August: Five tips for dealing with critics

Let's talk about critics. We all have them. They can be as close as the person across the breakfast table or as distant as an anonymous nasty “tweet.” I’m talking about critics. People who love to judge, criticize, and sneer at anything you’re doing, wearing, saying, and being.

 Here’s a hard truth: not everyone is going to love you. You will inevitably have critics no matter what you do. But there are things you can do to shield yourself.

Consider these 5 tips to dealing with critics to help you stay strong and move on!

 1. Don’t you just love it when someone says, “Can I offer you a suggestion?” Your back goes up because you don’t know what the comment will be. Performance appraisals have a positive intent. They are meant to foster growth. But critics don’t. If the words make you second-guess yourself, step away from the comment to avoid spiraling into self-doubt. Clear you head, refocus on your goals and proceed moving forward. As they say—don’t take it personally.

 2. Try to listen with an open mind to what they’re saying. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you agree. It just means you hear the possibilities. There might be something you can learn beneath the criticism.

 3. Look for opportunities to grow. One word from another person can start an explosive chain reaction of thoughts. A critic’s words may help you discover buried treasure…or, at the very least, another way of looking at a situation.

 4. If the criticism is connected to any of the E words (emotion, envy or ego), separate the message from the messenger and take another look to analyze what’s being shared. It may contain just what you need to clear that next hurdle or avoid a future stumbling block.

 5. Never react! Always respond. Saying something like, “You may be right” or “I’ll consider your point of view” or “I hadn’t thought of it that way.” These are better than quick reactions like “How stupid do you think I am? Don’t you think I’ve already thought of that?” 

 Lastly – if the criticism is not coming from a positive intent, LET IT GO  and then GO ON MAKING YOUR MARK & MAKING IT COUNT!