Tips to Help You Deal with Criticism
Do you wish the ground would swallow you when you’re criticized? No one enjoys the disapproval of others, but some handle it well. Learn how to deal with criticism, and you won’t be defensive and humiliated when people judge your ideas as unworthy. You’ll recognize the difference between constructive feedback and put-downs, and your healthy self-esteem will help you respond to reproach constructively.
Raise your self-image
You won’t handle criticism well until you are self-assured. Insecurity makes you imagine people dislike you when they want to help. If they offer useful advice, you’ll fall to pieces because their words hurt and you’re unable to receive helpful feedback.
The first step to greater self-esteem is to recognize your value. Many people suffer from the belief they aren’t good enough and imagine everyone sees them the same way. When someone criticizes them, their self-image worsens.
You’ll handle critical words well if you see yourself in a new light. Use positive affirmations each morning and night to raise self-esteem. “I am lovable and intelligent,” and “I am plenty,” are helpful statements to make while looking in the mirror. Back up your affirmations so they feel believable too. Consider reasons they apply to you. Remind yourself why the positive statements represent your fine qualities.
“What makes you say that?”
Most people aren’t great at giving useful advice in positive, loving ways. They mean well, but their chosen words are unfortunate, and it’s easy to mistake their wisdom as insults. Ask people why they criticize you and avoid making errors of judgment. If they wish to help, they’ll tell you.
Don’t accept what you hear when criticism isn’t constructive. Words can only hurt you if you agree with them. As long as your self-image is healthy, unfair criticism will not affect you. If it does, be glad the fact your self-esteem needs improving has come to your attention and use affirmations again.
Reply, saying you disagree. There’s no need to get deeper into the subject with someone without your best interests at heart. The less fodder you give them, the quicker they’ll leave you alone. Remember people who are unkind aren’t happy. It is worse being them than listening to them.
What if someone continues to criticize?
If people keep criticizing you, go back to the phrase “what makes you say that?” Before they’ve had time to answer, tell them you wonder if their self-esteem is low. Say you can’t imagine another reason for their unkind words. Suggest only unhappy people disparage others. They will, most likely, fall silent and reflect on what you say.
The best way to deal with criticism is to build high self-esteem. Unkind words can’t damage you unless you accept they are true. Practice affirmations that strengthen the belief you are worthy. When people criticize you, ask them why; don’t guess. Top-up your self-image if you experience an emotional wobble. When someone belittles you, put them in their place with unabashed honesty; they’ll soon back down.