How to Take Constructive Criticism
The term “constructive” when referring to criticism can be debatable. Knowing how to tell the good from the bad can take some of the sting out of these often unsolicited judgements.
But everyone should know how to take some criticism gracefully. So follow these steps.
4 Steps to Take Constructive Criticism
1. Consider the source.
If the criticizer is a person you admire, look at the criticism as something you can learn from. No one knows everything, and no one is expected to. Sometimes, what seems like criticism is just someone trying to teach you something.
On the other hand, if the criticism comes from someone you don’t respect or who doesn’t like you, there’s no use getting mad because he won’t care, and it will only hurt you.
2. Take it like the proverbial “man.”
Take a few breaths to shake it off. Don’t try to analyze the criticism right away. Once the humiliation has subsided, you can think about whether or not the criticism was, or was intended to be, in any way helpful.
3. Ignore what Eleanor Roosevelt referred to as “destructive” criticism.
This is criticism that isn’t well thought-out even when it may be partly true. For instance, every decision you make has good and bad consequences.
Someone who feels a need to point out the bad consequences of a good decision is delivering “destructive” criticism.
4. Learn what makes criticism “constructive.”
It should always be more like a suggestion; any criticism that’s accusatory or makes you feel ashamed isn’t constructive. Good criticism is given with good intentions, not to make you feel stupid.
Tips & Warnings
Use this knowledge the next time you find yourself criticizing someone else, too.