10 things to do when someone criticizes you
Criticism is one of the toughest bits to handle, esp after you have given it all you got, put in so much of hard work, only to see that there is someone or the other who has a problem with it. How do you respond when you are encountered with a situation like that. How do you answer them? Or do you actually answer them? Here are a few thoughts
1) Why are they criticizing you?
– Apart from the idea that you are wrong! Why are they saying it? Is it because they hate you? Is it because they are jealous of you? Is it because they had a similar idea and you beat them to it? Or is it because they expect more out of you and want to see that you realize your true potential? What is the exact reason as to why people criticize you?
2) What are they trying to say?
– They are not trying to deride you, they are not trying to make fun of you. What are they actually trying to say? What is the message behind the criticism? What do they expect you do after they have criticized you. If I am right there are two types of people who would want to do that – one who would do it just for the sake of saying it, to feel better about themselves. These are the ones who are easy to identify, please feel free to completely neglect them.
The others are the type who are trying to send a message through criticism. The fact that they are using this route means that they are not very well with communication and are not using the best way of communication (How to tell someone they are wrong without hurting them?). But nevertheless, they are trying to say something about the work or job at hand, try deciphering that!
3) What are they criticizing?
– Is it the idea or is it that they are happy making you look bad? Most times it feels like that people are right there pouncing on you to prove you wrong. Even if they are, keep this one thing in mind, when someone criticizes something, it has to be related to what you do or how you do something. If it is anything else, it does not hold a standing and it does not mean anything but a way to try and instigate you.
Remember that most times it is not you who they are trying to criticize, it is the idea. Try to depersonalize it and things become simpler.
4) What can you make out of it?
– Behind the harsh tone of criticism, there is usually an honest idea that is dying to come out. People are trying to find ways to make it better to you, find you new options you can work with. Criticism most times is a good thing, it helps us reevaluate ourselves and see the other side of the picture. Most times when we do something, we tend to feel that we have done a great job at it and nothing could go wrong. But truth is that something always goes wrong. Maybe they are trying to point that out to you and help you!
5) Is it constructive?
– This would perhaps be the most important question to ask. Most people criticize for the sake of it, for the sad truth that they don’t know how to appreciate real talent at work. However there are a few people who actually do that cos they think it can be better. Listen to them, they make sense and they also know how to put that across to you. Feel free to neglect all vociferous and emotional disburses – 90% of the time it is a way for people to vent out their feelings
6) Whose problem are they responding to?
– Most people are trying to solve their own problems in the world. And perhaps that is why it is so hard to get an objective criticism cos everyone tries to think what they would have done better if they were in your place. Well perhaps that is exactly what they are trying to say, which may very well be an improvement to your existing outcome.
7) Who is the bigger person here?
– This would perhaps be an eternal question. Who is the better person in the battle? Is it the critic cos he gave an idea to make things better or is it the person who took it and made it even better. If it were me, I would say it was the person who acted upon it cos actions are far more divine than words. An idea is dime a dozen but an action is something which sets you apart
8) What is the learning from this?
– Well it is a project you tried your hand on. The learning can be as simple as you needing to turn a deaf ear to some people or sometimes simple as taking a survey of people’s expectations about the project. Behind every disgruntled talk, there is a logic hiding somewhere. Try and see if it makes sense to you. If it does, integrate it in your life and work on it to make a difference. If not, feel free to toss it in the ocean and move on to the next idea
9) Ask smilingly what went wrong!
– One of the best things about a smile is that it irritates people to the core! Or it softens the critics voice. Although most times a critic would take on you with an idea of pulling you down and crushing your ego. But the moment he realizes that you are beyond that and are open to ideas and feedback, the whole tone changes and it becomes a discussion just like that!
10) Thank the critic!
– I agree that sometimes we feel like asking the critic to go to hell. However Thank them! They are trying to get you down from the high horse that everything cannot and need not be perfect. And the moment you acknowledge that and appreciate that, it becomes more humane and solution oriented than ego bashing.
I guess these are a few things I would do if I were bothered by a critic. If you think I have missed something, please do lemme know below. Or if you have a specific problem bothering you, please write to us at vinay.inspire99.com. We respect anonymity if requested.