Criticism can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when coming from someone who is close to you. It is very easy for a person to feel insulted or even depressed as a result of receiving a bit of criticism. Respoinding non-defensively to criticism is also a very tough task.
Rather than wallow in self-pity, take that criticism and turn it into a weapon – one that will help improve rather than destroy your self-esteem.
Here are a few techniques to help turn that criticism into something positive:
* Professionally, we receive criticism on a regular basis. The criticism usually comes from our bosses, but it can come from co-workers too. Generally, the criticism is meant to be constructive, to help us to become better workers, even if it may not feel that way.
Make a note of the complaint and take steps to fix your errors. If you are not sure how to go about bettering yourself at work, ask a superior. Our bosses are there to help us succeed and should be willing to help us attain the next level.
* We also receive criticism from blunt but well-meaning family members. In this case, decipher the criticism that is being given. Is it ill-mannered and meant to hurt you in a fit of spite or jealousy? Or is it casually pointed out as a piece of advice given to help you? We as people are quick to take offense to comments that are not meant in such a manner.
If the comment is meant to hurt you, shake it off. If it is designed as a piece of advice on how to improve, take it to heart and then take a good look in the mirror. Is the criticism true? If so, work on it, learn from it and then forget about it.
* The worst kind of criticism to bear can be the kind that is given by people who do not know you. If someone does not know you, it should not be possible to dish out criticism, right? Wrong – who better than a stranger to offer you a completely objective point of view that is not clouded by emotion. While this kind of criticism can be harder to handle, it can also offer the most insight.
Criticism may be hard to hear but if taken in the right context, it can be a powerful learning tool for business and life. We all have areas that we could use improvement. What better time to succeed than to take criticism and better yourself?
Using criticism to change yourself for the better will only result in a more confident person who is willing to gear up and face the challenges ahead. So next time you receive a bit of criticism, consider the source, and then turn it into a weapon aimed at improving your self-worth.