Criticisms: React intelligently to people who criticize a lot. In the world, you will find many people who will negatively blame the way you do things. Some will make such criticism as a simple comment without relevance, while others will try to make you feel bad about yourself.
For this reason, in this article, you will learn to react intelligently to people who criticize too much so that you avoid feeling bad about yourself or falling into circles of negativity.
But first, what is criticism?
To understand the concept of criticism, it is essential to go to another term: opinion. We have often explained that our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions interact with our life experiences. The lived experiences influence our way of perceiving reality and our personality, but our learning also determines how we live the experience. That makes the same incident have different meanings for different people. It can even change the essence depending on our vital moment.
We look at situations conditioned by our values, which are the “glass” through which we look and filter the information we receive from the world. By this, the subjective, the belief, is inherent to the concept of criticism, so we can affirm that criticism is an opinion.
In this sense, we recognize it as a method by which we carry out an analysis of a specific situation, and we issue a judgment, both positive and negative. But if we look at the second meaning, it refers to the fact that criticism is an adverse judgment, which shows an error or a defect of another person.
Why do people criticize?
Many reasons can lead a person to make a criticism. We are part of a society in which most people are intolerant of things they do not understand or disagree with. This is one of the main reasons, but there are many more reasons, such as:
1. They feel threatened by some of your qualities and use criticism as a weapon to try to “level” the playing field. These people feel inferior, so they attack you for your weaknesses to catch up with them.
2. They feel entitled to special treatment or status and believe that they are not receiving it.
3. They like to be in charge of the situation and get scared when they feel like they are losing control. In these cases, criticizing you gives them back the feeling of power because that way they believe they belittle you and that they take control of the situation.
4. They want to profit, in which case the most likely is that the criticisms of you will be to someone else, to seem better and more capable themselves or to advance, either at work or in a group of friends. In those cases, it is because they see you as a rival or competitor.
5. They think they are helping you, either because they give you some of their wisdom or experience. Many painful criticisms can hide good intentions, even if they are carried out in the wrong way.
6. They think that only their points of view are valid, so they criticize you when you dare to suggest something different, which is often considered a personal attack since, deep down, these people are often very insecure.
7. They try to get your attention, but since they lack social and emotional skills, they don’t know how to do it assertively, so they end up criticizing, complaining or whining.
How can I react intelligently to criticism?
There are many ways to learn to react intelligently to criticism, and here are some of the most effective:
1. Find out if the criticism is constructive or destructive, criticisms
The difference between constructive criticism and fierce criticism is the way the comments are made. Constructive criticism points out faults but includes advice or suggestions on how they can be corrected, while destructive criticism aims to attack or bring down the person directly, and of course, does not include practical advice.
2. Don’t respond immediately, criticisms
Even when intended to be helpful, criticism can feel like rejection and elicits our “fight or flight” instinct as a natural response. But when we vent our emotions, we often say things that we regret later. The best we can do is resist the urge to respond immediately. It is crucial then to take a step back from the situation and think about how it will be processed. Wait until you find yourself calmer and clearer before saying anything.
3. Avoid polarized thinking, criticisms
Many susceptible people have a type of dual thinking, in which things are black or white, without half measures. They see themselves as highly successful people at one point and soon as entirely useless, depending on their most recent achievement or failure. This type of thinking prevents people from seeing themselves more comprehensively and realistically composed of positive and negative traits. Let’s stay present and give our thoughts a better perspective on reality.
4. Ask questions, criticisms
It’s easy to misinterpret the slightest negative review. So ask questions to make sure you fully understand what they are telling you. This is especially important if the criticism received is not too clear. One way to determine if you are interpreting the feedback correctly is to paraphrase the message you have heard and communicate it back to the other person, asking, “Am I understanding this correctly?”
5. Find out what is true in what they are telling you, criticisms
It is said that there is almost always some truth in every criticism. Or at least, the criticism of a person carries the reality of how that person sees you. Try to listen with an open mind, which doesn’t mean you have to believe it right away, but you may find something to make you think. For better or worse, other people in our lives often act as mirrors that reflect us the things that we cannot see for ourselves. Use this as a learning experience to improve.
Now that you know how to react intelligently to people who criticize too much, you can guarantee an optimal state of mind and not allow others to determine what you think of yourself.