Dealing with Criticism

How To Deal With Criticism Effectively – Do Women Need to Become Thick Skinned

Research shows that women are more sensitive to criticism than men. The reason for this is probably because women are more capable of reading others’ emotions and can sense even the subtlest criticism. Now, this is not a bad thing, especially if you can use that criticism to improve and grow yourself. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Our culture has always been focused on women’s beauty – that women be prim and proper and that they represent peace and harmony. And because of this, being criticised is often uncomfortable and shattering to many women. The pressure of conforming to the typical image of a woman that the society has assigned makes it more difficult for women to accept and deal with criticism. And this limits women in more ways than one.

The shattering experience and discomfort that a criticism brings may cause a woman to avoid doing things that might cause criticism. For example, they no longer push through a project that they are not confident about. Or they keep ideas to themselves, especially if it sounds risky and unconventional. What’s sad about this is that most of these things bring joy and fulfilment to women.

To be able to continue doing these fulfilling things and accomplishments, a woman needs to learn how to deal with criticism. And this is not through growing a thick skin. Remember that even though criticisms can be uncomfortable, we need feedback as a way of learning and improving ourselves. We just need to learn how to effectively deal with criticism and here are 3 quick tips that we can use:

1 It’s not always you.

Often when we receive criticism or feedback, the first thought is that it’s our fault or we did something wrong. Keep in mind that this is not always the case. In fact, it’s rarely the case. For you to be able to effectively deal with criticism, you need to accept that it’s not always you. Instead of thinking about what you did or said, think about where the criticism is coming from. This will help you point out what is true and valuable in the criticism. Use this for your self-improvement.

2 You don’t always have to deal with it right away.

Fight that urge to fix all your shortfalls and portray a perfect image before moving forward. Sometimes, it’s better to put aside that feedback and continue ahead while you are still inspired and motivated. Don’t let the criticism hinder you from moving forward. Keep in mind that even the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs have flaws, and yet they kept going and eventually achieved success.

3 Think of a counter attack.

One of the primary reasons why we feel bad about a criticism is because it touches a negative belief we have about ourselves. The best way to handle this is to think of a counter attack. Susan Jeffers would call these affirmations. Create a new belief that will help you move forward and prevent you from getting stuck in that negative belief. Take this new self-concept, hold on to it and use it to take action against the criticism. Keep in mind that this can sometimes be a long process. Your negative belief may pop up again and discourage you. When this happens, always choose to hold onto your new self-concept. Keep doing this and you will start to see and accept this new self-concept and realise its positive results in your life.

We all know that criticism is not always bad, and can in fact help us in many ways to grow and improve and become more self-aware. But we need to get past the pain that comes with criticism and the fear associated with receiving criticism before we can deal with it learn from it.

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