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Ways you can learn to take criticism positively

 How to take criticism positively (Photo: iStock)

There is something inside us that gets triggered when someone makes a comment about us we don’t like. If someone says that we could improve the quality of our work or that we should dress in a more age-appropriate way, the initial reaction is to have our guard up.

It’s natural for humans to reject negative comments and embrace positive ones because who wants to hear that they suck at something? Not me for sure.

Although you can’t stop it from happening, the next best thing is to learn how to take it in a good way. Here is how you can do that:

Separate positive and negative criticism

The word criticism is mostly connected to negativity. It’s used when someone is intentionally looking for flaws so we don’t usually think of it as something helpful.

But, there is the opposite side of negative criticism, which is constructive criticism. Here it is not about digging for mistakes because it comes from a genuine place.

Some of the ways you can learn to tell the difference are by building your self-confidence and trusting your judgment more.

Don’t make it personal

If for example, someone says that you need to improve your hygiene in a polite way, it doesn’t mean that they are attacking your character. That comment they made shouldn’t make you feel like you’re a horrible person or a failure.

You should listen to what the issue is without letting it destroy your confidence. That is how you can maintain a positive attitude about it.

Resist the need to react

It’s often very tempting to fire back when someone says something that irks us. When you do this though, it shows that you only care about responding and not actually paying attention to what is being said, even if it’s helpful information.

Reacting angrily or rudely can cause a situation that could have been peaceful to escalate to drama. This could even cost you your job or an important opportunity so this is a reaction you need to avoid at all costs.

What you can do instead is deflect that initial resistance you feel in order to receive. With time it will be easier to move past the need to handle it like an attack.

Think of the benefits

Constructive criticism can be a game changer in your personal growth journey. Sometimes we need to be in such difficult situations to grow and improve ourselves.

It would certainly be better to get called out over something and learn rather than crave fake positivity and stay stuck.

Accept that we are all imperfect

Being on the receiving end of criticism is never fun. It can feel like you’re the only one being picked on when in reality, everyone has their own shortcomings and areas they need to work on.

Once you understand that no one can avoid being criticized, you get more comfortable receiving it. This is a more positive attitude that will help you feel more relaxed the next time it happens. I can guarantee that it will happen again at some point so you might as well embrace it. 

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