Constructive criticism is acceptable, but some people are so relentlessly negative that they can suck the joy out of life. No matter what happy news you might have, they are guaranteed to find the cloud to fit your silver lining.
Here are six strategies you can use to deal with hypercritical people.
- Do Not Take It Personally
It is a safe bet that it is not you. It is them. Some people hug their negativity around them like a security blanket, and it colors their view of the world. They criticize everything because that suits them. Watch how they treat other people. It is guaranteed they attack everybody, not just you.
- Listen to The Message
Is the person obscuring the message? Maybe your critical colleague or friend is disrespectful or bad at expressing themselves rather than being mean. Try to see past the messenger to understand what is said. Otherwise, you might miss out on some valuable advice.
- Accept the Feedback
You can decide to take crucial feedback on its own merits. That is, as a source of honest feedback. At least with hypercritical people, what you see is what you get! If you can see past the blunt delivery, you may be able to find a kernel of truth that can improve the way you do things.
- Deal with Your Discomfort
Criticism never feels good. Try to read your discomfort as another source of information about what is said. Does the negative feedback trigger a recognition deep within you? Maybe it subconsciously reminds you of a past event, but perhaps there is a ring of truth in the criticism. Sit with your discomfort and see what it is telling you.
- If You Can Not Take the Heat, Stay Out of the Kitchen
If you can not stand criticism, it is up to you not to get into situations with people who are likely to criticize you. Please do not ask for advice or expose yourself to their negativity. They will not change, so you need to take control and avoid such conversations. Do not share good news if you know they will throw cold water on it, do not seek their praise if you know you will not get it.
- Stay Out of Their Way
You have a choice about how to deal with negative people. You can decide not to engage with their negativity, and you can ignore them or avoid them altogether. For example, if you must contact a negative person at work, be helpful but do not engage with them. Otherwise, it is up to you whether you want to have any contact with such negativity or not.
I hope these articles on the benefits of criticism and how to handle negativity will help you if you have trouble accepting criticism. Over the next two days, I will post quotes or tips for you.
Until the next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.
Wise people have learned how to handle criticism. They deal with it like any other feedback, calmly and judiciously. They try and see how they can use it to get ahead and meet their goals. Many people, however, find it hard not to react defensively or angrily. Some people even launch a counterattack and shift the blame to the critic. That behavior does not win you any friends or help you get ahead.
Criticism is a fact of life, and the sooner you learn to handle it positively, the better you can use that feedback for your success.
- Before you React – Stop!
You will feel the reaction in your body before you can get the words out. And that is where you must stop. Do not do anything. Breathe and take a moment to calm your defenses. Chances are, the other person will not notice a thing, but it will give you time to compose yourself.
- Remind Yourself that This is Feedback
Your composure time gives you a chance to remember that this criticism is an opportunity to learn something, possibly something valuable. Say to yourself, “This is not personal,” and repeat it as often as you need to until your initial reaction has passed.
- Practice Your Active Listening
Feedback time is not a time to talk. It is a time to listen. Try to understand what the other person is saying. Maybe it is an aspect of your project or goal that you have not thought of yet. What initially feels like criticism may offer valuable insight.
Repeat back what you heard and seek clarification if you need to. It is not a time to analyze or push back. It is a time to understand what is said.
- Thank Your Critic
Even if it makes you cringe inside, say thank you for the feedback. You do not have to agree with what the critic has said to be sincerely appreciative of the input. After all, they took the time to say what they thought and give you some advice.
- Process the Feedback
You may need some time to do this, or you might be able to do it on the spot. If your emotions are running high, it is probably better to take a break and come back to deal with it later. Otherwise, it is acceptable to ask questions to clarify the feedback and maybe seek suggestions on moving forward.
Learning to deal constructively with criticism and feedback is an important skill and one you will be glad you learned sooner rather than later.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, and keep the faith.
I know you are wondering why I post so many different topics. It is because I do want you to get bored. By changing the issues often, you never know the day will have to share with you.
For the next three days, I will have articles regarding criticism. Its importance and how to handle it. So, let’s get started!
Being criticized never feels good. It can make you feel judged, as though you are not good enough no matter how hard you try. Most people’s reaction to criticism is to get defensive, make excuses, or blame someone else. None of those options are incredibly constructive.
It is up to you how you choose to react to criticism. You can see it as a personal attack, or you can embrace it, get the positives out of it, and move on. If you feel skeptical about criticism having any benefits, here are some excellent reasons why you should embrace it.
- Use Criticism for Personal Growth
Often, criticism has more than a grain of truth in it, even if delivered a bit harshly. That is partly why it makes you uncomfortable—deep down, it rings true, even if you do not want to admit it.
Think of criticism as another element in your development toolbox, one that offers insight you might otherwise miss. If nothing else, observing and managing how you react to criticism can shine a spotlight on your triggers, your unconscious reactions, and assumptions.
- Develop Emotional Resilience
Criticism usually comes laden with emotions. You feel shame, upset, and attacked. Learning to embrace criticism can help you become more emotionally resilient as you learn how to sit with your uncomfortable emotions instead of blindly reacting.
