The Art Of Ignoring Criticism

The Art Of Ignoring Criticism

We are all going to receive some form of criticism, regardless of what we do and how we conduct ourselves – this is an inescapable fact of life!

For some people this can be a crushing process which takes a long time to get over – for some people specific criticism badly affects how they conduct themselves and can have a lasting impact.

To be able to respond to criticism with dignity and detachment is an important life skill, especially so in management positions, where criticism will come thick and fast, even in successful times.

A solid approach to dealing with criticism is above all else to recognise that most criticism is probably based, at least in part, on some truths. Criticism may appear negative, and can be hurtful, BUT it does provide us with some feedback on how we perform and how we come across to others – the trick is to take criticism as a review point and to learn and improve from the experience.

Points to consider when you are being given some criticism:

  1. . Respond to the criticism but not the tone of the criticism.

The problem is that people may make valuable critical suggestions. Tone and style of delivery often gets in the way of the message which we can learn from: what we remember most however is the way it was put across to us. If this was a confrontational situation, then the key message is further buried and harder to respond to. Filter out the emotion of the process and focus upon the content of the message.

  1. See criticism as valuable and worthwhile.

Subconsciously we only ever look for praise – something to justify our actions and choices against a backdrop of uncertainty and confusion. Praise is addictive as it gives us comfort and happiness. Initially criticism has the opposite effect as it makes us unhappy, miserable even. The problems is that if we only ever received praise there would be no opportunity for self-development and self-growth and we would make no actual progress. Constructive critics is the fastest way of improving what we do.

  1. Be objective – it’s not personal!

Being personally offended by critics is natural but very unhealthy. People will criticise you for your actions but this is all about those actions, not you in your work role or personal practices! There is nothing personal in here so you need to recognise this and use the information to change the way in which you are doing things, but not you as a person.

  1. Remember there will always be False Criticism coming your way!

Sometimes we are criticised with no justification. Here you must remain calm and ignore criticism that you know to be unwarranted! What you must do is to recognise that the content of the message has no value and deal with the content accordingly. By fighting against this you are giving the message energy and credence that it does not deserve.

  1. Never Respond Immediately

It is best to wait a little before responding. A quick reaction here is dangerous and you may well regret the process as a calmer head would be the best course of action. Patience is best!


Good Luck!

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