Criticism is the act of judging the merits and demerits of a particular task or activity. It is also defined as expressing disapproval of someone or something that is perceived as a fault or mistake. 

Criticism is a bitter pill to swallow for most of us in different situations. Of course, we don’t like being told that we are not “good enough” or “bad” at doing something. 

But there is a lot we can learn from those critical remarks. They can help us progress.

We can certainly not deny that it pinches when someone tells you something you did, is not up to the mark after putting so much hard work into it. 

What we need to understand here, is that there will always be scope for improvement, no matter how much effort we put into something. You will always come across some or the other person who will tell you how you could have done something differently. This happens largely because each one of us look at things very differently. Therefore, not all criticisms are right or applicable at all times and not all of them are wrong or baseless. 

Those pros and cons are for us to analyze.

It is different for each one of us how we deal with it and that has a great impact on our approach to do anything after receiving criticism. Some of us may take it in the right spirit and move on with our work, while it hits hard for some others. 

Some people personalize those remarks to a large extent and beat themselves for not being good enough. It takes a drastic toll on their self-esteem. 

They put unrealistic pressure on themselves. 

Some people are very intolerant about accepting criticism and they find themselves in that place because of being subjected to unfair criticism in the past. 

Another category of people is always seeking criticism and feedback as they are trying to understand how and why they think a certain way and contemplate different ways in which they can change those perceptions. 

For all the different ways in which we handle criticism, we largely try to defend ourselves when we first encounter criticism. It is an automatic response that our mind triggers. Either we try to explain our point of view or we try to escape that discussion in some or other way. 

Our defenses should not come in the way or should not prevent us from solving our problems and striving towards development.

While these are some instant reactions to criticism, there are some other ways that we can turn to, for minimizing the negative impact it can have on us. 

Here are a few that I could relate to.

  • Whatever be our reaction at that instant, it is a good idea to take a few moments later in our free time to introspect on the value those remarks can add to our work. They might be very valuable to us and can help us excel at our work. At the same time, they might not be practically applicable to us given different circumstantial constraints. And this difference can only be identified by giving the remarks a detailed thought later. 
  • Another interesting way of dealing with negative comments or suggested changes in our approach is by associating them only with that particular activity and not personalizing it to oneself. In fact, that’s exactly how criticism should be taken. Many people mistake critical comments towards their work to be comments about them as a person or about their personality and that perception causes them a lot of unrest. Instead, confining it only and strictly towards the work would not cause as much pain and will also give us the scope to improve if the remark is applicable in that situation.
  • Be kind to yourself! Yes, making mistakes is completely alright and it always teaches you a lot more than being successful ever will. Others might not always say things that you like or you approve of, but don’t let that affect you too much. Irrespective of others’ opinions or remarks, the only task at our hand at any given point in time is to give everything our best shot and learn from any feedback that might genuinely help us grow. 

And finally, one last point to remember is to try and identify the source of criticism. Some people really appreciate the kind of work you do and they see a lot of capability for development which is why they keep telling time and again of things that you can do differently. One should always try to keep oneself surrounded by such people as they can keep us from becoming complacent ensuring continuous improvement in our work. 

Ultimately, striving towards excellence is what we should be looking for, and don’t let anything negative dampen your spirits in that quest.

I hope you like the article and find it helpful. Thank you so much for reading through this. 

I’ll see you next weekend with another article like this. 

Until then…Toodles!!

Written by: admin

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