criticism

5 Effective Ways to Handle Criticism

By Andres Pira

I’ve faced—and still face—a lot of criticism from different people, and if it has taught me anything, it’s that criticism can be good or bad, depending on what is said and how it’s expressed.

Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. It’s sometimes communicated with positive intentions when the critic genuinely wants the best for the person he or she is criticizing and hopes that the advice offered will benefit the recipient. However, some criticism may be the result of negative emotions, such as hatred and jealousy, that do more harm than good.

There are several ways to handle criticism well and use it to your advantage:

Don’t Take it too Personally

When someone doesn’t approve or agree with what you’re doing or saying, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re wrong and they’re right. Different people have different perspectives, and your critics might just be putting forward their opinions. It’s nothing personal!

Accept That No One is Perfect

To err is human. To handle criticism well, it’s important first to accept that you’re prone to making mistakes just like everyone else. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on being better.

Decide Whether the Criticism is Helpful

When we hear negative comments about ourselves, we tend to get defensive and may even dismiss them altogether. However, instead of taking them so personally, it’s essential to take a step back and objectively analyze the words of the critic to see if they ring true and make sense. Once you do that, you’ll know whether to accept or ignore the criticism.

See Criticism as Help

Remember that constructive criticism is a sign that people want to help you do better. Although it’s natural to experience hints of negativity when being criticized, we should learn to look past it and treat the situation as a learning opportunity. After all, it would be far worse if someone saw you’re not doing something right and kept quiet. 

Say, “Thank You,” and Take it Like a Winner!

When you come across good, constructive criticism, say thank you and apply it. When you come across destructive criticism, maintain your professionalism, say thank you, and move on. There’s absolutely no need to get upset over the words of someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

In short, the best way to handle criticism is to know what to listen to and what to ignore. A true leader should understand and accept when they’re wrong, learn from their mistakes, and grow. 

At the same time, don’t let naysayers stop you when you have an inspirational idea. Instead, train yourself to push past negativity, as I’ve detailed in my book “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity” Let your mind go and think about the concept in the grandest sense. Make it so ambitious that, when you describe it, people get uncomfortable. Use their negativity as your fuel and head straight for success.

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