Can you handle criticism?

Constructive criticism on what we are doing is an important measure to control each other's behavior when we belong to a group. If someone does something stupid, negative feedback is a means to prevent the person from making the same mistake again. The same applies if he does something good. Then positive criticism may have a reinforcing effect. Constructive criticism may therefore be both positive and negative feedback.

Criticism is often perceived as negative. Why this is so may be because the society we live in has a generally negative outlook on life. The media provides an indication of this. It is flooded with negative events when we look at Newsnight. But we must distinguish between negative criticism and constructive negative criticism. It is important to find out what kind of criticism we face before we take it under advisement.

To determine if the criticism is constructive or only negative, we must look at who the sender is. Is there a person with a healthy attitude towards life in general, or is that a person who is looking to manipulate others in order to feel better too? Has the person a generally positive outlook on life, or is it a person who is negative to the most? Is there a person who actually want our best, or is there one that does not like us for who we are?

If it turns out that there are people who are manipulative, generally negative or do not like you, you should reject the criticism. It is actually always just negative and not constructive. When you are given the criticism was flawed, and why on earth do you deal with it? You will then have better things to spend your energy on, than to listen to the negative feedback from idiots!

If it is negative criticism from people who otherwise are positive and have a healthy relationship with life, constructive criticism even if it is negative. They want to give you feedback solution and change something you're doing wrong for the better. This is for your own good.

When I get the (negative) criticism of anything I've done, I know that my psychological defenses are activated. I hit the spikes out and wondering who in the world is wanting to hurt or harm me with such statements. Tunnel vision is turned up, and I fail to see the constructive in it right away. It's a shame, because usually it is a truth of constructive criticism, even if it immediately just seems like a negative feedback.

However, I am conscious of the way I react. Therefore, I try to give criticism a little time to settle. I give myself an opportunity to digest the criticism before I give any response. I need some time before I stick the right note on your feedback. Is it constructive negative, or is it only negative? I try to watch an content of the criticism and the one who gives me criticism.

I can hardly see myself from the outside as others see me. In regards to myself, others a unique opportunity to observe me and what I do. I have previously discussed self-observation as a tool to become aware of our thoughts and our behavior, so as to be able to change us. Why not listen to others who actually observing us from the outside all the time?

To help you cope with criticism, and to use it constructively, you can use the following list:

  • Allow yourself to get a response when you receive negative criticism. It is normal psychological defenses will get started when you are critically evaluated by others.
  • Once the immediate reaction has subsided, use a few seconds to decide whether the sender is an idiot who only comes with flippant and unfair feedback. Or if it's a person that's worth listening to, and who have reasonable and constructive criticism. Do you get written feedback you have even more time to make a decision. Take time well.
  • Try to have a general positive attitude to what is happening around you. Consider the criticism, but focus on the positive in what is said. Have the attitude that other people see yourself from the outside better than you do. Constructive criticism is not criticism of you as a person, but it is a response to your actions. In constructive criticism is also much truth. Remember that.
  • When you get constructive criticism, saying "thank you" and be friendly. You should be happy that someone bothered to care. If the criticism is coming from a person you knew before, it can actually be a good place to get yourself a new friend. You do know that the person is honest.
  • Take the constructive negative criticism into account and change behavior. Rise above your own stubbornness, and see the criticism as a unique opportunity for yourself to get better. You earn it, and you shall cooperate with the win.
  • When you get positive criticism, take it as a signal that you've done something right. Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with a soda!

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