Even though negative feedback from others may feel like a personal attack, it can provide helpful clues for self-improvement and healthier relationships.
1. Consider the source
How close are you to the person offering criticism? How much do you respect their opinions? Do they criticize everyone? Weigh the criticism based on how much you value the relationship.
2. Decode the emotional message
Try this with close loved ones. Try to hear what’s behind the criticism. When you hear “you never…” or “you always…” it’s really about the other person wanting something from you and not knowing how to ask for it directly.
3. Separate worth from performance
We have value and worth because we exist. Period. Our performance goes up and down on any given day. Usually, others offer criticize our performance, not our worth. It’s easier to hear and process criticism when you recognize that your worth isn’t under attack.
4. You be the judge
You have the ultimate decision to reject or to accept the criticism offered by someone else. Ask yourself, “Is there something here for me to learn?” Ultimately, you get to determine whether the feedback is valid or if you want to dismiss it.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Aug 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Hanks, J. (2012). Video: 4 Tips For Handling Criticism. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/08/23/video-4-tips-for-handling-criticism/