How to Respond to Criticism – 3 Ways to Handle it

Tips for how to handle criticism in everyday situations.

A major downside to putting yourself out there with an idea or opinion is that someone will always have something negative to say. In my own experiences, I’ve found that this can be a crushing, but manageable situation that requires the proper response.

There are several ways you can deal with negative reactions to your beliefs, and if you properly handle these criticisms, you might just be able to get through unscathed.

1. Assess

Estimate the person who is criticizing your opinion or idea. Do they have any credibility with you? For example, the person in question may be a very intelligent, well-spoken individual, but they may also be unqualified to contribute a meaningful reply to your opinion. Don’t take these types of criticisms too seriously.

That said, if this person is a close confidant, such as a friend or family member, then you should move on to the next tip in this list. This is especially important if the naysayer is your employer or a colleague.

2. Impress

You have to remember that when someone calls out your idea, this is more of an opportunity than a bad situation. It is a chance to use this criticism as a catalyst for improving your opinion. Perhaps your employer shoots down your idea for a new project. He or she may have done so because your strategy was poorly constructed and needs to be sharpened.

From there, you can build your idea to impress. In your personal life, a family member may disagree with your opinion concerning a very sensitive topic. Use their rebuttal as a way to study your own view and determine a better reason for why you have it. In these cases, it isn’t even necessary to deliberately confront the person again. Use the experience to your advantage and forget about egoistic agendas.

3. Progress

Sometimes, you just need to let it go and move on. Agreeing to disagree may be a horrible cliche, but it is rightfully the best way to deal with criticism that you do not agree with. In some cases, you may be wrong, so it is wise to accept it and grow. Maybe you were right, but there is no hope in convincing the critic. These are the times when you need to let it go and focus on other, more valuable opinions.

Recommended Reading:

“Assertive Communication: Responding to People Who are Intimidating.”