“Hi Rebecca, how are you today? Doesn’t seem too good, because you have such unmatched clothes on you. Look at the terrible hat, this is just not what proper people wear.
Last day I was reading the test article that you had submitted for the school magazine. Well I felt it was just OK, the content had nothing exceptional to impart great knowledge to us. Just an ordinary article, I don’t think it will get selected for the publication”.
This is the general picture in our regular lives. We meet several people who very conveniently start their criticism on us, despite the fact that they are not invited. This is what we call unsolicited criticism. I do not know, if this kind of character assassination is prohibited by law, but if someone speaks harsh of you, without any validation, it generally angers you, upsets you, at times demotivates you, in other words, affect your fair mental health adversely.
‘Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna’, but you should not let yourself be pulled back by these severely attacking words from others.
- Do not let negative criticisms stop you- People will criticize, it is their job. Most of the times, the criticisms are not valid, they come as comments, without any suggestion for rectification. Even if they are true, realize that they are good. Such comments on your work can help you improve your quality of work. Do not get demotivated with negative comments, that is the first suggestion. The fact that people are not appreciating your hard efforts is disheartening, but don’t let this feeling of despair, overpower your free will of doing something better.
- Do not objectify your relatives and friends as the significant other- Mostly we receive criticism from those who are a part of our daily lives, with whom we meet often, may be they are our friends or our close acquaintances, that is the reason, they put out their so called ‘honest comments’ without hesitation, thinking they are doing so to benefit us. But when they speak negatively about our performance, we tend to avoid them, ‘why can’t you keep shut! Did I ask for your opinion!’, this is what goes on in our mind. We need to realize that they are not the ‘other’ or the opponent. Objectification of our critique as someone of the hostile group, can infuse further negativity within us. That can affect the interpersonal relations, which is not good. We should consider them as our fellow mates and try to rethink about the cause of their criticism.
- Accept that you can have fault- Negative uninvited criticisms are not always bad. They can make us aware of our mistakes. Rather than getting angry or upset on the person, it will be better, if you recheck your work. We all make mistakes, we all have follies, there is nothing wrong in that. But it is important to rectify them. So take the criticisms positively, and consider the comments to make your performance better.
- Be compassionate towards others- Why are your friends criticizing you? Try to understand what’s in their mind. They may be critiquing you out of helplessness. May be they are suffering from some kind of insufficiency within themselves, for which they are depressed, so they are trying to find faults in you. Rather than being vexed, try to be more compassionate when you are speaking with someone.
- Do not avoid social interactions in fear of criticism- Sometimes, when we are not appreciated, we feel low, hurt at self-respect, and we avoid talking to people in fear of getting criticized. That is not correct. This signifies anxiety, it means you are purposely ignoring others because you do not want to face the truth. This can lead to obsessive compulsive disorder or narcissism. Face the criticism, you will keep making mistakes till you learn it properly, and that is the truth. Avoidance will only keep the ignorance alive.
- No one is perfect- You are not Mr. Perfect by birth. But we have to strive towards achieving the perfection. Open criticisms can hurt you, especially when you do not ask for the opinion, and it comes as a blow, but that’s the way life is. Learn from your follies. You do not have to consider each and every comment that others make about you, but do not suffer from the misconception that you cannot be wrong.
Once you learn to follow these significant rules of conduct, unsolicited criticisms will never impact you again in a negative way. You can consciously deal with them, while keeping yourself upright and happy.