How to Respond to Destructive Criticism
We know for a fact that we will come across difficult people. Difficult people come with a lot of toxicity and make life miserable for all of us. This unfortunately means you’ll come across people who offer destructive criticism.
To be clear, not all criticism is bad criticism. Sometimes we’re offered healthy/constructive criticism by people who consider the entire picture, and this can be helpful. I suppose that’s why people refer to it as constructive criticism.
But that’s not what we’re talking about today.
Today I’m going to focus on negative criticism, often named destructive criticism. This is criticism that is entirely personal, inaccurate and does not offer any insights on how to improve.
I don’t doubt that we can handle this, ladies. But sometimes we may be having a bad day when this happens. This post is meant to remind us how we can deal with destructive criticism when it shows its ugly head.
Ready? Let’s get to it:
It’s Not About You
When you’re mindful, compassionate and forgiving of yourself you quickly catch onto poor criticism. Someone might call you the “b” word and other nasty things; but when you know who you are, you begin to see that you’re not the problem.
Difficult people have issues to deal with, and when they become overwhelmed by these issues, they try and make it everyone else’s problem. Sometimes that comes through as destructive criticism. Bad critics need you to feel bad about yourself so they feel good about themselves.
Of course, I would prefer we don’t listen when someone is saying unhelpful things or trying to undermine us. But there are times when we don’t have a choice in the matter. When we work with people like this and they keep coming at us.
When things start getting out of control, have a private conversation with them — preferably when they’re free. Tell them how their approach is not helping and how you would prefer them to provide their criticism. Tell them which areas you wish for them to focus on (work related) and which areas aren’t okay (your fashion sense, for example)
This doesn’t always work, sometimes the other person chooses to make a scene. The key here is to not follow suit. We’re better than that.
If you’ve been direct, offering the other person a chance to do better and they choose to become worse. You’ll be in unique a position where you know everything you need to know about them:
They’re not worth listening to.
Don’t take it to heart
It’s difficult, I know. Sometimes we want to just lash out at whoever is giving us trouble, but we should learn to brush off destructive criticism. The are no winners and losers when dealing with destructive criticism. If you entertain this mess of toxicity, there will only be losers.
And I’ll be the first to remind you that we’re better than that.
Give yourself a Pep-talk
There are times we won’t have a choice in the amount of destructive criticism we get; toxic personalities are everywhere. You can be sure, particularly in workplaces, that you’ll have to deal with people you find unbearable. I would encourage being as far away from these people as possible, sadly that’s not always an option.
When you now know you’re dealing with people that give destructive criticism, it helps to give yourself a pep-talk. Remind yourself of the types of people you’re dealing with and it becomes easier to navigate through them. It’s when we keep hoping things will change that we end up feeling disappointed.
The pep-talk should also be used after you’ve dealt with destructive criticism. Remind yourself of your worth and talent. Remind yourself of how amazing and capable you are. Do it yourself, and do it often, because we all know no one will do it for us.
Take care, Ladies.
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