how to handle criticism

How to handle criticism (and actually feel good about it)

The most natural reaction to criticism is to feel awful or angry. The beauty about using assertiveness techniques is that it exposes whether the criticism is justified or not and, knowing this, you are then able to decide whether to take it on board or not. But what do you do if it is justified? Do you simply curl up in a ball and feel awful and helpless? Although I have been guilty of this in the past this is very seldom helpful.

 

The good news is there are so many ways to turn the criticism around so that – rather than feeling like a lost cause and helpless – you can instead feel empowered and optimistic! It’s just a matter of seeing the criticism as an opportunity to exercise empathy and understanding towards others, gain more self awareness, develop more personal responsibility in life and grow into your best self.

 

Of course this outlook and the process of developing more empathy, personal responsibility and working on improving yourself is never easy but never underestimate the impact of rewards! When you first discover a new weakness you possess and feel low treat yourself with pick me ups and walks (a ten minute walk has been shown to significantly improve mood). Then reward yourself every time you progress in the right direction like reading a self-help book or article, reacting to small things in a new healthier way or big treats like a weekend away for when you achieve a major breakthrough.

 

Some amazing treats are:

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How to avoid criticism damaging your self-esteem

For me working upon my self-esteem has been one of the most difficult and yet rewarding endeavors I have ever undertaken in therapy. One of the biggest lessons I learnt was that my character and my character alone was how I should measure how to view myself. Once I realized this everything else fell into place.

 

I finally understood that criticism, if founded, means I have done something wrong not that I am something wrong. Once I reached this understanding the impact upon my life was profound. I used criticism as a trigger to put things right if I had wronged anyone and to correct my behavior in future; rather than berating myself for messing up, I celebrated it as an opportunity to grow.

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