From family to friends to co-workers, criticism is something we deal with every day. There's constructive criticism, where our mistakes are pointed out and we're shown where to improve, and there's destructive criticism, where malicious and hurtful insults are thoughtlessly thrown at us. Understanding how to deal with both types of criticism is one of the most useful skills we can develop.
Destructive criticism is commentary we’ve all experienced. Whether someone is conscious of it or not, they’re using their words maliciously and insults are thrown around. This can hurt our self-esteem and confidence, but it’s key to understand that this criticism doesn’t need any attention. This is not the kind of criticism we want to care about.
Constructive criticism is when we receive feedback in a polite manner with the intent for us to improve. This commentary is meant to help us and can be quite useful if we utilize the feedback properly. Constructive criticism may hurt a little because we’re hearing about adjustments against our own beliefs, but the intent here is good and worthy of our attention.
When we’re challenged by others, it’s normal to give a negative reaction. However, we should consciously adjust our reaction based on if the criticism given is constructive or destructive. Some people are genuinely trying to help us improve, while others are attempting to condescend us. Having thick skin, taking in criticism for improvement, and learning how to roll with the punches are all important skills to develop while we progress.
"If you take everything personally and to heart, it will tear you apart. Take criticism, learn, adjust, and move on." -Johnny Iuzzini