Don’t cringe at criticism! When handled properly, criticism can become an opportunity to improve yourself and your performance in life.
Here are six ways to positively deal with criticism from others:
1) Decide which type of criticism you are facing. Then you can begin to deal with it effectively. There are four basic types:
A) Concerned criticism. This criticism is based on genuine concern for you as a person. The person making the critique genuinely cares about your well being. Concerned criticism is helpful, considerate, and generally easy to accept.
B) Constructive criticism. This type of criticism is focused on improving your behavior. It points out what is wrong in order to help you do better. It suggests alternative behaviors and then provides encouragement and support.
C) Casual criticism. Casual or uncaring criticism is difficult to receive It is often blunt and opinionated and is frequently a result of poor judgment on the part of the critic. Often the critic doesn’t have the knowledge to successfully evaluate the situation. Because of this, casual criticism may be more false than true.
D) Confrontational criticism. This criticism is hostile and may be based on anger, fear, jealousy, prejudice, or similar negative emotions. It usually has an ulterior motive.
2) Concede good will or ignorance. Assume criticism is friendly. This attitude is for your peace of mind, not for your critic. When you concede goodwill you disarm any negative attitude in the critic and encourage him/her to become an ally. You might call a person with this goodwill attitude an “inverse paranoid.” In reality, everyone is not out to help you, however, holding that belief helps you avoid becoming defensive.
3) Be objective. Look at the facts. Examine the reasons behind the criticism. Is it deserved? Ask yourself: “What is the amount of truth in this criticism?” Ask a friend if he thinks the criticism is true. If it has little or no truth, then reject it from your mind and life.
4) Treat factual criticism as an opportunity. It can be a warning, telling you that something in your life needs to be fixed. Ask yourself: “What can I do to improve myself based on this criticism?” Devise action steps or goals to help you change.
5) Dismiss untrue criticism. After you have honestly considered the criticism, if it doesn’t apply to you, forget about it. Kick it out of your mind.
6) View untrue criticism as a sign of accomplishment. I once heard someone say that the more successful you are, the more you will be criticized. If you are unjustly criticized a lot, congratulations! You are probably accomplishing something very important.
Someone has said: “No one has ever built a statue for a critic.” Yet, critics have accomplished a lot in this world. Critics have provided a powerful motivation force for accomplishment. Many successful people have risen to great heights because someone criticized them and told them that they couldn’t do something. By using these six steps, you too, can turn criticism into a powerful force for positive motivation in your life.