How To Keep Your Cool when You Are Criticized

It can be difficult to remain calm when you are the recipient of criticism.You might feel embarrassed when you are criticized.You might be upset that someone is judging you.No matter how you feel, you need to accept the feedback for what it is and keep your composure.Some techniques can help you accept criticism and remain calm.

Step 1: Do not respond with a non-assertive response.

Being aware of your non-assertive response to criticism is important because these behaviors are likely not acceptable, just as a violent response is not.If you notice any of these behaviors after being criticized, take a break, remove yourself from the situation, and calm down until your responses have stopped.Being defensive Withdrawing Internalizing anger and stewing over the criticism.

Step 2: Speak assertively.

Ideally, you will respond assertively to criticism, the most balanced response possible, meaning that you can distinguish between constructive and destructive criticism.Rather than being defensive, place blame, yell at the other person, or turn the blame back to them, you accept the criticism for what it is and move on.Responding assertively does not mean that you agree with the criticizer.It means you don’t have an emotional attachment to the criticism.If the criticism is constructive and valid, your assertive response might be to accept it or to agree with the other person, which shows self-confidence and willingness to change your behavior.Asking, “Why do you say that?” in a non-accusatory way is another assertive response.This shows that they are interested in how you are being received.You could argue that I do not always forget to empty the recycle bin.This shows that you take responsibility for your actions.

Step 3: Agree with all or part of it.

You don’t have to accept criticism.It is possible that you agree with everything that was said or not.These are legitimate responses if you are honest with yourself about the criticism.

Step 4: Ask questions and listen.

The other person might offer an insight or perspective that you hadn’t considered.Pay attention to what they are saying, not the tone of their voice, and don’t tune them out because you’re uncomfortable being criticized.You should ask follow up questions after they have spoken.This shows that you listened and are considering what was said.Make sure your questions are not designed to prove the speaker wrong.

Step 5: Don’t take it personally.

Constructive criticism is usually not intended to hurt the recipient.It isn’t a character attack if you take the criticism personally.It doesn’t reflect on you as a person if it addresses a specific action or behavior.Looking for the positive is a great technique.Whether the criticism is valid or not, there is always something positive to be found.Your boss might criticize you for not arranging the files in a way that makes sense.You get to develop an even better filing system that will work for everyone if you look for the positive.The meat of the criticism can be turned into “if” language.Do you know what the main point of the criticism was?How could you improve the situation if it were true that you were always late?If there is an issue, this will allow you to emotionally distance yourself from the criticism.

Step 6: Give a summary of the criticism.

Don’t pay attention to the tone in which you were spoken.The criticizer’s main points should be summarized.What were they trying to accomplish?When you boil them down to their most basic parts, do any of those points make sense to you?You can react calmly and make sure you heard everything that was said by summing up the criticism.

Step 7: Correct misunderstandings should be addressed.

Accepting a misunderstanding, agreeing completely with the other person, or disagreeing and looking for a compromise is what you need to address the problem when you receive criticism.Stay calm and don’t pretend the conversation never happened.Don’t let the criticism get to you and put it behind you.To correct or clarify incorrect information is one way to remain cool when criticized.You are engaged in the conversation, listening, and taking ownership for that which you are responsible.

Step 8: Don’t allow criticism to stop you.

A tool meant to help a person modify their behavior or action is criticism.It is normal to be angry or confused if you are criticized.Don’t let it stop you.This is one person’s perspective, right or wrong.Take what you can from it and keep going.

Step 9: You have to admit when you are wrong.

Say so if you believe the other person is right.Let them know that you have listened to them, heard them and processed what they said, and are taking ownership of your mistake.This is a great way to keep cool when criticized as well as de-escalating any emotions.You don’t have to agree with everything they say.Say so, because you might think you’re wrong about one point.

Step 10: It is a learning experience.

Sometimes receiving criticism can lead to feelings of self-doubt.As a learning experience, treat criticism as an opportunity for growth.Look at the situation as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and maintain your self-esteem.Constructive criticism is meant to be helpful, not at an attack, and should be treated as a positive learning experience.It can be difficult to separate yourself from a situation in order to find the positive.If you want to objectively evaluate the situation, step back and calm down.It will help you see it in a more positive light.

Step 11: Someone has criticized you.

Is this person important to you?Are they a friend, family member, colleague, employer, clergy member or professor?Do they have authority over you?Do you think this person is the right person to critique?Stay calm, thank them for their opinion, and walk away if you don’t think they are.If the other person holds a position of authority over you, you might have to agree or disagree with them.

Step 12: Establish boundaries.

There is a chance that you have a person in your life that belittles or criticizes you.They are trying to chip away at your self esteem by not giving constructive feedback.This person isn’t telling you anything worthwhile and is toxic to you.If the boundaries are crossed, decide on your response.You have the right to decide who is in your life.You might consider that someone isn’t a good influence for you if they criticize you baselessly.

Step 13: Put your feet in their shoes.

If you can imagine the other person’s perspective, you will be able to understand why they might think you are acting in a certain way.Is it possible that they work in a different part of the company and only talk to you on the phone?They always drive the vehicle after you and see it dirty.Trying to imagine the situation from their point of view is helpful if you don’t agree with what they have to say.