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How to Take Criticism Constructively

How to Take Criticism Constructively

In my writing journey, I’ve had the pleasure of both working with critics and writing quite a few criticisms myself. Every lifehack I write is especially critiqued, and I can thank the entire editing staff here for making my writing sparkle (even on the days when I want to slack soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad). No matter what you do in life, you’ll be criticized for it, and the louder you do it, the more criticism you’ll get. Change your perspective on haters by learning how to take criticism constructively…

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    1. Truth Hurts.

    You’re not perfect at everything, and you don’t need a trophy for going to the bathroom without missing. This doesn’t mean you don’t put in your best effort, and when people offer you better methods, accept that your way isn’t always the best. Sometimes things have to be said, and if this is the first time you’ve heard it, it’s probably because this is the first time someone cared enough to tell you. Feel the love…

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    2. Crittin’ Ain’t Easy.

    Gamers know there are tradeoffs between crits and attack/movement speed. The idea is everyone wants to hit as hard and fast as possible, but you have to balance the two to your style in order to truly win the war. Taking criticism hits hard, and you want to produce work as fast as possible to achieve your goals, but accepting that criticism, working through it with the critic, and resolving your issues quickly will raise the amount of hits you produce and your lifetime overall DPS.

    3. All I’m Asking for Is Understanding.

    Understand where people are coming from when both taking and giving criticism. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, a little compassion for the other side will ensure they know you’re on the same side and agreement is much easier than fighting. It also helps to research what the other person is saying (and perhaps gather stats to show their side instead of yours) in order to understand where they’re coming from. The quicker you start working with critics, the easier your life will be.

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    4. Figuratively Give It a Shot.

    Don’t shoot the messenger; instead give their message a shot. Maybe they’re right, and maybe they’re wrong, but the only way you’ll ever know is by trying it out. If the criticism is truly constructive, the critic will be willing to show you the correct way by giving more than just examples of other people’s work. A real critic rolls up their sleeves and produces what they’re trying to get you to produce. If you like how it changes your work, incorporate their suggestions moving forward.

    5. Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back.

    Just because someone is an expert doesn’t always mean they’re right; this is especially true in creative pursuits. A video editor, for example, will tell you how important it is to have multiple camera angles, but Kevin Smith made Clerks without them. Rules are meant to be broken, but keep in mind, sometimes you really are just bad at something. Just because you said something doesn’t mean it’s entitled to be heard. You need to get on your grind, son.

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    6. Bluntness Is Best.

    Everybody hates those who sugar coat things. I love hearing blunt and direct problems people have with me. It helps me understand how to better communicate with those I love (or play up the things that annoy the hell out of those I don’t). People would much rather hear you say, “I don’t like the way you click your nails when you talk,” than, “You should watch how you present yourself.”

    7. The Facts of Life.

    If someone really doesn’t like what you have to offer (or you, yourself), then there’s nothing you can do to change their mind – focus on the people who do like it instead. Don’t get too caught up in everyone liking you, because it’ll affect your self-worth in unexpected ways. Remember that real constructive criticism is based on a process you’re following. It’s not you or them that’s the problem; it’s the process.

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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