Criticism; How Do You Take It?

Criticism is hard to take.

My first reaction is to usually get defensive, even though I know the feedback is intended to help me.

If we know this, why do we dislike criticism so much?

My guess is that we want to feel like we’re doing everything right, that our work is perfect from the start, and when someone tells us otherwise, it shatters the fantasy.

But image all the things you wouldn’t have learned if you got it right every time. For instance, in college, I was pretty good at writing essays and most of my professors seemed to agree by giving me As. That was it; I was told I got it right and I didn’t learn anything new.

But the professors who challenged my writing by marking it up and giving me lower scores prompted me to ask how I could get it right. This led to eye-opening conversations and prompted new ways of thinking that I was never exposed to before. Consequently, I learned the most when my writing was criticized, whereas I learned nothing when it wasn’t.

In essence, if you spend less time defending yourself and more time learning how to get it right, you’ll get to ‘perfect’ a lot quicker.

How do you take criticism?