How to Handle Criticism Well (& When to Ignore It)
In this upside-down year of 2020, it’s easy to second guess yourself. Even though you may not feel like it, you’re probably doing better than you think you are. However, considering you have never been in many of the situations you are currently facing because of the pandemic, you also likely have a lot of room for improvement. We all do.
Of course, there's no shortage of people telling us how we can do better: enter the critics. They come in many forms. Some are friends, some are strangers, some are work colleagues or bosses and some are family. We find them at the store, at the office, at home, and on social media. Criticism on social media has been a particular challenge not just for individuals, but for companies.
In this episode on how to handle criticism, we look at 1) How to do a better job of handling people telling us how we can do a better job and 2) When to just ignore the “critics”.
Let’s look at this imaginary scenario with Lanee and her friend “Critica”
My friend, Critica, always has something critical to say about my new ideas.
Here’s a little snapshot of our recent conversation:
ME: Hey Critica, I was thinking of writing a book!
CRITICA: What makes someone like you think you can write a book?
ME: Well, I’m on a podcast, I thought I could write a book too.
CRITICA: That idea sucks!
ME: I’m just going to ignore that destructive comment.
ME: I was thinking the book title should be “How to Accept Criticism.”
CRITICA: Well, a book on criticism might be nice, but a catchier title might help.
ME: “How You Can Do a Better Job of Handling People Telling You How
You Can Do a Better Job.”
CRITICA: Now, you might be on to something!
Lanee’s conclusion: Critica likes to Criticize—it’s just who she is—it’s even in her name.
But, there are two types of criticism going on in this dialogue. Saying something “sucks” is NOT constructive—it’s negative, destructive, and not helpful! On the other hand, “a catchier title might help” is constructive criticism that I can use to make my book better! I can use her constructive tips to help me while dumping the rest.
Another good tip is making sure that we are not the ones giving ourselves any destructive criticism or negative self-talk. Anytime you hear that negative tape playing in your head, switch over to a more positive mode. Think of things you like about yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask people you love and trust for things they admire. Have a mental (or physical) list prepared to talk back to your inner critic.
Finally, sometimes criticism leads to a little tweak here and there. Remember, every good invention needed tweaks, famous recipes were enhanced by tweaks. Lots of things have room for improvement, and those improvements make our lives more beautiful, more comfortable, and more delicious!
Improve the way you view self-improvement by listening to our podcast on how we finally learned to accept a little criticism with a whole lot of class. As we revisit one of our very first episodes from last season, we invite you to click the link below and listen right here or use the links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!