Top 4 Tips on Handling Criticism the Mature Way.
Without a doubt, no one appreciates being criticized and it’s logical that most of us dread being on the receiving end of those hurtful words that leave you feeling stupid, rejected, and insignificant. So…
The steps listed in this article will help you to handle criticism a little better. They’ll also allow you to learn from your mistakes, emerging a better person from the experience.
1. Don’t respond right away
After being criticized for something you may have said or done, the usual response is to become defensive and angry and you may even be tempted to retaliate with a word or two, however, it’s not wise to do so (straight away) because you may end up making the situation more uncomfortable, if not worse.
Lashing out in the heat of the moment may give you a temporary sense of relief but afterwards when you have calmed down, you will feel really hurt and self-conscious by what was said.
The best thing you could do is listen to what is being said and never reply right away (which may take a lot of restraint on your part) yet it’s well worth the practice because this space gives you time to digest and calm down.
Then when you feel like you’re balanced enough to respond, you can then do so in a subtle, more level-headed manner where you can more clearly express your thoughts.
You’ll find you will always get a much better outcome when dealing with situations in this way.
2. Listen and evaluate
Instead of quickly responding to what is being said, listen carefully to the point the accuser is trying to put across and weigh the validity of their accusations. Sure, they may not be approaching you in the most ideal manner, but hey, maybe (just maybe) there is some validity in what they’re saying (?).
Heck…I’m always looking to grow and improve myself… and I find it fascinating to know how others may view my thoughts or actions through their eyes. So if you think what they said is relevant and fair, take it positively and try to adjust your behavior so as to avoid creating the same circumstance again.
Of course on the other hand, if you think that the criticism was purely out of malice – choose to ignore it and carry on with your life as though the incident never occurred. This is your choice.
3. It may not be about you
What you perceive as criticism on your end could be a baseless attack from someone who had a bad day or someone who also just got criticized for something they did. The point is that people go through different situations everyday and not all of them may be level headed as they criticize you. In other words, all they are doing is looking for a means to vent some of their frustration.
…and you just happen to be standing in their path!
So just be sure to keep things in perspective. And do your best to be understanding.
Not taking it personally is the key.
And here’s what usually happens: If you choose not to get defensive and bite back because you recognize it’s not about you … and instead you let them blow off steam, the situation will usually diffuse. In other words, they’ll burn their own wick out
You just become an observer then, instead of actively participating and sharing their negative emotions.
4. Don’t tackle them all at once
Keeping a healthy balance in your life ensures that you are working in a relaxed manner and that you are better equipped to handle criticism without overreacting.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also goes a long way in determining how well you would handle a difficult situation. It’s important that you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. I also highly recommend at least 10 minutes of meditation (or silent positive contemplation) each day.
Try as much as possible to maintain your self-esteem even when you are constantly under fire; ensure that your self-worth never diminishes regardless of the criticism and remember the worst mistake you could ever make is to criticize yourself.
Now take a deeeeep breath….and relaaaaax….. (DJS)