Be strong in the face of criticism

Be strong in the face of criticism

Be strong in the face of criticism

Last update: July 31, 2015

With the stones they throw at me
I build my strength.
Elvira Tailor

We face criticism every day. It's a very common thing, but we struggle to get used to it. Criticism is always hard to digest, especially if it comes from people we care about.

Criticism is inevitable

Acceptance is the first step. If you don't realize that criticism is normal, your frustration will destroy you. You don't live on an island, far from the rest of the world, there will always be someone who will say something negative about you.

At the same time, we must accept that, some more, some less, we have all shown a critical attitude at certain times. Perhaps your criticisms were innocent or perhaps even destructive. Perhaps they depended on the behavior of others. You have to accept that just as you criticize yourself, you can also be criticized.

Be patient

Being patient means using all the resources you have at your disposal to stay calm. You don't have to be impulsive, but calm, and let the immediate emotions cool down in order to analyze the situation and behave rationally..

These resources include, among many things, breathing deeply, being quiet for a few moments, starting to count if necessary, or focusing on something different, such as a pleasant picture or memory.

This exercise will make the problems seem less complicated and prevent you from making the situation worse by saying or doing the first thing that comes to mind. Without a doubt, this is the smartest way to go about it.

Learn to forgive

You will always meet people who will harm you. In some cases it will be really toxic people, in others, however, there will be no bad intention. Whatever the reason, disappointment and pain will be inevitable.

If you are unable to forgive, negative emotions will build up to prevent you from being happy. You cannot change the world and make it perfect, but you can change yourself.

Forgiveness means accepting what happened and letting it go. It involves leaving things in the past and preventing them from affecting the present. While it's not easy, it's the best thing to do. It is the only way to move forward.

Learn to recognize criticism

Not all criticisms are the same. Maybe some people criticize you because you misbehaved and these people just want to be honest with you and help you. It is therefore a fair and constructive criticism, as it is a constraint to improve.

Destructive criticism, on the other hand, is made in bad faith.

The intention of destructive criticism is to hurt you and can also be based on lies or exaggerations about an aspect of your character. Usually, destructive criticisms are the result of envy and resentment.

What to do in the face of a fair criticism?

If you have been given constructive criticism, even if you don't like it, you have to recognize it as something positive. If you get defensive, denying the situation and attacking the critic, you will spark an argument..

The solution lies in being brave and rational.

You must accept the criticism with sincerity, acknowledging your shortcomings and proposing a solution: “Yes, what you tell me is true, I understand it perfectly. I had never seen it this way until you pointed it out to me. From this moment on, I will try to change my attitude ”.

What to do in the face of destructive criticism?

This type of criticism is the one that requires the most effort. Understand that destructive criticism is a provocation and, consequently, if and when you respond, you will start a war. Probably, you will resort to a series of insults that certainly will not do you honor, on the contrary, they will give a bad image of you to third parties.

In these cases, the thing to do is arm yourself with patience and show indifference. We must not play along, because, as the saying goes, "there is no better contempt than carelessness". The other person will try to harm you and if you create an armor, preventing them from hurting you, then you will win the fight.

Usually, they are people with low self-esteem, who envy you for who you are or for what you have achieved in life.

Criticism is their way of venting their envy and recovering their self-esteem by undermining yours. If someone criticizes you with bad intentions, it means that you are doing something well.

What if you are the ones who criticize?

When you are criticizing others, the first thing you need to do is reflect on this behavior. Why are you doing it? It is because your friends criticize and try to participate in the speech or are you ashamed of your faults and want to emphasize that the other has them too?

Reflection will help you change your attitude. It is never too late to improve or to change what you don't like about yourself.

Work on empathy and learn to put yourself in others' shoes. This exercise is sure to make you feel better.

Living away from criticism

Without a shadow of a doubt, criticism is an aspect ingrained in society and to think that it can disappear would be a utopia. However, if you make small changes in your life, you can get rid of the more negative effects of criticism.

Learn to accept constructive criticism and use it as ideas for improvement. Ignore unfair criticism and distance yourself from the toxic people who address it to you. If possible, avoid criticizing others and do not engage in such conversations. Your peace of mind will benefit, you will have a more serene and happier life.

Images courtesy of Chichi Huang.

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