How to handle Criticism without being hurt


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.’ - F. Scott Fitzgerald. Show me a man with no critic or who is never criticized and I will show you a man who has achieved nothing and is worth nothing. If you are never corrected or criticized, and all you ever got were praises, its either you are resistant to correction or you are being ignored, or you are nothing. That is not an insult, it is just the reality. The bitter truth in life is that, whether you do good or not, people will complain anyway. 

No matter what you do in life, whether it is the best thing or the worst thing, you will just see people to downplay your effort and make it seems as if you did nothing. Anyway, the good thing is that people are singing your names on their lips because you are important and you matter one way or the other. So, we will quickly identify twelve important ways you can deal with criticism without noise, shout or fight. We also see ways criticisms can help you become the best you can be.

Not all criticisms are deadly or destructive. Truly, we have destructive criticisms as well as constructive criticisms. You listen to all but pick the ones you need. So, what are the best ways to deal with criticisms like someone that is matured;

#1 Listen to everyone though sometimes painful
According to the popular philosopher John Locke, ‘Madmen do not appear to me to have lost the faculty of reasoning, but having joined together some of the ideas very wrongly, they mistake them for truths...For, by the violence of their imaginations, having taken their fancies for realities, they make right deductions from them’. Not all criticisms will meet you well; some will irate you and some will almost want you to destroy things, but maturity comes in when you are able to sieve the ones you need from the ones you don’t need and vice versa. 

People act as if they love you but they don’t actually. When anybody calls your attention to a thing try and listen to the person until the person is through. It is left to you to adhere to the things he said if it is important and useful and to throw them away if they made no sense. But don’t chase critics away; else, you will only have sycophants and praise-singers around you who will tell you no truth even when you are almost in the grave.

#2 Accept good points when you see them
William Shakespeare says, ‘Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment’ Ability to filter the truths from the lies, the real ones from the fake is a great sign of maturity. Like earlier mentioned, there are good thoughts and bad thoughts, there are good ideas and bad ones, and there are the honest opinions and the dishonest ones, but when the real ones come, make use of them. Appreciate the people that are concerned about your well-being and are seriously interested in your success. They may not play with you or take it lightly with you as expected, but appreciate them. They are not just satisfied seeing you not exploring your potentials, do your best to accept and use good ideas when you see them.

#3 Admit your mistakes and learn from them
This point particularly has been over-flogged in different articles including Sacrifice: What you must lose to win, Consistency: Why still water runs deeper and many more. When you are fond of making mistakes and not learning from them, then you are going nowhere in life. ‘There are three ways by which we learn in life, one by imitation which is the easiest, two by reflection, which is the noblest and three by experience, which is the bitterest’. 

Have you chosen the first two to learn or you prefer the third. While the third may be the best way to learn, it wastes a lot of time. The major thing is that a mistake must not repeat itself, if it does, it becomes a blunder and it shows you are dull and will just never learn. Try your best in accepting your errors and mistakes learn from them and move on.

#4 You can respectfully disagree with people
We disagree to agree. Most times, some people don’t know how to say no to an opinion, rather, they flair up and demonize or denigrate other people’s opinion: it is either you accept their own opinion or no other opinion is accepted. Well, that is a big sign of immaturity. It takes a lot of wisdom to respect other people’s opinion. When somebody in a public or private forum gives an opinion different from yours, the best thing to do is to appreciate the person’s opinion and give reasons with respect why his opinion may not work in that particular situation. You should never condemn other people or their opinion even if they are younger than you or less in hierarchy.

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#5 Always know people don’t know what is best for you
There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil’ - A. N. Whitehead. People might give you opinion as if they know you or know what is good for you, but they don’t actually. They are only testing their guessing and counseling skills. It is not every time you take people’s opinion hook, line and sinker. If their opinion was that good, they should have used it to better their own lives. No matter how good or beautiful an opinion or a criticism is, always take your time to ruminate on it and come out with the best way to achieve a particular task.

