If we consider the actions that most cause offense, then criticism is in second place after cheating. Criticism haunts a person from early childhood. Gently (or harshly) parents scold, then it is done by teachers, teachers in high school, bosses. In the most prosperous family, no-no and yes, there are condemning tirades from each of the spouses. Criticism is most often unexpected; the result is an insult, a decrease in self-esteem, depression. You can’t get away from criticism, Aristotle said: “So that you are not condemned, you must be silent all the time, do nothing, and be nobody at all.” How to properly respond to criticism, so as not to suffer from resentment and benefit from it?
A small excursion into the definition of criticism
Criticism, according to classical dictionaries, is divided into two types:
- Analysis, judgment of something followed by an objective assessment.
- A negative statement with the aim to bring to public view the shortcomings of the opponent, or to point out the shortcomings personally, without witnesses.
That is, it turns out that criticism can be good! It happens that by opening the section “Critics’ Opinion about the film”, and there you can read only positive information. Alas, this is rarely the case, basically, the goal of this action is to “rip off covers”, pull the negative out.
The ancient wise men considered criticism always destructive for a person and did not advise against doing so in relation to people. “There are dark spots on the moon, but, despite them, the moon is still shining bright and clear,” they said. Another statement by the ancients: “No matter how you condemn a person, nor speak about his faults, poking at him with one finger, three others will point at you.” This means – before criticizing the other, first learn to look at yourself objectively.
In Christianity, the negative assessment of other people’s actions was also always condemned: “When you see the devil in another person, you can stop seeing God in yourself.” And this is correct: to react violently to other people’s shortcomings does not mean to behave correctly, it is better to help in silence than to paint a person’s bad sides.
There are people who have found for themselves an easy way to raise self-esteem – to criticize others. They see every “grain of sand in a strange eye,” notice the slightest flaw in the others. Often such individuals go to the fraud, invent non-existent reasons for condemnation from scratch. How to adequately assess the criticism in your address and learn to see such an injustice?
When criticism is knowingly false or not objective
- If you are one hundred percent satisfied with what the other person is trying to criticize. For example, if they say that a woman is fat and ugly, but she is confident in her attractiveness and happy with her figure. Or someone condemns your religious beliefs, considers it stupid or harmful, and you sincerely think that you live correctly.
- When a person who speaks negatively towards you is a frank enemy. Hate, envy almost always cause a desire to say something offensive. With such personalities, it is best to keep communication to a minimum so as not to give an extra reason to “throw mud at it”.
- The reason for the sharp criticism is the desire to shake your self-confidence and achieve some kind of selfish goals. This may be a competitor for work, a rival in heart matters – they are loudly discussing your alleged shortcomings and just waiting for you to be upset and make a mistake.
- The desire to let out negative emotions: “I feel bad, but she feels good, so I’ll say something offensive, let her be hard too.” A terrible habit, but it happens often and is perceived by the “subject” of critics as painful – who is nice when they try to ruin your mood from scratch?
- Criticism of a loved one – the desire to attract attention. For example, a husband criticizes his wife for monotonous dinners or poor house cleaning, if she used to sit at home and naturally blew specks of dust from him, and suddenly went to work. She has time to cook dinner (maybe without the intricate pies), she follows the house (well, she washes the windows not every other day, but once a week), and he starts grumbling. Yes, it is just a shame to the person that they now give him less attention.
They dealt with obviously unfair criticism, but what about the one that seems to be objective?
How to respond to criticism and benefit from it
To perceive the analysis of “flights” must first of all calmly. Panic, anger, hysterics – all this is stale in the mind and does not help in assessing what you are told. It is possible that the comments are correct in the case. Do not give in to the first emotions, if criticism causes very strong anger – slowly inhale and exhale, count the vases on the shelf, clouds in the sky (or something else that caught your eye). And of course, you cannot begin to shout and look in the interlocutor counter-flaws.
Do you think that criticism is unfounded? Ask to clarify, detail, constructively substantiate the claim. The boss says that you work too slowly, and you think the opposite? Let him say what specific work you have done not fast enough. The husband blames the inability to cook? Ask to name exactly the dish, which (in his opinion) is unsuitable.
The third follows from the second: make sure that the one who criticizes you is completely competent. It is ridiculous, if the mother-in-law, who had never held a dough in her hands, smashed your cakes to pieces. But if she cooks them at the highest level, then to her words: “The filling is dry, there is little salt, you can add pepper,” you can already listen.
Make sure that the “critique” in the field of criticism works for you. For example, a girlfriend came to visit you after childbirth and wrinkles her nose with displeasure: “How fat you are and your chest – well, it’s just indecently huge!” And all the relatives and neighbors who are amazed at your blooming mind – have they conspired to lie? Hardly.
Learn to correctly perceive the truth, no matter how offensive it is. Use criticism as an aid – they pointed out mistakes to you, now you know about them for sure and can fix them. “Expensive egg for Christ’s day,” a just correct remark is also priceless.
Take care of your self-esteem and try to easily take notes of unfamiliar or unauthorized people, even if the criticism is correct at first glance. It is not necessary to be offended and start crying if a new employee on the first day “cuts the truth-womb” about your boring clothes, pale make-up, and unfashionable shoes. “The dog barks – the wind blows,” – a rough popular wisdom, but very appropriate in this case.
Agree (without subservience) if you see a sincere desire to help. Expressing gratitude for timely criticism, you will not only respond to criticism correctly but also have a friend. A person, who always corrects himself in time, will tell about an error – the best colleague and comrade.
Think about it: what if criticism helps to become better? One person, if they say to him: “You are a“brake”, you do it badly and slowly,” he will simply inflate and continue to do it as before. And the other will shake up and try to change.
And most importantly – do not strive fanatically to the ideal, no matter how silly it may sound! Yes, there is a criticism of the case, it helps to see the flaws and avoid mistakes. But if a person is self-sufficient, self-confident, then he will respond to criticism calmly, with a smile. Yes, I am not a movie star, but my husband loves me and I am pleased with my appearance, dear friends. Dad and Mom, I understand that I did not justify your hopes and did not give birth to you five grandsons, but I feel good about one. Dear Chef, I was late last week, but this will not happen again, and today I actually came an hour earlier! Love yourself and try to treat others like yourself when you want to criticize them: remember that there are no absolutely correct people, and mistakes are never too late to correct.