How to Handle Criticism in a Productive Way
Hello ladies and gentlemen of Hive! Welcome to my blog 😊
I invite @ninahaskin to this weeks contest
I would like to answer question one for this weeks Ladies of Hive Community Contest #85. I have dealt with criticism from all angles. This is my advice on how to deal with as well as dish out criticism in a more positive way. We all have an opinion. Are you willing to offer a solution when you notice someone else is failing? Is your self-esteem strong enough to receive criticism that is intended to help you grow? How should you respond when you realize someone's criticism is malicious? As we learn to overcome criticism when it comes at us, we must also learn to subdue how criticism comes from us. We never know what someone else is going through unless we try to first understand.
Question #1: How do you handle corrections or criticisms from other people?
Criticism can harm
I'm a people pleaser, so I often take everything personal. I know this is not a healthy attribute and I'm working on that. I started to realize that this unhealthy part of my personality was due to low self-esteem. Increasing confidence in my abilities and self worth through talk therapy has helped tremendously, but I'm still working on it every single day.
I try my best to see criticism as an opportunity to grow and learn. I also try to understand what the critics motivation is, because sometimes criticism is meant to harm. No one likes their inadequacy pointed out, but we must try to remain calm when someone gives their opinion, whether it is constructive or not. Emotions can cloud our judgement and make the situation worse.
"Criticism (noun): the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything." - dictionary.com
Back in March, someone pointed out that one of my blog posts here on Hive was "spurned". I didn't understand what that meant and immediately did a Google search. It means rejected or declined. I learned that my writing was on the edge of plagiarism. In my defense, I had been under a tremendous amount of stress. I probably shouldn't have been writing, but it was helping me focus on something other than my stress.
It turns out, I had not used my own words in describing a concept and my reference was not clearly cited. I received my first down-votes since joining Hive in January 2022. I was heartbroken. I quickly started correcting the issue. This was a vital learning experience for me on so many levels. I am now very meticulous in my writing and citing my resources. I greatly appreciated this constructive criticism. It helped me grow to be a better writer. I have also learned to slow down and not respond with emotion.
Online criticism can be alarming
In 2018, researchers in Texas "evaluated constructive criticism models using focus group interviews with undergraduate students." (How to Handle Criticism Like a Pro - greatist.com). These scientists determined three essential points that make negative feedback constructive. You can read the publication in Thinking Skills and Creativity on sciencedirect.com here.
This short list can help determine if your critic is trying to harm you or help you grow:
Is the critic sympathetic? Be careful when offering criticism. It can hurt someone if compassion is absent. Criticism should come from a place of respect.
Is the criticism explicit? Constructive criticism should be specific and offer clear instructions on how to improve. The critic should be willing to guide you in your growth.
Is there equality? Criticism should support the receiver's attitude and ambition. Our willingness to improve is motivated by a favorable attitude which can lead to greater productivity.
Criticism can cause unhappiness
If someone has ever hurt your feelings with criticism, do you remember how you responded? Did you become sad and unhappy, angry and distant, or grateful and empowered? The way someone comes at us and the way we respond are both important aspects of this expression. If someone is constantly criticizing you, minimize your time with them or cut them off completely. This boundary can be a significant factor in boosting self-esteem.
If the criticism is genuinely constructive, acting on correcting the issue will quickly build trust and empower you to keep growing. You can learn to sift through all kinds of criticism as well as how to give it compassionately. Just remember, always respond calmly and don't let it get you down. Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff! Peace 😇
"Kobe Bryant (RIP) holds the record for missed shots in the NBA. Getting it wrong is absolutely fine, and a willingness to do so and learn is what makes people great." - greatist.com
Don't let criticism get you down