How to Accept Criticism Gracefully
Admit it, you loathe being criticized. And you hate it when people meddle in what you do. Oftentimes, when someone says something unpleasant about you or your work, you would be quick to defend yourself. Chances are, you have entertained the thought that the criticism stemmed from the critic's self-righteous nature. But before you start being defensive and, heaven forbid, acting rashly, read the following guide. Criticism can be your best friend. How, you ask? Read on.Recognize That Nobody’s Perfect. It is alright to make mistakes once in a while; thus, don't be too hard on yourself. If you were criticized by your boss for passing a less-than-perfect report, apologize and make sure that it won’t happen again. Learn from your lapses and remind yourself that there’s always a room for improvement.
Don’t Take it Personally. Sometimes, when people criticize, they do not mean to attack your person. They just might be pointing out where you can improve as a person. Listen to the content of others' comments before you fly off the handle. Sometimes, friends mean well, but because of familiarity, they forget to use tactful words. The key is to ascertain your friend's motives. If you can't figure it out by looking for nonverbal cues or listening to "what he/she's not saying," then you can ask your friend what his/her motive was in pointing out your "flaws". Just remember to suspend your defensiveness. There is no need to cause a conflict when there should be no reason for one.
Stop Being Bitter. Forgive others as they offend you. When people point out your flaws, take a deep breath. Do not allow yourself to feel the hurt or be defensive right off the bat. Analyze the criticism, and separate the truth from the hurting words. Get a trusted friend or relative and help you sort out whether the critic was telling the truth or not. If the critic was right, learn to accept and then improve on those areas. Turn these pointed words into a guide for you to live your life in a better way.Swallow Your Pride. Sometimes, it pays to just forgive, forget about the offense and move on. Would you rather keep your relationship with the critic, or would you rather burn a bridge because of your ego. Just think of it this way, if you're not the mushy "I-love-my-friends-like-a-carebear" type: you may be able to use that relationship someday. It's a cold way to look at it, but really. This is a world that depends highly on relationships and networking. See, even Steve Jobs had to swallow his pride and "reconcile" with Bill Gates. Each relationship that you form in your life has its purpose, so you have to nurture each one.Criticism, if you see it as a guideline on how to improve yourself, could prove more than useful to you: it just might be the way that significant changes in your life can be made. Remember that the line between hardship and prosperity is marked by your outlook. If you see that you could be content despite duress, then you are on your way to winning in life.