It’s instinctive to default to a defensive mode when we’re criticised. We can become angry, dismissive of the criticism, make an excuse or respond with a complaint about the other person.
There is value in constructive criticism, as it can help us grow or give us greater self-awareness in our dealings with friends and family. Taking what’s said into account can improve your interpersonal skills and your relationships.
You may want to counter negative, or seemingly unfair, criticism with a perspective of your own. Whether criticism is positive or otherwise, here’s how to deal with it graciously:
• Process what you’ve been told before you react. This gives you a moment to control those impulsive emotions.
• Acknowledge what has been said by paraphrasing it back. For instance, say, ‘So I think you are saying that. ’ This keeps the conversation open.
• Ask for further feedback and listen closely to what is being said without interruption. If you agree with the other person, respond by saying so and stating the action you will take to rectify the point made, then thank them for pointing out the issue.
Ask questions if you don’t fully understand what is being criticised and try to pin down what that person feels can be improved in future.
Rational conversation is the best remedy for unfair criticism. Stay calm Sometimes others might need to see things from your point of view to realise they’ve made a misjudgement.
HOW TO RESPOND TO CRITICISM Photo Gallery
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