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Dealing with Non-Constructive Criticism

Dealing with Non-Constructive Criticism

The human ego is at once both an incredibly powerful and terribly fragile beast.

With a swift boost, it can will us over seemingly insurmountable obstacles that we would have otherwise struggled with. Yet with an equally as swift kick to the temple, it can drag us down into feelings of despair and self-pity, preventing us from achieving what’s important to us.

That’s why it’s important to keep a regular check on our ego, especially when it comes to unjust shcriticism.

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Haven’t we all heard the tales of people criticized by friends, peers and maybe even overbearing parents to such an extent that they grew up believing themselves to be as worthless, weak or stupid as those around them had said they were.

If we hope to achieve anything in life, we must prevent criticism from holding us back to the point that even though we may see the opportunities that lay ahead, we don’t believe ourselves to be good enough, or strong enough, or smart enough to pursue them.

Dealing with Non-Constructive Criticism

We’re not talking about utilizing constructive criticism, and using feedback to further improve a piece of work or, in some cases, a piece of ourselves.

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Though some people don’t even handle that very well, what we’re really talking about here is the unfair, unjust, often harsh criticism that often takes the form of a personal attack. Though such attacks can be hurtful or otherwise detrimental, it is possible to handle them with the kind of care, which ensures that not only does our ego survive unharmed; our self-esteem can actually be bolstered by harsh words. All it takes it to look at these attacks with a different perspective and ask ourselves a couple of questions.

  • Is this really an attack, or are we taking constructive criticism too personally?

Let’s face it; there are a lot of people out there who just aren’t the world’s greatest communicators. They probably meant to give us some helpful advice or feedback from which we could actually use, but they went about it an altogether unhelpful fashion.

Or maybe they did mean to attack or insult us, and yet somewhere in their words, we can find a glimmer of truth. Give some thought to the underlying message of the ‘attack’ and see if you can’t glean something positive from it.

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  • If it is constructive criticism, what can we gain from it?

Is there something we can learn? Something we can utilize to improve a project or a personal attribute?

  • If it’s merely an outright attack, why?

‘They’re just jealous’ often seems like a childish response to criticism, but half the time it’s actually a reasonable response. It isn’t uncommon for people to feel threatened by another’s success or happiness. Nor is it particularly unreasonable to suggest that some folks feel a certain resentment towards others because they struggle to understand a person’s motives or ambitions. Their view of the world struggles to comprehend that of another individual and they feel like they need to attack or demean that person until he or she comes around to their way of thinking. This is entirely unhealthy of course, but it happens.

You could try talking to your aggressor, not necessarily to win them over to your way of thinking, but at least to help them understand that your success, happiness, or way of life detracts nothing from theirs. They are free to do whatever makes them happy just as you are.

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If that fails, it may simply be necessary to strengthen your resolve. You know in your heart and in the pit of your gut that what you’re doing is the right thing for you. Providing the only way you’re hurting this other person is in a manner made up entirely in their own mind, you can carry on safe in the knowledge that your ego and self-esteem remain balanced.

With that, you can safely overcome those insurmountable obstacles and seize those all-important opportunities remaining confident that you are indeed good enough as you are, yet always remaining willing to improve at the behest of fair, constructive criticism.

Featured photo credit:  Closeup of many fingers pointing at man via Shutterstock

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Chris Skoyles

Writer, coach, and trainee counsellor specialising in mental health and addiction.

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

The Top 10 Dating Apps That You Won’t Regret Downloading

The Top 10 Dating Apps That You Won’t Regret Downloading

Online dating is getting much more popular these days and now, plenty hard to avoid. Since Tinder and the wave of new apps that are coming out at a seemingly constant rate, it is becoming that much more popular to meet someone online.

So we have put together the top 10  dating apps that you should be ready  to download in 2015.

10. Tangle

Basically a newer version of Missed Connections Craigslist, it matches you with people you walk by who are on the same app, and then if you both like each other, you can contact each other. It’s as simple and fun as Tinder, once you happen to walk by someone you actually like.

tangle

    9. The Dating Ring

    This one is a professional matchmaking service that takes you out of the dating situation. For the more busy daters out there, it’s a great resource, as they seem to take the work out if to for you and you can then relax and get set up on dates as opposed to doing the research up front.

    The price is per date or monthly subscription.

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    dating ring

      8. Ok Cupid

      A traditional site, but also an oldie and a goodie. Although you can be swarmed with many creeper messages, there are still a handful of quality users on the site that can make all the bad ones seem so much less important.

      You can search for people based on your preferences, get a match of the day, and see who is online. OkCupid also offers in-person single event mixers, which are a great way to actually get out of the house and date more, once you’re ready.

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        7. The Grade

        This new app measures you as an eligible date based on a grade. It grades on a scale of A to F, based on things like your messages and pictures.

        It’s a great way to weed out the creeper messages that women tend to get more, but also promotes better online dating behavior and not hiding behind a profile.

        the grade

          6. Siren

          Siren is a Q&A platform and based on the answers to the questions the women asks, she can then control who can see them in the app. It also features a question of the day, to which users can answer and see each other’s answers to generate conversations.

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          Finally, for women, there’s the feature of a “siren call,” which allows for an announcement to basically call out to all the gentlemen in the app.  It’s a unique app, but the whole idea of submitting questions before you see the female user behind the question is not the best motivation to keep playing if your matches end up being someone you are attracted too.

          Siren

            5. Coffee Meets Bagel

            Here, you get a ‘bagel’ match a day based on your personal preferences. If you both end up liking each other, a private chat is set up that expires after a week.

            Coffee Meet Bagel lets you focus on one match a day as opposed to many many matches to sift through. Although it isn’t as high frequency as Tinder, for example, it is typically for more serious daters and people generally seem more engaged on the app.

            There are less things to worry about and no more multitasking!

            CMB

              4. Tinder

              The one that inspired and started making online dating cooler. Swipe right to like a profile, swipe left to pass.

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              And should you choose, you can connect with the users that only swipe right. Yes, Tinder can feature many creepy users and people only looking for hook ups, but it’s fun, easy and addicting to use.

              tinder

                3. Bumble

                A women-centric new app that launched this past Fall, Bumble is similar to the Tinder format except that women need to make the first move 24 hours after a match is made or the connection disappears forever.

                So far a great app with a good design, and since it launched internationally, you can end up matching with someone across the country. A great way to filter through the empty swipes and bots.

                bumble

                  2. Hinge

                  Less random than Tinder, Hinge users only get matched with friends of friends, which seems like a safer and cooler way to match than with random people. It also limits the amount of matches you get per day based on your network, which weeds out the many bots that are becoming ever so normal on Tinder.

                  You also get to see a match’s education and work upfront. Then, you rate the match and the app sends you an introduction if it’s mutual.

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                    1. The Catch

                    Finally, something different than the Tinder wanna-be instant swipe. The Catch appears as a cross between “The Bachelorette” and “The Dating Game.”

                    Women are in the driving seat where they invite a group of men to play a Q&A game and narrow down the men contestants based on the guys’ answers. The combination of online gaming mechanics and the ‘thrill-of-the-chase’ attraction of real world dating provide a fundamentally more fun and entertaining way to find a match online.

                    And what’s more, men don’t need to spend hours and hours sorting through profiles and messaging women who don’t reply back. Instead, here they are invited to a game and get daily engagement that isn’t the old “swipe,” while women get to ask questions they care about the answers to, as opposed to a stock questionnaire.

                    thecatch.co

                      Featured photo credit: none via eu.fotolia.com

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