How to Take Criticism

Anyone who creates any kind of work and allows people to look at it will face some type of criticism. In some cases, that criticism is in the form of a nerve-wracking display of your work to 20 people, which feels like a naked dream (ahhhh!). Whether it’s a piece of artwork or an English paper, here are some tips and things to keep in mind when you are being criticized.

True critics won’t diminish your character.

Your professors, fellow classmates, and friends are not out to get you! They are giving their opinion and their perspective to you so that you can improve your work in the future, or make changes to that particular work. You shouldn't listen to people who are attacking you or your work without offering suggestions as to how you should make it better. They are not true critics-- they are bullies.



Critiques are a great thing-- it means that someone is paying attention.

In the world today, many people are creating work that isn’t widely seen. We live in a culture where I like to say “everyone speaks and nobody listens.”  So when somebody offers to look at your work in detail and critique it, it’s a beautiful thing! We all love when our creations are recognized and given comprehensive reviews.

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Attitude is everything.

This is something my mom says a lot, but it is completely true. If you approach a criticism with a positive attitude, you are much more likely to see it as a learning experience and truly appreciate the feedback the person is giving you. A negative attitude is very dangerous when approaching a critique because it can make you more resistant to the suggested changes, and you might end up thinking the person critiquing you is picking you apart. It can make the other person feel uncomfortable too because they feel like they have to hold back so you stay calm/happy.

Take a deep breath if you need to!

There is nothing wrong with making sure you are calm so you don’t get fired up about comments that people are making. It can be tough when someone thinks a part of your work is worse than you thought it was.

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Most of all, remember that this is a learning experience. Critics are there to help you, not hurt you. Now go out there and get someone to criticize your work!