5 Tips in Handling Criticisms Like a Pro

Being criticized may make you feel bad, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Handling criticism like a pro is an advantage that can help you in tough situations. There are many types of criticism, but mostly you may encounter positive, negative, constructive and destructive.


Types of Criticism

Criticism isn’t just pointing out what’s bad in something. It could also point out the good without much praising. Positive criticism focuses on the good that could’ve been highlighted more or was somehow missed.


Opposite positive criticism is negative criticism, which points out mostly the bad aspects. To give negative criticism is to voice out an objection to something with the sole purpose of showing what was done wrong, false, or was a mistake. In general, people take negative criticism personally, but it isn’t always the case.


Constructive criticism, on the other hand, aims to let you know what was wrong, why it’s wrong, and how to correct the wrong. This type of criticism doesn’t make the pill easier to swallow since it still criticizes you, but at the very least, it allows room for progress. Constructive criticism is more acceptable since it’s clear, specific, detailed, and actionable. If you’re being criticized and was given constructive criticism, treat it like a driving force to move forward, since the critic saw you had room to grow. More often than not, people who find fault with something also take it upon themselves to offer an option for settling the issue or offering ways to make the wrong more right.


Destructive criticism is just that, destructive. Being criticized is bad enough and it’s even worse when it’s delivered in such an unpleasant way that it’s destructive. It has no intention of leaving a positive effect, sometimes even seen as a personal attack, since it is left without any sort of merit or can focus on something that is outside of your control. Destructive criticism is also often unjustifiable, to the point of being like an accusation or allegation.


Emotional Intelligence

EQ may also help with handling criticism like a pro, since most of the time, your first reaction is to be sad or angry and let go of any type of reasoning. High emotional intelligence means you have a good ability to reason and solve problems that are mostly based on the emotions experienced first-hand. If you are more aware of the emotions in you, you end up being able to reason better, and handle ‘emotional’ situations better without panic, breaking down, or getting angry.


Ways to Handle Criticism

  1. Listen and ask. Don’t shut out all negative feedback. Criticism should be received so you will grow and learn from them. Making excuses isn’t the right way of handling the situation. For example, your presentation didn’t go as well as planned and a member of the audience told you that it was terrible. If someone had the courage to criticize your work, just make sure you don’t waste their time further by making an excuse that won’t make any difference. Instead, ask WHY they think the presentation was bad, WHAT should have been included or highlighted, HOW it could be improved. Listen attentively to their feedback, look at criticisms constructively, and make the situation work for you.
  2. Don’t put blame on others. Never shift the blame when receiving criticism. Even if it’s true that other people are also involved in the outcome of the project or presentation, you can only work on yourself. You can’t control how others think, how they react, and how they’ll handle the same situation you’re in. Be the bigger person by handling the situation maturely, accept the criticism, apply what you learn, and move on. Shifting blame may get you out of the predicament at first, but it leaves you stuck since you let the opportunity to grow slip by. Additionally, always assume you’re being criticized for your own growth. Unless proven otherwise, all criticism you receive is constructive with no intent to harm and make you purposely feel bad.
  3. Don’t steer away from issues. Another thing most people do almost by instinct is to side-step an issue. When issues arise, our first thought and move is often to prevent all issues and avoid at all costs like the plague at the beginning. But when issues need to be handled, tackle them head-on. Improve on any weaknesses by recognizing that they’re there. Work on the issue first by recognizing the issue instead of being in denial.
  4. Don’t take it personally. It doesn’t help to get defensive when receiving criticism. Any reasoning just makes you seem defensive and makes you look bad. Be the bigger person and handle negative criticism with grace. There’s no need to always feel attacked or insulted, so try not to take it to heart too much.
  5. Don’t take criticisms lightly. While it’s best not to blow an issue out of proportion, it also shouldn’t be taken lightly. Don’t minimize the problem by controlling thoughts like “it isn’t even that big of a deal”. If it’s enough to get criticized for it, then it’s definitely something to be improved. A good mindset is to realize there’s an issue, gauge how big of a deal it is, and take it on without making light of it. If it proves to be a big deal, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and learning is a never-ending process. Mistakes are acceptable, but make sure to learn from them and do your best not to make the same mistakes all over again.