Embracing Criticism

Admit it: criticism sucks!

Personally, I hate it when I feel like my work is being critiqued, but I have learned to not only accept criticism, but I have also come to embrace it.

The way I look at it, there are just a few courses of action you can take when it comes to criticism:

  • Don’t do anything you can be critiqued for…hmm, that must mean die.
  • Quit before you can be criticized.
  • Throw a temper tantrum…can you say: looking for new work.
  • Ignore the criticism.
  • Debate the criticism.
  • Listen to and embrace the criticism.

For years, I wondered how certain people were able to handle criticism. Normally, I fell into either throwing a tantrum or debating. Now that I have grown, I have learned to accept it and actually embrace critique. Some of the steps that I took were:

Stop reacting and listen

No matter who the person was giving the critique, by listening, I show that I do value their opinion. If they are just being mean or cruel, they will often back off if I don’t “bite” and act defensively.

Realize I am still learning

The person critiquing me may not be an expert or know much about anything, but I can still learn. Maybe just one or two things they say can help me develop the writing I do (or the type of freelancing or job you do) better. Listening helps me learn.

Thank the person

Maybe I am just full of anger, as most of their criticism was directed toward my talents and abilities, or attacked me as a person, but I dare not show that. I smile and thank them for caring enough to critique my work. I then ask them how they think I should fix it. By doing so, I just flipped the whole critique on top of them. If they were doing it out of spite or jealousy, they are now sitting with a decision to make on how to answer. If they truly meant well, I end up getting great feedback.

Learn from it

Believe it or not, the majority of criticism we receive is correct. We are on the inside looking out, while the other person is on the outside looking in. No need to get defensive, because there is nothing to defend. It is time to make those little changes and ask the person what they think now.

You will discover less stress and better material by embracing criticism. I am sure. Have a great day and feel free in critiquing this blog.

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