Updated: May 2
In all areas of life, we don’t like to be shown where we can improve and how we should improve. This can include the content of our character, the skills we need work on, the people we center ourselves around, our knowledge of certain subjects, and the list goes on.
We often ignore negative feedback because it is too much for us to bare. There is so much that goes wrong every day, and because of that, our egos are quite fragile. We don’t want to hear that we need to improve on things because we already know that we aren’t perfect. Even so, it’s nice to pretend, and when we are criticized, that imaginary world we created for ourselves goes quickly out the door, and we are shown the reality of our obvious and even not so obvious imperfections.
The truth is, criticism is scary, but we should embrace it. We should embrace it because it is necessary for us to grow. Without criticism, self or external, we would not be able to gauge our weaknesses. We would not know how to improve, and we would not know how to compare ourselves with others. We would not know how to help others grow, either.
The thing is, being criticized is not the same as being attacked as long as it is constructive criticism. When you understand the difference, you can tell when you should and shouldn’t run away from words that might hurt you.
Here are 3 great ways to do this:
1.) Understand that criticism is a form of honesty
This is the first step. You want to surround yourself with honest people. These kinds of people will not sugar coat everything. They will not tell you that everything about you is perfect. They will not tell you that you are God’s gift to the world. These people will make sure that you realize that you are your own individual and will not pretend that you don’t need work on some things when you most definitely do.
Watch this video on constructive criticism and why it’s important.
With these kinds of people, what you see is what you get, and that is what you should shoot for yourself. You want to be like this. When you are dishonest with others and you are always mincing your words, it is much more difficult to make friends because it is harder for people to trust you. If you are not willing to be honest with others, it most likely means you are not willing to be honest with yourself. If you are not willing to be honest with yourself, you are not going to be very receptive to criticism. You will therefore be seen as both immature and untrustworthy by the people you come across in life that matter the most.
2.) Being receptive to criticism helps you gauge your defense mechanisms
This means that if you are willing and able to accept criticism from others, you are likely to be able to better evaluate your own emotions when faced with negative feedback. Sometimes, you may be criticized unfairly. You may be presented with critical feedback that just isn’t true about you. Even so, if you listen closely, then you can learn a whole lot about yourself. Don’t just listen to what they said about you. Listen closely to how their words make you feel. You may learn about what does and doesn’t make you tick.
When you find that out, you can learn how to handle those emotions. You will respond to criticism in a more mature and relaxed way.
3.) Use criticism as a wake up call
Be it from your mom or dad, you brother or sister, friend or foe, sometimes you just need to hear it from soWant to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. meone else. Maybe you just aren’t doing things right. Sometimes you need to hear from different perspectives that you’ve been being lazy, immature, or maybe even working too hard. Maybe it’s time to get out of your own head and listen to what other people are saying.
A lot of the time, even strangers can see things about us that we might not be able to gauge ourselves. When we accept criticism with open arms while also being fair to ourselves, we are accepting into our lives another facet of awareness that is critical to our growth.