You can’t please everyone, but it can still hurt pretty bad when your performance or work is criticized. Brushing off criticism takes persistence and maturity, but having this sort of self-awareness can mean that you’re able to move on without feeling like your ego has been shattered. You can also learn to see the value in criticism and even crave it. These are some ways success can be mined from criticism.
Develop a Thick Skin
You don’t know what you’re sensitive about until it’s criticized. Having thick skin doesn’t mean you have to have a “tough” exterior. You can still be a sensitive soul but also be able to protect your feelings. One good trick is to learn to see the criticism as being directed towards your work, not yourself. Your work might feel like an extension of yourself, but it’s not who you are. It’s all good to realize that being criticized doesn’t mean that everything is bad. You might’ve turned in a report that comes back with lots of markings, but they’re just about some of your phrasings.
Acknowledge That Not All Criticism is Equal
Have you ever looked through Twitter and seen how many opinions are spouted off about a new movie or album? If you were the creator and took all of them seriously, you wouldn’t know what to do, because they’re all coming from different perspectives, and some of them just aren’t well-thought-out or are downright rude. Think about this the next time you receive criticism. You also shouldn’t let one person’s thoughts ruin your perception of yourself. Since most reviews are based on a one-time interaction with a single employee, you should evaluate the whole spectrum of reviews to get a clearer idea of what’s working and what isn’t. If people are consistently criticizing you for certain things, then you’ll need to figure out a new plan. Otherwise, you can stay merry while acknowledging that not everyone is going to approve of everything you do.
Receiving criticism with gratitude instead of anger or sadness helps both you and the person giving the criticism. You can show how mature you are, and the other person doesn’t have to worry about having hurt your feelings or causing a major disturbance. Instead of just shutting down, you can ask questions and start a dialogue that helps you get to common ground. Although you might not immediately find yourself in a grateful mood, you can remove yourself from the situation, focus on clearing your mind, then come back feeling a bit more level-headed if not completely positive. Remember too how hard it can be to deliver criticism and show sympathy towards the other person if they seem reluctant to share their thoughts.
Without criticism, you would have no room to grow. You would also likely become distrustful of others’ opinions since they’re seemingly not willing to offer any real, honest assessment of where you have room to improve. There are good and bad ways to both receive and give criticism. When you start seeing criticism as a way to come ever closer to success, you’ll cease to fear how others see you and your work.