Accepting Criticism An issue For You? For me it was. For a long time, I shielded under the cover of “sensitivism”. I reacted & defended, had mood swings and felt unhappy for a long period of time.
Then the understanding of human behavior (especially my own) started to make sense. I learnt that somebody else’s criticism is not a reflection of my entire character. It was only related to a part of service that I had offered them, or some action that they witnessed. They were the same people who had praised me in past, or were nice to me otherwise. So the mind started identifying the situations, which weren’t plenty. This led me to make a five step plan. While it wasn’t possible for me to use all the steps together, I just made it a point to remember them at the right moment and try the best option.
- I learnt that not every situation demanded a prompt action, and that sometimes, it was on me to control it. Learning this helped me to control my reaction time, gave me more than a few moments to think, and plan my response accordingly
- I stopped defending myself. It helped to break my ego and accept others’ point-of-view gracefully as doing so was not only an act of futility, but also proved that I had done something wrong. Instead, I began using the feeling of “free spirit”, realized that I’m an adult who lives in the land of the free, and acted like it.
- Gave in to ignite the introspective mood. I accepted that nothing is perfect, and I only needed to work a little more to get closer to it. There was a lot to be thankful for, and counting my blessings helped to lift the spirits.
- Informed the criticizer that I was aware of the underlying causes, and showed that I cared about improving myself. It helped me gain myself confidence, and brush aside the comments that weren’t given in the right spirit or motive.
- Read the feedback about others –authors, artists, actors, public figures, companies- no one was actually free from criticism. At some point or other, each one of them had to deal with unfavorable responses (most of the time in complete public glare). It taught me that no one actually cares, and the best way to deal with any form of criticism was to move forward.
Now, it’s been sometime that I’ve let anyone’s criticism hurt me. Though the journey to achieving complete inner calm is on-the-way, I feel proud of improving myself day-by-day. There’s a lot to be done still, sort jumbled emotions, and so the effort is still on.