How to deal with criticism effectively

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Learning how to deal with criticism can be tough, but - once you've mastered it - it's such a useful skill to have.

If you've landed here first, do make sure you have a look at Part 1 of How to Deal with Criticism to get started with an introduction to the ways we might deal with criticism. I'll still be here when you come back.

There is so much more to you!

Whatever the reason was for you having to deal with criticism, just remember that there's so much more to you than whatever it was that got criticised.

  • you are not your thoughts
  • you are not your feelings
  • you are not your behaviour

In addition, if any of these happen to apply to you:

  • you are not your work
  • you are not your art
  • you are not your performance
  • you are not your scores
  • you are not your sport
  • you are not your last photo-shoot
  • you are not your music

Whether or not you're involved in the performing arts, music, sport, fashion, TV or you're a minor or a major celebrity - there is much more to you than any of these aspects.  

Do remember to remind yourself of at least three things you've achieved today (NOT connected with any of the above) and three things you like about yourself, before you go to sleep.

If you've felt let down in any relationship, however old you were and for whatever reason, your self-esteem might be in your boots. I recommend Build Your Self-Esteem - via my page Self-Hypnosis FAQ - an effective and safe hypnosis download.

If you're more sensitive to the opinions of others than you would like, I really suggest you get the Care Less What Others Think download.

What about that critical person?

None of the following points are offered as excuses, but they may explain and help put things in context when you've been unfairly criticised.

Is your critic...

  • irrational due to physical or emotional strain?
  • unskilled in communicating?
  • lacking in emotional intelligence?
  • acting on behalf of someone else?
  • making assumptions based on his/her perspective of the world
  • feeling insecure, because you're a threat - maybe you are/have become better than him/her!

Remember though, that your learning may not just be about knowledge and skills - it can also be about 'people', 'life' and mostly - yourself.

Are you in a relationship with someone who is generally abusive? If so, your biggest learning will come when you recognise and change old patterns of behaviour in yourself.

Are you your own worst critic?
- 9 ways to cut yourself a little slack

Are you beating yourself up?  Are you constantly critical of yourself? Is there a critic sitting on your shoulder forever undermining you? Are you always giving yourself a hard time? Do you tell yourself that...

... you look ridiculous

... you're no good

... you're showing yourself up

... you'll never 'make it'

... your work is rubbish? 

Constant self-criticism makes it harder for you to deal appropriately with criticism from others. 

In a sense, you're bullying yourself. It's very unlikely that you'd say the things you're telling yourself to your best friend. Yet you're happy to undermine yourself?

Now is the time to change that!

  1. Start by just noticing - without condemning. Just be curious about what kind of situations cause you to become particularly self-critical
  2. Ask yourself if you'd be happy to undermine your best friend in the same way
  3. Simply notice things that you can do better - there's an advantage to being self-observant without being overly critical
  4. Commit to doing all you can to do better next time
  5. Learn to laugh at yourself
  6. Remember: today's drama is tomorrow's bin-liner!
  7. If you're a real worrier or you suffer from anxiety then hop over to my review of a well-researched and more importantly - effective - method to help you Overcome Your Anxiety For Good
  8. Hypnosis is both effective and very user-friendly, so do have a look at the Tame Your Inner Critic or Stop Self-Criticism self hypnosis downloads. I've recommended these to my clients, as well as family and friends. Find out more on my page on Self-Hypnosis FAQ and download
  9. Talk it over with a professional counsellor. You can do that right here. No need to commit to ongoing sessions - just get if off your chest.

Constructive or destructive criticism?

It's inevitable that we'll all face both constructive and destructive criticism during our lives. But don't worry - you can learn to cope with both. 

Join me in Part 3 for advice on coping with criticism, and a look at what you can do to increase your self-esteem if it's currently in your boots...

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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Elly Prior

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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Images courtesy of: Symphony of Love