At the times in my life when I have faced criticism I found it difficult not to take it as a personal assault. What was the most challenging was when those words were spoken by those closest to me, those that knew me well – those who I both loved and respected.
I find it easier to digest what has been said and objectively assess what I agree with when I reflect, often resolving to work upon the areas that I think are valid in retrospect. But in the moment I find it difficult to avoid being defensive and accept the validity of the criticism received, or parts thereof.
As I learnt about assertiveness more, I discovered ways to identify malicious criticism as opposed to genuine constructive criticism. Although put downs are easy enough to pin point genuine constructive criticism can still sound unconstructive and harsh, after all not everyone is diplomatic and sensitive in their use of language when delivering valid criticism.
In this series I will outline the techniques that have helped me deal with criticism more effectively. When it comes to criticism we no longer need to feel like a victim, we can rather empower ourselves, using it as a catalyst to grow into our best selves.
Top Tips to Distance Yourself from Defensiveness