How to Handle Negative Criticism (Part 2)

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

People’s first instinct to criticism is defending themselves. Humans are wired to fear judgments. Both negative and constructive criticism give us the feeling of being condemned. While you can’t control what a person thinks or says about you, you can choose how to process and react to criticism.

Stop wanting to please everyone

If you have spent a good amount of time thinking about the criticism and still disagree with it, perhaps you would be better off doing things your way. It’s impossible to please everyone and make everyone love you. You will never get to your goals if you keep stopping to please others along the way. Sometimes, you just have to go with what feels right to you. Thousand years ago, our ancestors had figured out that haters were going to hate. So, why fixating on them now?

Be graceful with your response

A rule of thumb is to ignore all kinds of destructive criticism. Hurtful emails? No one benefits from them, right? Then, why not just delete them. Stop being involved in this negativity. You can do almost the same with in-person destructive criticism. Thanks the person for his input, then move on gracefully. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, should be addressed with respect once you’re ready.  Start by thanking the person, just like what you are supposed to do with destructive criticism. But this time, you need to tell him whether you agree or disagree with his opinion, then explain your reasons for that. Try your best to turn this possibly awkward situation into a chance for valuable learning and insightful discussion.

Keep your head high

Criticism can leave scars and bruises on your ego, even if you handle it well on the outside. It’s vital to protect your self-esteem and self-confidence from being damaged by criticism. Unfair criticism leaves the deepest scars. Criticism can be unfair when it’s just plain wrong. Or, it can be unfair if the critic has no idea what it’s supposed to be in your job. Regardless, unfair criticism shows a lack of knowledge on the critic’s side, not yours. So, there’s really no use holding onto it. Let that unfairness go. Remind yourself that the critic would never have said what he did if he’d known better. You might very well make the same mistake at some points in your life. Let that go. Forgive the critic if you can. But the most important part is not letting unfair criticism dwell onto you. It’s an unnecessary burden that you don’t need to carry.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: June 26, 2017 | Last Modified: December 9, 2019

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