticism?

What To Do When We are Criticized?

Listen to the criticism and before you react to it, think about your strengths. That will give you positive input and make you ready to face the criticism squarely. Even if it is true that will give you the strength to face and do something about it other than an angry retort. Otherwise we may begin feeling angry and sometimes worthless.

Content of criticism-

Is the criticism true? Or it is misinterpretation of the facts? You may at times set aside your fears and emotions and look at the situation clearly. If need be ask the other person more details and their beliefs. Probably they believe something different than you. Once you talk to them and ask them about what can be done you will be on path to recovery rather than destruction.

The truth-

We criticize others. We believe that to be true. Similarly somebody criticizing us may feel that they are right and the criticism may well be true. What would you do then? What should we logically do when we know that we are weak in something? We should strengthen, right? So rather than worrying about the weakness, make that point strong in your life. Think of ways to improve and do it slowly.

Grudge and what to do about it-

Are you focusing on the person who criticizes you or on the content of the criticism? If you focus on the person your focus will shift to other person's weaknesses and you will strike back with your list of criticisms. Instead focus on the criticism itself. Leave that person aside.

How to Handle Self Criticism?

There is a distinct difference between self criticism and criticism by others. Most of us are too happy to agree with whatever we bash ourselves with but when some body else tells us the same thing we attack right back. If I tell myself that I walk slowly that is Ok, but if my friend tells me the same thing, I take umbrage and tell them that that is not true at all. Why do we look at criticism so differently?

The trouble with this-

The trouble comes in two ways. If some body tells us something that is true we tend not to agree but if we criticise our selves wrongly we are too ready to accept that and go into a bout of depression. Expressions such as - I am no good, I am of no use, I always fail, no body appreciates me and so on are readily heard when some body criticizes oneself. The person believes them all and all efforts of self-help go to waste.

What to do-

If we treat both criticisms differently we will surely be in trouble. What should we do then? Let us look at this in another way to solve the problem. Remove the person who is making criticism from picture and only look at the criticism. Remove yourself or anybody else. That way you will only be paying attention to the criticism and will have no biased view. After this look at the criticism for truth. Is there any truth in this statement? Think logically and let no emotion enter the thoughts. With logic you will be able to analyze the situation clearly. If the criticism is wrong you will conclude that it is wrong and not true and vice versa. If you were to think about this any other way you would have reached a wrong conclusion.
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