How to accept criticism

Criticism can be difficult to accept. We may become defensive and upset but a little criticism can be the start to improving ourselves.

How to accept criticism

Criticism can be difficult to accept. We may become defensive and upset but a little criticism can be the start to improving ourselves.
  • It can be hard when someone critiques you. Whether the criticism comes from your boss, your friends or even your spouse, it can be embarrassing and hurtful. We always want to be our best selves, but we aren’t perfect and others will judge our actions. However, criticism can be a means of improvement. It can move you away from old habits and become the beginning of new skills, ideas and methods. Here are a few ways you can more easily accept criticism without letting it affect you negatively.

  • Cool down before responding

  • After someone critiques you, it is easy to get upset and defensive. But before you open your mouth, take a few deep breaths and let yourself cool down. When you speak out of anger, you will say things you often regret. If you respond in writing, a rude response can go viral with just a few clicks of the mouse. Take the time you need to calm down, don’t dwell on the criticism and then respond rationally.

  • Make improvements

  • Constructive criticism is given to help you improve. It helps you notice areas where flaws lie. Criticism is hard to accept, but before you get upset think about the information that is being presented. Will the information help you better yourself? What can you learn from the criticism given? Constructive criticism isn’t always hurtful and rude. It can be what you need to become a better employee, friend or spouse.

  • Be respectful

  • When someone is offering you criticism, the best thing you can do is listen and be respectful. For some people, critiquing someone can be difficult. It is hard to tell others something that could potentially hurt their feelings. Be respectful of what the other person is telling you. Don’t argue and fight with them. Ask questions such as “Are there other areas where I can improve?” and “Why do you feel this way?” These questions show that you care about what the other individual is telling you and that you want to better yourself. Here are some tips on how children can learn to take criticism.

  • Avoid making assumptions

  • Often, when we are critiqued we begin to come up with wild assumptions about what is being said. Whether the person wanted our job, greatly dislikes us or simply had it out for us, we don’t believe their criticism is actually for our good. When we begin to make these assumptions, we begin to set up barriers around ourselves. We don’t accept the criticism, and we don’t look at ways it can help us improve. When criticism is given to you, take a step back and think about why it was given. If possible, you can even ask why. This can help put to rest any wild thoughts you may have.

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  • Criticism can be a difficult thing to handle. It can be disheartening and challenging, but it is for your good. If you accept criticism and look for ways that it can help you improve, you will be pleased with what you find.

Courtnie is an editor for and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.

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