“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Aristotle
Let’s face it, it’s hard to receive criticism.
But it’s helpful to see that criticism is actually good – as long as you listen to it.
It’s a sign you’re doing things. If you never receive criticism, it’s more than likely you have been playing things down the middle, refusing to take a stance or voice an opinion. That may be safe, but it’s not a very compelling nor commanding position.
Criticism opens us up to seeing our blind spots. In our day to day, we don’t tend to get much feedback. Thus, we go about seeing the world and our actions through our own eyes exclusively. Receiving criticism provides us with different perspectives which helps us see the world and ourselves more holistically.
It helps us improve. It’s important to recognize that, no matter how good we think we are, nobody is perfect – and everything, and everyone, can be improved. When someone provides you with criticism, make sure you understand the feedback. And then consider if, and more importantly, how you plan your self-improvement.
It keeps us humble. There’s one other side-benefit to getting criticism – we are forced to show some humility. We’re not perfect, and we’re not always right. Criticism teaches us not to be driven only by those goals.
Finally, keep in mind that criticism comes from the greek word kritikos, which means to judge or discern for the sake of improvement. So, in the words of Dr. Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D, Psychologist, “criticism is information that will help you grow”.
So, don’t fear criticism – accept it. And encourage those around you to keep on providing it. You’ll be better for it.