Responding to Criticisms

Here’s how to take ’em like a champ.


Let’s be real: no one enjoys criticism. Getting negative feedback not only hurts our feelings but also our self-esteem. It may fuel the fire of self-hatred of some people. Others may harden themselves and shut everything out. It may also trigger feelings of anger. The fear may paralyze us, leading us to confine ourselves in the safety of our comfort zones instead of going outside the box and taking risks.

Although it may be difficult to accept, criticism is (unfortunately) a part of life. When handled correctly, criticism isn’t as bad as you make it out to be. Here are a few ways to deal with them effectively:

  • Learn from it. Criticism is a great opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Once you know what to work on, you’ll be walking on the road to improvement.
  • Focus on the suggestions, not the tone. Instead of dwelling on the manner of delivery, zoom in on the content. Detach the emotions and channel your energies on the suggestions.
  • Value it. Think of it this way: although the (cold, hard) truth may hurt, it’s much better than getting false praise. Surely, there must be a reason why you’ve gotten such feedback.
  • Don’t take criticism personally. Remember that criticism isn’t out to get you. It wants to help you become the best you can be. Instead of getting offended, you should feel motivated.
  • Pay no mind to false criticism. There are moments where some people bark at the wrong tree and throw out unjustified criticism. Although the experience may be painful, it’s a lot easier to deal with compared to justified criticism. You can just brush it off like dandruff flakes on your shoulders; or you can pull a Beyoncé and “twirl on them haters” (cue “Formation” playing in the background). Don’t give it any more attention than it needs.
  • Don’t react right away. If you don’t want to do anything you may regret, just keep calm and bite your tongue. Collect yourself in order to respond properly.
  • Smile like you mean it. Heck, you can even put on a fake smile if it makes you feel better. It helps bring in good vibes, enabling us to relax. It’s also great for diffusing a tense confrontation. Odds are, your smile may be a cue for the person to rethink his/her approach and lessen the blow.  

Nobody is exempted from criticism. Just remember these tips, and deal with them like a boss.


Pettinger, Tejvan. Lifehack. “7 Effective Ways to Deal With Criticism.” Accessed November 11, 2016.

McLaren, Brian. 2010. “If You’re Getting Criticized.” Brian McLaren, April 22 Accessed November 11, 2016.

Edmonson, Ron. 2015. “5 Right Ways to Respond to Criticism.” Ron Edmondson, July 23. Accessed November 11, 2016.

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