Has anyone ever said you’re defensive against criticisms? It is as if an universal truth that criticism is a good thing but when in face of it, we cannot help and our defensive mechanism startles.
In fact, it is natural that one is inclined to repulse criticism. Famously known, our brains are wired with a fight-or-flight response. When we encounter with danger, in this case, criticisms, some of us want to flee away while some want to fight back. But after all, it is important to know that there are many benefits lying beneath criticism. If we can restrain our natural tendency, we will gladly accept criticisms and get closer to success.
Criticism guides you to the next level.
Think in this way, criticism is helping you to improve, not to insult you or drag you behind.
It is not outrageous to compare us to lost stars: we are all finding the path in the dark. It is usual to feel lost sometimes. It indeed takes courage to admit that we still have many things to learn. No one is perfect, as the old saying goes.
On this journey of seeking, criticism serves as milestones reflecting our progress, where we are now. And we need these signals to grow. Imagine we are designing a product, or writing an article, or engaging in a relation, without any feedback reminding us, how would we know if we’re on the right track or not?
Criticism gives us the information we need in order to prevail on every aspect of life.
Criticism helps you to connect with others deeper.
We all have our own stories. We receive different education, or come from different backgrounds. That is what makes us unique, but also makes us impossible to fully understand each other.
There is inherently a wall between human-beings. Nonetheless, we can smash this wall if we want.
Communication is a good way to understand each other better, and positive criticism is an effective form of communication. Positive criticism informs us what others’ impression on us is, and from this we know how to be a better person.
It is better to treat criticisms as an open invitation to a deeper relationship. Realize that it also takes others’ courage to criticize us. If they do not weigh this relationship heavily, they will not venture to give us the criticism.
Thus, treasure every criticism given by others, reflect on that, and take it as an opportunity to connect deeper with others.
We live in an unhealthy culture that does not encourage criticisms.
Somehow in today’s world, open criticism is a taboo. When one tries to give criticism, he or she also has to accompany it with 20 praises.
And eventually, the one who criticizes others is hated and thought to be picky, a black sheep. But that is not a healthy environment, we do need criticisms to grow.
Don’t be a praise seeker if you want to succeed.
Imaginably, living in this culture, we all turn to be a praise seeker. We are hungry for praise, and if we are criticized, we become unhappy.
For this phenomenon, there’s a term in psychology called confirmation bias. Confirmation bias basically means the tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our own beliefs, while giving excessively less consideration to alternative possibilities.
Criticism is the key to success.
Given the benefits brought along by criticism, it is at our loss to ignore, deny, or even fight against them. Yes, criticism can be harsh to our ears, yet its value is unquestionable. When facing criticisms, think of the benefits it has instead of being driven by our tendency to defend against it.
Featured photo credit: Daniel McFadden / Sony Pictures Classics / Everett via newyorker.com