People & Inspiration

In Focus: Here’s How You Can Handle Negative Criticisms Gracefully

In Focus: Here’s How You Can Handle Negative Criticisms Gracefully


By Angeline Cheng

They say that change is constant, and so are criticisms. In a world where nobody is ever pleased, you might as well expect tons of those words that will be hurled at you every waking day for as long as you live. And yes, it’s indeed hurtful to receive one.

But come to think of it, would a world sans criticism be better? Just imagine these: people would think that they are perfect, nobody would ever want to improve, and people would be lax knowing that no person would say something bad about them. Yep, it’s definitely not worth it.

Knowing these, we’re here to help you handle those negative criticisms with a grain of salt:

1. Listen.

You may be often blinded when it comes to your faults and shortcomings, but other people can easily see the things you lack, clear as day. As much as you loathe hearing disapprovals from other people, it pays well if you’ll understand where those people are coming from, and what they don’t like about you or your work. Others really care about your improvement while others really just want something to say, so instead of getting mad about it, pay attention to their criticisms because it will serve as a powerful tool for you to improve yourself and hone your craft.

2. Be open-minded.

Listening alone is not enough because you have to have an open mind to really comprehend what other people are saying, otherwise those criticisms will fall down the drain with no way for you to redeem yourself. Even though there will always be a strong urge to fight and shield yourself away from those fault-finding expressions, try to combat those urges and make an effort to have an open mind that’s ready to accept critiques, no matter how harsh or ruthless they may be. Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

3. Learn to appreciate the criticism.

As mentioned, your critics might be really concerned about you, while others might be just trying to unnerve you and make you feel bad about yourself. Either way, appreciate the time they allotted to give you those words of discontentment because you will be the one benefitting from it in the end, not them.

4. Strive to do something about those criticisms.

Those criticisms will be nothing but just merely words (or insults) vanished into thin air if you will not do something about it. Don’t stop improving and show those critics that you are capable of being more and doing more by pouring your efforts into the things that they have pointed out against you. Show them what you’ve got and prove them that you are worth more than so much than their “pieces of advice.”

5. Don’t lose yourself in the process.

Down the road, you may find yourself doing something that’s not you anymore just to please those critics, and that’s totally not healthy. Even though you want to show the world how capable you are, losing your authentic self wouldn't be worth it. There will be a possibility for you to become so focused on changing yourself just to pacify your critics that you don’t realize that you're already losing your individuality in the process. Strive to have balance between improving yourself while also maintaining true to your heart.

At the end of the day, criticisms may hurt your ego because your pride was stomped on, but the things you’ll do after receiving those criticisms paint the difference between making you or breaking you. It’s always your call if you’ll allow yourself to be devoured and discouraged by it, or if you’ll take it as a challenge and rise up even greater than before. When all is said and done, we hope that you’ll always choose to take the latter path.

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