You even criticize yourself sometimes. While some criticism does come from a negative place, sometimes it is meant with love and good intentions. Unfortunately, even if the person criticizing you is coming from a good place, it can still hurt. If you struggle to handle criticism, we will look at why it is not always negative.
What’s the difference between positive and negative criticism?
There are a few ways to determine if the criticism is coming from a positive or negative place. But the first thing is to determine how you respond to criticism. Many people are naturally defensive and react badly to criticism of any kind. So the first step is to tame that initial reaction. Try to view the criticism with an open mind. Is there any truth to what they are saying? Also, pay attention to how it is delivered. Do they give a reason for their feedback?
Positive criticism is also called constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is often given with a helpful attitude to give feedback. These could be suggestions on how things can be improved and done better. The comments may be positive or negative but it’s offered in a friendly manner. It also focuses on specific issues rather than on the person. Constructive criticism is very important and can help improve your performance and your life in general.
Negative or destructive criticism, on the other hand, is often given in an insulting and demeaning way. The criticism often focuses on the person rather than on specific issues. This often feels like a personal attack and can be hurtful. The person receiving this may feel depressed and angry.
Being able to recognize when someone is trying to offer helpful criticism or when they are just being negative is important. Understanding why people engage in negative criticism may help you handle it better. These are some reasons why people criticize you negatively.
- They genuinely want you to be better. However, they do not know how to deliver the message in a better way. These people mean well.
- They may be trying to put the focus on your failings because they feel insecure and are threatened by you. Criticizing others helps them feel better about themselves.
- They may be jealous of you and their way of expressing this negative emotion is by criticizing you destructively.
- They have developed a habit of criticism especially if they have grown up with constant criticism and they think this is acceptable behavior.
Most destructive criticisms have nothing to do with you. Knowing this can help you respond positively instead of reacting. One sure way to help you respond positively is by increasing your self-esteem.
Self-esteem and criticism
Your self-esteem will largely determine how you respond to criticism. The more confident you are, the less likely criticism is to affect you. Those who have a healthy dose of self-esteem will be able to learn from any criticism without taking it too personally.
Think about your own self-esteem. Do you need to work on your confidence? If yes, focus on building your self-esteem and you will notice you will be able to handle criticism better.
Tips to deal with criticism
Staying calm is important. You may find yourself beginning to get angry when you receive criticism. However, if you express anger, it is not going to work in your favor, in fact, it could work in your critic’s favor. Remaining calm helps you to evaluate the situation and decide the best way to handle it.
Try to get to the bottom of where the feedback is coming from. Sometimes you need an outsider’s view to see what is really happening.
Think about the criticism and see if it is constructive and if there is something you can improve on. On the other hand, if it is destructive, just ignore it.