How to deal with criticism
Approval from others is something we all like but excessively needing approval does make it more difficult to cope with criticism. The less we need approval from others, the easier it is to be true to ourselves and live life according to our own values.
Being overly concerned with approval often arises from an inner sense of being flawed or feeling unworthy. The long term consequences of always accommodating and pleasing others is not getting your own basic needs met.
Don’t take criticism personally, people often project their own issues on to others. Be aware of how you interpret the feedback from others. Evaluate the source of the criticism. Does this person know enough about you to even be criticising you in the first place? Is this person speaking rationally or emotionally?
Ask for details. Don’t accept a vague judgement.
Decide whether the criticism has validity. If the criticism is valid, use it to learn from rather than blaming yourself negatively. We all make mistakes. Valid criticism is constructive and is aimed at a specific behaviour, it shouldn’t be aimed at a person’s character.
Good affirmations to use:
Criticism is a good opportunity to learn something.
This criticism concerns a few of my actions, not my entire being.
Although this criticism feels uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean that I am totally rejected or disapproved of.
Criticism can be embraced as a good thing. Being defensive will possibly ruin a good opportunity to apply useful feedback from others. See it in this spirit and criticism might end up being something you actually enjoy!