Criticism: Can you handle it?
What You Said…
- Up until recently criticism cut me to the core! That was because I was co-dependent and relied on other people to validate my existence, so if someone said something negative to me I was heartbroken. I am healing, I am learning to love and validate myself, I understand why I was the way I was! I accept myself, I accept I cannot control how others see me, I understand that most of us are unconsciously projecting our wounds onto others! I’m now in a better place. – KAREN
- I am a strong questioner, I do not like people to correct me. With the time though, I am learning to listen and accept constructive criticism, although I still struggle with me not being perfect. – AMBAR
- I live in Korea and the culture here makes people a little blunt. They say things like ‘you look sick/tired’ if I don’t wear make up or ‘you’ve gained weight’. It took a while to really know that it’s them putting their expectations on me and not to let it affect me. I think about whether I’m happy with the choices I’m making and things I’m doing, and if the answer is yes, then I let their comments slide past me (or at least I try, sometimes that requires a little more effort) – JEN
- For starters, it depends on who it comes from and how it’s delivered. I don’t handle it well from my mom or definitely not from my mother in law. From a caring friend whose intent is to help then it’s usually well received. – TANYA
- I tend to take criticism super personally and feel bad, especially from someone close to me. Also, is its about something I’m aware of and don’t necessarily love about myself, I get a little defensive and mad, even if I don’t show it. I think for me it stems from caring way too much about what others think! – STEPHANIE
- I’m sensitive to the silent type of criticism or one that’s hinted in snide comments. Especially when they should mind their own business. – SUSIE
First, what kind of criticism is it?
- Spotted Zebra – fictional, mistake, made up, literally not true “Your cat is so ugly” – I have a dog
- Punch doesn’t land – it’s just irrelevant because it’s not of value to me, attack my values, I don’t care (this is a choice, by the way)
- GPS attack – your course, your decisions, your choices carving your path. Someone on a different sidewalk is going to take issue with your decisions (private school , breastfeeding, eat meat). YOU DO YOU
- Your essence, who you are, who you are being – these hurt.
The Problem: We are constantly allowing level 1-3 stuff be the stuff of level 4!
The Solution: Always ask yourself three questions:
- Who is the source? (are they your inner circle peeps? are they an influencer in our life?)
- Is there truth? (what’s true about what they’re saying?)
- So what? (what are you going to do about it?)
Surviving Criticism: What to do in the moment
- Say “Received” (personal) or even “thank you” (professional) AND request a time out (time to process)
- Natural first response is defense and rebuttal – avoid at that time
- Acknowledge the message. Period.
- Realize that time will shift your perspective
- The first 5 mins is VERY different than 5 mins later! Create the space.
- FIND the truth and toss the junk – think of it as sifting through your mail!
- Hint: which parts bother you? What is it telling you about you? What is it telling you about them?
- Realize how much YOU criticize/judge – this can give you immediate perspective
- ASK FOR IT! That’s right! Ask for feedback , ask how you can do better, ask people you trust in every area of your life. It’s not only enlightening an empowering, but it builds emotional muscle.
Surviving Criticism: Key Take-Aways
- Want to avoid criticism? The solution is real easy: DO nothing, BE nothing, SAY nothing. The bigger you play, the more you’ll open yourself up to criticism and judgment – whether it’s having an opinion in a social setting, making moves in your career or on the public stage.
- Let the good stuff roll off, too. The person who is validated by likes on Facebook and comments about how great they look on Insta is FAR MORE open to the power of the negative comments. There’s value in understanding that NEITHER define you. Humility, said author Rick Warren, is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. Their opinion of you isn’t you. Stop looking for validation, and keep on moving.
- Avoid criticizing others. Take personal responsibility for your own reactions and give up the habit of criticizing others. Before you offer feedback, ask AM I CREATING VALUE or am I just trying to be right, to make a point?
If you like this episode…
Meanwhile….definitely relisten to these related shows:
- Episode 117 Letting Go of Judgment and download the Circles of Intimacy Worksheet
- Episode 091 with Aaron Anastasi
Life Balance Wheel Series Resources:
- Click Here to Download the Life Balance Wheel Worksheet
- How to complete the worksheet: score each area as where you are today. The goal is not to have a high score everywhere. It’s simply a tool to evaluate where you’re strongest, and which areas you want to focus on next.