Handling critique

Dear friends, 

I won't get an A+ in receiving criticisms. When criticized, I collapse under the weight of low self-worth. Here are three ideas I use to dilute the effect of critique: 

1. Look at the source.

Is it coming from a well-wisher, a place of good intentions, or is someone trying to fatigue and demoralize me? I want to believe in those who believe in me. Also, some people thrive on criticizing others. If someone always gives two-star reviews, maybe my three stars are good enough.

2. Avoid globalizing.

If you tell me my handwriting is terrible, that doesn’t mean my singing is awful. So, avoid globalizing. Narrow it down as much as possible. Today they didn’t like my handwriting written with this pen using my right hand on this surface, in English. I know I am exaggerating – you get the point.

3. Consider negative feedback as positive.

If you tell me I didn’t perform well, that means you are telling me I am capable of better. When we hear a five-year-old perform a first piece on the piano, we clap and say good job! We do not criticize. Perhaps when they criticize you, they are assuming you are capable of better. 

I hope you are never criticized, but that isn’t realistic. A more practical approach is to develop a healthier disposition toward critique.

The approach suggested above will help you remove the emotional sting associated with critique so you can see the valuable lesson in the feedback. 

Do not let them stir your pond.

Take care.

Amit