I’d like you all to give a warm welcome to my guest blogger, M. Farouk Radwan. He is the creator and author of the incrediable website 2knowmyself.com I encourage you all to take a look at his large selection of articles that offer smart, confident, and thought provoking articles. I love this article he wrote on criticism and I’m thrilled to have it on The Reflective Self.
Five powerful ways to respond to criticism
Criticism whether its constructive or destructive can changes our moods and make us feel down for few days. Since many people criticize others harshly these days learning how to deal and respond with criticism has became an essential life skill that everyone is in need of.
In this post I will tell you about five powerful ways that can help you handle criticism.
How to handle criticism:
1) Never reply right away: If someone criticized you through an Email , a blog comment or any other method that gave you the choice when to respond then don’t reply right away because: I) by replying quickly you show the person how he managed to stir up your emotions and disturb your balance II) because emotional responses will always be wrong as your mind wont be in a clear mental state.
Instead wait some time and allow yourself to do the rest of the these points before you take actions.
2) Understand the intention behind the critical comment: If your parent criticized you then most probably he wants to see you a better person but what about people who criticize you because they are feeling jealous? What about others who were criticized as children thus grew up having a negative voice that lets them criticize everyone. Certainly replying to these different categories of people the same way is a wrong thing to do. That’s why you must first take your time to analyze the intention before you respond back to the person
3) Never be defensive: One you turn to the defensive side you are I) admitting what the person said and II) you are allowing him to attack you even more. Instead you should politely shift the focus on the person himself. For example if you got a message such as “Your blog is worthless” (apparently that’s someone with bad intention) you could reply saying “don’t let jealousy motivate you to attack people who never harmed you”
While your reply was very polite it will shock the other person because I) it will let him think about himself instead of attacking you further II) it will frighten him as it will show him that you understand the dynamics of his behavior.
4) Smile : Again if the person has bad intentions just smiling back to him will show him that you are confident enough and that you aren’t giving any weight to what he said about you.
5) Ask yourself, what if the person is right: What if the one who criticized you was a good person who wanted your best? What if you were really wrong or if you needed to change something about yourself? Don’t let your ego stop you from first analyzing the comment and finding it whether its really true or weather it makes no sense. One final point to put into consideration is that even constructive criticism that is given in a harsh way is a sign of envy, jealousy or even hatred so treat it as if you treat non constructive criticism.
Written by M.Farouk Radwan
Founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com, The ultimate source for understanding yourself and others