Whenever I receive criticism it always helps – once I’ve digested things mind you – to talk it through with a friend. It’s important when considering which friend to talk it through with that you choose carefully. Someone too blunt and it can make your ego even more sensitive whilst a cheerleader friend will not necessarily tell you the complete truth and might sugar coat things.
This is why I always choose one of my good friends who isn’t afraid to tell me the truth but does so in a very sensitive and diplomatic way. She knows me well enough to know that I will carefully consider what she says, neither dismissing it out of hand nor taking it on board as true automatically.
I also always wait to share my feelings with her until I have processed the criticism fully so that I am not overly sensitive or angry about what has been said (which could easily slant the conversation). Sharing your feelings in this way is brave but when discussed with a trusted friend much insight into the validity of the criticism can be gained, increasing your self-awareness and allowing you the opportunity to practice receiving criticism gracefully. When sharing your feelings it also allows you the opportunity to feel loved and accepted no matter whether the criticism is true or false. This love and acceptance shown by friends despite our weaknesses gives us a deep sense of connection, allowing us to better acknowledge and accept our weaknesses for ourselves – which is the first step towards being able to effectively work on them.