In Others’ Words: Criticism
“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.” ~Unknown
In the past, I paid entirely too much attention to critics. Sure, there were some people ready to let me know where I’d been less-than, not enough, or a full-out failure.
And then there was … me. I was more than ready to criticize myself.
Here’s what I’ve learned about criticism: There’s always someone ready to criticize. I’d rather be the person to encourage, to motivate, to offer the atta’ boy (or atta’ girl.) Even so, I’m enough of a realist to know criticism happens. I like this oh-so-wise person’s approach to criticism in four easy steps:
- Pay no attention to untrue criticism. And realize there’s a lot of false “shoulda’, woulda’, coulda'” thrown at you.
- Realize sometimes criticism is unjust. Throw that little hissy fit in the privacy of your bedroom and get over it.
- Don’t forget the criticizer may be wrong. Remember this: People (you) look really smart when they keep their mouths shut. (Proverbs 17:28) So, let that gal (or guy) be wrong — and you be smart.
- (Wo)man up and accept that the criticism is on the mark. (Ouch!) But don’t beat yourself up with the feedback — learn from it. If need be, take a day or two and then unpack it.
In Your Words: How did you handle criticism the last time it came your way — #1, #2, #3 or #4? Or do you have another approach to handling criticism?