The term criticismhas a negative connotation. This can put people on the defensive and keep them resistant to the benefits criticism actually has. Compliments and criticisms are the same. They’re both feedback. Feedback is simply information that can be used in many ways.
People who have a healthy relationship with criticism use the feedback to make decisions. In the same way compliments encourage behavior, feedback can discourage it. Hearing criticism leaves you with choices. You can either:
That’s a lot of choices coming from one critique!
Receiving critical feedback doesn’t require you to do anything. How you react to criticism is entirely up to you. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding the merit of a critique. Who is giving the feedback? What is their relationship to you? Are you invested in their opinion? Do they have any authority over your behavior? These questions will help hone down whether or not the feedback is helpful or hurtful.
You Can Ignore Criticism if You Want To
It’s possible, and sometimes prudent, to ignore criticism. Some people aren’t offering a critique with your best interest at heart. Likewise, if you know what you are doing is the right course of action, it’s appropriate to disregard criticism. Though, there’s value in hearing tough truths or the impact your actions may be having, ultimately you can decide if you want to ignore feedback.
Implement Criticism If You Want To
Hearing a new perspective can be valuable. Sometimes swift criticism can help you avoid a blunder. Implementing changes based on feedback is helpful when the criticism is righteous and makes sense. Sometimes what feels like criticism is someone looking out for your best interests.
Consider Criticism If You Want To
You don’t have to take immediate action when someone offers you critical feedback. Sometimes there are benefits to waiting and considering feedback over time. Businesses often use an accumulation of critical feedback, given over time, to make changes. It’s great to consider critical feedback and keep it as a reference point when making future decisions.
Discuss Criticism If You Want To
Critical feedback should be a two-way street. There should be a discussion with clarifying questions. Solid feedback serves everyone better when you understand the motives behind it and are able to ask for details. People with a healthy relationship with feedback aren’t triggered by criticism and use it as an opportunity to engage rather than close themselves off.
Having a healthy relationship with criticism is important. There are going to be times when criticism stings, but that shouldn’t always be the case. Learning to see criticism as an important source of feedback can enrich your life and help make you better.
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