No matter who you are or what you are doing in life, there will be people criticising you. THAT’S A FACT! But don’t get us wrong, as this can be a good thing, especially if it’s done in a right way. It’s with destructive criticism that we are not comfortable with.
Constructive criticism helps us grow in our chosen career and can make us a lot more focused on work. It can save us from producing a mediocre outcome in our tasks or projects. While destructive criticism haunts us in our sleep and brings additional stress during work hours. Destructive criticism ruins our psyche and overall self-esteem if we don’t know how to handle it well.
But before we discuss on how to handle people who love to throw negative comments on us, let’s first separate Constructive Criticism from Destructive Criticism. Constructive Criticism aims to help the person receiving it to see their faults and to help them correct them. Also, the subject is clear and it is not a personal attack. While on the other hand, Destructive Criticism is mostly a personal attack towards the person rather than to the work itself. It is mainly given to make the receiving end feel worthless and it doesn’t offer tips for improvement. In other words, it is just plain shaming and blaming.
So if you’re dealing with people who love to throw destructive criticisms towards your, here are our 5 steps on how to handle destructive criticism them, for a healthy and happy life:
STEP 1: DON’T GET DEFENSIVE
Losing your cool and criticising back isn’t good. Even if the person becomes very unreasonable and personal. I know, I know…it’s not easy to keep your cool when someone is blatantly abusing you, but the best thing to do is take a deep breath and try to listen. Getting defensive and fighting back will just create more drama. Never respond to destructive criticism, it doesn’t warrant a reason or even an answer if you think someone is being an asshole, don’t be an asshole yourself.
STEP 2: ASK QUESTIONS AND TRY TO CLARIFY THINGS
Maybe the person criticising your work just doesn’t understand it. As such, it might help if you ask questions (in a nice and calm way) so that you can help clarify the matter at hand. Perhaps, they think your work is offensive or non-representative of what you are trying to convey, there are many different cultures and attitudes to be wary of when you create something.
STEP 3: YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYBODY
If the person continues to throw unreasonable attacks at you, regardless of your explanations, just remember, you aren’t going to make everyone happy in this life. Everyone has differing opinions and attitudes, you can make most people happy some of the time, but you can’t make everyone happy all of the time.
STEP 4: MOVE ON
And because these types of people are critical by nature, which means that they are inherently born with it (for the lack of good description), then there’s nothing you can do about it, but MOVE ON! Don’t take them seriously and personally. Delete hateful emails that benefit no one and wash your hands and mind of dumb negativity. The same can be said for in-person interactions.
Criticism should be addressed respectfully once you’re ready to do so. Thank the person for their input and then agree or disagree as you see fit. Take the time to politely explain your reasoning, if necessary. You have the power to turn these critiques into learning experiences or opportunities for valuable discussion…use it!