I need to make a confession and for me, it’s not pretty because I knew I could have handled things better. Yesterday, I got really upset because someone I cared about, criticized my work. I asked for his opinion and he was quite sincere about his thoughts but I got mad because it wasn’t anything I expected to hear. How do you feel when you don’t get great feedback? How do you react to criticism? What goes on in your mind?
TO TEST A MODEST MAN’S MODESTY DO NOT INVESTIGATE IF HE IGNORES APPLAUSE, FIND OUT IF HE ABIDES CRITICISM. – FRANZ GRILLPARZER
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stop myself from dealing with the blood that rushed to my face when I heard all those words immediately but I was able to bounce back after some time. No one can escape criticism, just like people are bound to have opinions, you’re bound to be at the receiving end one way or another.
There are different types of criticisms but most times, criticism tend to sound negative because it mostly doesn’t agree with what you think. You need to learn to keep an open mind towards the criticism, keeping in mind that the criticism may be accurate. To do this, you need to have a teachable spirit, willing to learn and seeing every criticism as an opportunity to get things right.
Remember to focus on what to do with the criticisms rather than responding with your emotions. The pressure might be overwhelming but learn to smile even if you have to fake it. If I had smiled immediately I heard those words, I would have bounced back quicker.
If you feel you can take it in and discuss suggestions with that person, please go ahead but if you can’t, a ‘Thank you, I’ll look into what you’ve noticed,” is not bad at all. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger – Proverbs 15:1.
On the other hand, not every criticism is valid but let your response always be composed and calm. Don’t see that person as your enemy. Often, people who tend to sincerely tell us what is wrong are seen as haters but that shouldn’t be the case. As much as you enjoy applause from people, you need to learn to embrace criticisms.