#6 Only great people have critics
According to Jonathan Swift,Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent’. If you are not criticized, then you are nothing or you have no impact. That you still see people envy you, criticize you and call your attention to things means you are important, making waves, threatening or they love you and they can as well hate you. Just make sure you keep doing good. Always know criticisms will come, opinions will rise, there will be rifts, those that are happy at your success will be and those that are sad will also be. They don’t matter; you are the one that matters. It becomes a problem when people don’t even care about what you do; it is either they are fed up of you or you are a light weight.

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#7 Always know when you are right and when you are stubborn
According to Carolus Linnaeus, ‘He cared little about a man's appearance and therefore never answered those who wrote against him. He used to say, 'If I am wrong, I shall never win; if I am right, I shall be right as long as nature lasts.' It is advisable to learn when to delineate between believing in one’s own values thinking one is right, and just being obstinate or stubborn like a goat taken to be slaughtered. When you know you are right, stand on your opinion and beliefs without disrespecting that of others, but make sure you are right. When you are wrong and you still hold on to your beliefs, should you later find out you were wrong, you will look so stupid that you won’t even believe in yourself again not to talk of others believing in you.

#8 Never do personal attacks or insult people
People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise’ - Somerset Maugham. We have explained this earlier and it is a truth worthy of mention as much as possible. You can only criticize an opinion and not the owner of the opinion. Never you resort to direct or personal attacks at people just because you are not comfortable with what they said. If you do, it shows you are very weak and cannot handle pressure. Of course everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, why should an opinion move you like a mountain. If you can contain an opinion, then stay, if you can’t, ignore or take an excuse to leave. But never attack people personally, never go verbal and never go physical.

#9 You can understand a person without agreeing with them
John Dryden says, ‘If by the people you understand the multitude, the hoi polloi, 'tis no matter what they think; they are sometimes in the right, sometimes in the wrong; their judgment is a mere lottery.’ Opinions, criticisms, come in different forms. Sometimes, they can come in a beautiful package that we accept happily and they can come in disgusting bodies that we got so angry and forget our manners. However, whatever forms an opinion or criticism comes, respect it. It is not necessary you agree with all opinion or criticism, but try and understand every opinion. Don’t just answer blindly or dumbly, don’t give wrong answers to requests, always take your time to get the points of others before you give answers, this is very important.

#10 Criticism doesn’t destroy alone, it also builds up
Abuse is often of service. There is nothing so dangerous to an author as silence.’ - Samuel Johnson. Like we stated earlier, not all criticisms are deadly or destructive. We have both constructive criticisms and destructive criticisms. Always sieve the good ones from the bad ones. Some truly criticize you to make you feel bad of yourself, feel worthless, lose your confidence or self-esteem and to make them feel good. 

However, some criticize you and point you at your wrongs so you can make amendments and be a better person. They are not interested in your fall, but your ability to rise; they don’t want you destroyed, but they want you to build up. Therefore, don’t see criticisms as the same, some are what you actually need to be able to maximize your potentials.

#11 Always try to hear others’ opinion
Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt’ - Roger Bacon. No one is an island of knowledge. We are all striving to know every day and the truth is that we can’t know all and we can’t see all. There are just some things you can’t see that others see. A lamp doesn’t see its own base as well as a lantern or a candle. You might not see your own reflection, others can help you to do that and that is why they are there. Always hear people’s opinion in matters. It doesn’t mean you adhere to it, obey it or follow it, it only means you wish to see the things you can’t see. That is the only way to be better than who you used to be.

#12 keep trying to learn to adapt to criticism
And lastly, according to Ellen Swallow Richards, ‘If you keep your feathers well-oiled, the water of criticism will run off as from a duck's back’. Yes, learn to adapt to criticism. If you don’t, you won’t go far in life. Always know and remember that no matter how good you can be to everybody, no matter how much you sacrifice to make everybody happy and even if you laid your life so others can live, they will still talk bad and good about you. 

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You only feel disappointed when you expect so much from people, when you expect them all to praise you or when you expect them all to appreciate you; it is just not possible. But when you expect nothing from people or you know no matter the good thing you did for them, they might praise you or criticize you, then when they praise you, you feel good, and when they criticize you, you don’t feel bad likewise.

So in all, criticism is for matured people to handle, those that appreciate growing up and those that want to continue to shatter their own records. We hope you have learnt one thing or the other. Please don’t forget to share and as well make use of it.

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