Criticism: How To Deal With It And How To Dish It

The growth mindset is something I have come to embrace as a college student. I have learned to appreciate the journey, rather than just focusing on the destination. I have (finally) realized that one bad grade is not the end of the world. And I can now acknowledge that criticism (no matter how painful) is crucial. In order to grow, to get better, to improve—we all need to face criticism, no matter how hard it might be to take.

Don’t take it personally.

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It can be easy to become personally offended by someone else’s words of criticism, but keep in mind that their criticism is not about you. Criticism is always targeted to the things you do—your creative works, your assignments—but not about you personally. Don’t be offended by criticisms because they at least show that the other person is looking out for you and is making remarks for your best interest.

Think it through.

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If you feel that the person’s comments and criticisms were totally off base, reevaluate your perspective. Maybe the person’s comments had a little bit of truth in them. By thinking through the criticism, you won’t be so blinded by your own defensiveness, and you may open up to see how you can improve.

Be calm.

Oftentimes, we encounter people who are very blunt and straightforward when they speak to others. When we come across these curt people, it can be difficult to distinguish between their criticism and their constructive criticism, leaving us feeling hurt and annoyed by their comments. It is important to stay calm and think through the important points that the person has made, rather than immediately going on the offensive.

Criticism is everywhere, and it is so essential to growth—it’s important to learn how we can all deal with criticism and learn from it effectively. Eventually, there will also come a time when you are not only the recipient of criticism, but also the deliverer of it. Dishing criticism means you should be wary not only about how your words might make the other person feel, but also about how you can help someone else improve.

Use your experience.

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We all have prior experience receiving criticism. Whether we appreciated someone’s criticism of us, or felt hurt by their critical words, we can use our experience to inform how we provide criticism to others. If someone’s blunt method of communication didn’t sit well with you, don’t use that same method when giving criticism to other people.

Remember that everyone’s different.

At the same time, it is important to remember that everyone is different. Your method of interpreting and dealing with criticism might not be the same as someone else’s. It’s important to take each person's perspective into account.

Keep people’s best interests at heart.

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While criticism might evoke many different emotions in us, it is important to remember that the primary purpose of criticism should be to grow and to improve. When giving out criticism, remember to always keep people’s best interests at heart and to treat each person respectfully.

If failure is the mother of success, then criticism is the mother of progress. Without critical comments and constructive criticism, progress and development would not be possible. Both receiving and giving out criticism is inevitable, so learning both how to dish it and how to deal with it are crucial.