Knowing how to accept criticism is a form of intelligence


Criticism comes in many forms and through various means and to every human it may seem like a stage where we all would pass through. We can give criticism and also receive criticism but depending on how we handle it, the results of the criticism may either be positive or worse, negative.

There is a place of hurt definitely but we can develop handling criticism by conscious practice and understanding of how a person must accept, handle and put to use every form of criticism received.

More importantly, it's okay for a person to recognize that being emotionally intelligent in the aspect of criticism is a process and it must take acknowledging each step and responding positively to the process, only then can one boldly refer to being intelligent.

This article will however shed more light on accepting criticism as a level up to a person's emotional intelligence.

Coming majorly from the view of the reception of criticism, here are a few things you can do to create a consciousness of positive response to critics and criticism at large.

1. Calm down and listen

To every natural man, criticisms trigger them to fight and want to just get angry or be pissed, there is a required consciousness to carefully compose yourself and resist the urge to react immediately or want to defend yourself. At that time ensure that you are at a heightened point of listening so you can fully understand the person especially if you're dealing with strong emotional problems, hear your critic out first before you respond and you can even end the conversation with a thank you to them for pointing out the mistake and moving on from them. This will save you a lot of unnecessary drama and anger.

2. Understanding the message

A lot of times when we get defensive over criticism it's because of our understanding of the message itself. Take, for instance, a critic says a particular choice should have been better, we automatically assume the blame and beat ourselves up for making wrong choices, we think bad of ourselves so much that we lose focus on working on and improving ourselves.

You need to consciously focus on working on what was criticized and make the necessary changes. It most times feels like a personal attack because we're so neck-deep into the work, it could just be a simple re-evaluation of the particular task and then do it differently. Understand that the message is not personal and it doesn't make you a bad person for making mistakes.

3. Explore your critic's mind 

We have to admit that criticism is a response to something, and the simple task most persons dealing with accepting criticism fail to put to use in exploring and engaging the triggers behind the criticism. You can get your critic to say more even though you might be uncomfortable with their criticisms. Simply ask the person to elaborate on what they said about then tackle the root source of the issue itself. You should try and reach a point where you see the issue the way they are also seeing it. If you both see the wrong, it'll be easier to correct and this doesn't in any way imply that the critics are always right which will allow you to also show them through your eyes, and then you can meet at a point of compromise as regards the issue. Most people just need to experience your truth and perspective to believe you.

4. Use the opportunity to improve 

For most people, the whole point of criticism is mainly to improve on the work and bring out a better outcome or result. Once you understand the intricacies of the criticism it can prove as a form of intelligence for you to show that you're an intelligent personality, make the most use of the insights gotten from the criticism and do a massive execution to attain excellence. Once you embody the criticism and understand it's important, you can maximize it as an opportunity to improve massively and even do more. You can even keep referring to the critic's view in your other engagements and activities if found useful.

5. Be grateful 

Experiences have shown that being grateful will help your mind calm down and act on the criticism. In the case of giving criticisms, you must remember to give constructive and thoughtful criticism which can be appreciated by others. It may look so uncomfortable most of the time, so you can first appreciate them and the work to help them understand how much their efforts, time, and all that they have used to perform the duty. After then you can give the criticism and if you're on the receiving end you can adopt the attitude of gratitude towards criticism to ensure you don't maintain a grudge against your critic.

• Can criticism be unfair?

This question is valid because of different perspectives to people and most times criticism comes from a view of dissatisfaction. Criticism can be unfair, or not appropriately delivered, and even critics may end up being wrong. This doesn't change how you respond to critics and criticism because the important factor is how you accept and handle it. Your response to critics must be the same at all times regardless of where or who it's coming from, your focus must however be on growth and massive improvement.


If this is your focus, in the long run, you'll be on the high end as you would know what to expect and how to deliver appropriately without earning criticism from critics or your bosses at the workplace. We're all to focus and develop ourselves first without having to bother about criticism by accepting and making maximum use of it.

This article has pointed you to comprehend how to accept, respond and handle criticism, the steps are more than this but those are basic steps to resolve criticism and be an emotional intelligence personality.

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