How To Receive Criticism and Maintain Your Dignity

Receiving criticism can be d i f f i c u l t.

How do you keep your head up after someone tells you something that does not ring in as music to your ears?

In my last post, I shared my recent experience in having to deliver negative feedback.  If you missed it, then here’s another opportunity to hear my thoughts on the matter:

Being the deliverer of bad news is not a desirable position to be in. However, one cannot expect anything good to result from keeping valid concerns undisclosed. Thankfully, my most recent experience with criticism allowed for emotion, learning, and growth. I do believe that this communication was effective, because several considerations were made before and throughout our discussion.

Now, if you find yourself faced with criticism, how are you going to receive it?

Here are my suggestions:

• Understand that criticism does not define you. Even if someone says that they do not like your work, this does not necessarily mean that they do not like you. People have preferences, and our preferences contribute to our uniqueness.

• If the person criticizing you truly does not like you, then you can release energy by realizing that the issue does not lie in you at all. It is not your responsibility to get people to like you. If you regularly get criticism from a particular individual, then realize that the true issue likely lies within them.

Understand that emotions are healthy. Being human and having feelings is not UNprofessional. It took me over 30 years of my life and a near-fatal accident to come to this understanding. Placing up protective walls and pretending to be indifferent compromises communication.

Allow yourself the opportunity to grow. If you receive criticism via graceful honesty, then receive it with open ears. Constructive criticism gives you the opportunity to learn, grow, and rise to new levels of communication and personal development.

Do you feel that any of these suggestions would assist you in receiving criticism?

Do you have other suggestions for not taking criticism personally?

I’d love to hear from you and learn what works for you.

Until next time

~ Nicole