Practicing detachment takes you to a mental place where you can use your problem-solving skills. You can listen, assess, analyze, and work out what lessons to take away from experience.
Embracing criticism can also help you step away from needing other people’s approval to feel good about yourself. Once you see criticism as potentially helpful feedback, it stops being a judgment of you as a person.
- Improve Relationships
Once you stop reacting (or over-reacting) to feedback, you allow more space for openness, honesty, and better communication. People can talk to you about problems without feeling they have to walk on eggshells.
Embracing criticism makes for much better relationships as there are fewer barriers or ‘no go’ areas. You do not want to be prickly, complicated, or defensive, nor do you want to have your self-worth depend on other people’s reasonable opinion of you.
- Boost Self-Confidence
Embracing criticism will free you from the curse of perfectionism. You can accept that making mistakes is human and that being criticized is okay, even helpful. Accept that criticism is part of everyday life, and you will be more confident, happier, and freed up to be your best you.
Until next time, please stay safe, keep the faith.
I am posting quote for you while I finish my article. It should be ready to post in about an hour. In the meantime, I believe this quote says it very well. We each make the decision as to what is possible.
Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.
You can stay focused on the present and the future. Your ability to avoid dwelling on the past should increase. Understand that thinking about the past has negative consequences.
There is nothing left for you in the past. Be glad you have learned from your past mistakes and successes. That is the good thing about history – the lessons it provides. You can take those lessons and apply them to your present. Focusing on the past, though, leads to regret.
Choose to look forward. Spend five minutes each day to imagine the future you wish to experience. Know that a compelling future is the best way to stay motivated and positive.
Work hard in the present to create your future. You can only interact with time in the present moment. You must make the most of each moment and look forward to enjoying the future even more.
You can let go of the past. Time spent on past regrets and mistakes lessens your ability to manage your life and generate success. You have a more significant potential for happiness when you leave the past behind. Forgive those that have wronged you. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes.
Today, keep your attention on the present and the future. You are permanently leaving the past in your rearview mirror. Leave the past in the past and focus on the future.
- How can you enhance your ability to avoid focusing on the past?
- What are your goals for the future?
- What type of life do you dream of living?
Until next time, stay safe and keep the faith.
Believe so strongly, you create what you want. I believe this.
Until next time next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.
It is nice to be able to treat yourself every once in a while. But you could treat yourself a lot more frequently if treating yourself was free. It can be! There are plenty of ways to give yourself some special treatment without worrying about your budget.
You might start planning on doing something special for yourself regularly. You only need to take the time and make yourself a priority.
You are worth it!
Give yourself the pampering you deserve:
- Call your favorite person. A long-distance phone call is free these days if you call on the cell phone. Pick up the phone and call someone you would love to have a conversation. They are probably dying to hear from you.
- Give yourself a manicure. Put on a movie and give yourself a manicure that will make your friends jealous. Take your time and do it right.
- Watch your favorite TV show. I find it exciting to sometimes binge-watching my favorite TV program. It is a great way to relax and have fun.
- Take a hot bath. A hot bath for no reason at all is the best kind. A shower can be almost as good.
- Go to the bookstore or library. It is free to walk around the bookstore/library and check out the books. Bring some coffee and find a place to sit. In just a couple of visits, you can finish an entire book.
- Take a walk. Walking is free, and it is good exercise too. Walk around your neighborhood, or walk at the park. Walk at the beach. Walk alone or take a friend. Just walk and enjoy being outside.
- Make your favorite dessert. Whip up your favorite dessert and treat yourself. You are doing yourself a favor by freeing up space in the pantry.
- Play a game online. There are thousands of games that can be played online for free. You can play by yourself, with a friend, or with 100 strangers. It can be a fun way to spend some time without spending any money.
- Sunrise or sunset? Watching the sunrise is free. Watching the sunset is free, too. Which do you prefer?
- Listen to your favorite song. Any song can be found online somewhere for free. Sit back, relax, and listen to your favorite album.
- Local attractions. The park, museum, art galleries, monuments, and other local attractions are often free if you go on the right day. It is not always necessary to travel to another city to see exciting things.
- Window shopping. It costs nothing to look. Look at new cars, fancy clothes, a giant television, kayaks, or whatever else interests you. It does not hurt to look.
- Take a nap. Treat yourself to some me time and rest. Give yourself some extra time. You deserve it.
- Create. Immersing yourself in creating something is good for the body and soul! You do not need paints or expensive art equipment. Just use materials that you find around the house. For example, you can sketch, write a song or a book, compose music, do origami, whittle, and much more.
- Look at an old photo album. Pull out an old photo album and relive a few memories. You will have a few laughs and maybe shed a few tears.
You do not need to save up your money to give yourself a treat. You can give yourself a little VIP treatment without spending a single cent.
Use this list as a springboard to think of more ways to be good to yourself each day. Make a long list and pull it out each day. You deserve a treat.
Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.