So what if you’re on the receiving end of criticism, or feedback where the giver isn’t skilled in giving it? Here are some strategies you can use.
1. Learning From Criticism – The Easy Way:
When someone criticises you, do you accept it and take it to heart – or, do you keep it at arm’s length to examine it first? When someone praises you, do you accept it and take it to heart – or, do you keep it at arms length to examine it first?
Hands up if your default response is to accept criticism automatically, but stop praise at a distance and examine it for accuracy. What would happen if you tried doing it the opposite way?
Accept praise and take it in uncritically. “What if they don’t mean it?” you may ask. Do it anyway. Do it more! It will drive them nuts.
And, stop criticism at arm’s length in your perceptual space and examine it before accepting it. How justified is it? What really happened? How qualified is this person to offer feedback?
2. If you’re being heavily criticised, maintain your emotional state
Centre yourself and imagine an ‘energy bubble’ around you that deflects all criticism, stress and negative emotions. Take all criticisms as applying to the behaviour level only, no matter how they are phrased.
Later, when it’s safe, examine the criticisms using one or both of the next two options.
3. Decide what ‘Level of Change’ you are going to take the criticism at
It doesn’t matter what level that the critic intended to aim it at – you get to choose how you’re going to take it. Rather than taking criticism as an attack on your whole identity, you could take it as feedback on a particular behaviour.
4. Take a detached view
Dissociate from the ‘other self’ receiving the criticism (float up above). Keep the other self in a resourceful state.
Run mental movies of what the critic is saying, and your experience of what happened, and compare them.
Learn what you need to learn and discard the rest.