Accepting Positive and Negative Criticism

You are a freelancer, and your client is unhappy. His expectations were different. The end price is high for him, the project duration is longer than expected, and the client forgets several additional requests that he asked from you. Both parties are unhappy. Negative criticism is there…

Aiming towards productivity in a business or office environment does not only entail positive aspects. One must naturally welcome positive and negative feedback to reach the pinnacle, especially in the professional domain. Criticism sometimes discourages you, as everyone wants to hear appreciation and acknowledgment. However, an optimistic workplace scenario consists of two factors, allowing both negative and positive criticism. How you take it depends on the personality and ego, but removing criticism from the equation is impossible.

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What is positive criticism?

Criticism is the ability to judge and evaluate any phenomenon, usually with a hostile expression, which may suggest an improvement.

A positive criticism draws attention to the positive aspect of any phenomenon, such as “well-meant” or “well-intentioned,” which is being ignored, disregarded, or overlooked. Positive criticism should provide a better orientation to give answers to how people can act to improve the situation.

What is negative criticism?

Negative criticism is the ability to judge and evaluate any phenomenon to show that it is mistaken, wrong, false, objectionable, or disreputable. It can explain an idea or action’s limitations but can also usually hurt people.

The traditional definition of criticism involves expressing disapproval and discontent from someone or the work they have performed. This can be based on previous faults and mistakes of the individual, resulting in serious blame. No one likes to feel inferior to office colleagues or their personal lives, but constructive criticism can help improve the situation if taken lightly.

How do you accept positive criticism?

  • Acknowledge the feedback: Start by acknowledging and thanking the person for their positive feedback.
  • Reflect on the feedback: Take some time to consider how to incorporate it into your work.
  • Apply the feedback: Take action and apply the feedback to improve your work and develop your skills.
  • Share the feedback: Share the positive feedback with others, particularly those who helped you succeed.
  • Celebrate: Celebrate your success and use the positive feedback as motivation to continue improving.

How do you accept negative criticism?

  • Listen carefully: Listen to the criticism and try to understand the other person’s perspective.
  • Avoid being defensive: Don’t immediately become defensive or dismissive. Instead, remain calm and ask questions to clarify the feedback.
  • Consider the feedback: Take some time to consider the input and see if it is valid.
  • Identify areas for improvement: Use the feedback to identify and develop a plan to address them.
  • Thank the person: Thank the person for their feedback, even if it was difficult to hear. Showing gratitude can help maintain a positive relationship.
  • Take action: Take action on the feedback to improve your work and develop your skills.

Hurtful words can seriously damage sentiments, and supportive assessments may also seem similar to bitter condemnation, especially for those who give a lot of importance to people’s opinions. Suppose core cultural values such as compassionate directness, humility, and proper surfacing of positive problems are considered. In that case, the person under analysis may have no trouble accepting positive criticism and using it to improve minor faults.

Although some people take criticism lightly and are open to advice frequently, others have no idea how to respond to complaints. Dealing with criticism can be learned and acquired over time. It needs severe training and endless patience, but it is a skill that can be learned. Negatively taking criticism can seriously impair self-esteem, lower chances of improvement, and cause stress, anxiety, and even anger.

This can lead to severe personal and professional life; therefore, tackling it according to specific rules is essential. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, most people react with a defensive weapon or maybe indulge in attacking verbally if aggression is not contained optimistically. Allowing yourself to be exposed to constructive criticism may allow you to identify weaknesses that might create obstacles in your development.

There are ways to deal with criticism maturely. With regular practice, you can achieve the desired patience and be an extraordinary example of a person who takes criticism well. But first, you must know the difference between your need and want! In the next step, you need to create your initial reaction.

It’s all about the initial reaction.

It is easier to defend yourself when you are bombarded with criticism. That could cost you and damage your impression as a composed individual. Stop yourself from being irritated, as it could create a barrier in thinking and evaluating the situation. When you are thrown under criticism, you must stop for a second and decide on the plot for the next few minutes. Allow your brain to process the situation and push yourself to remain calm. This cooled-off approach can only be achieved if unwinding techniques are applied. One must practice breathing techniques and yoga to transform anger and deal with situations respectfully.

Be a positive person.

A person viewing with a negative lens tends to decipher every situation negatively. This is where personality transformation comes in, as a person with positive approaches and views will find success. It might hurt your sentiments if you are overly criticized for the nature of your work or for not completing the deadline. Still, every negative statement has an element of positivity, so use a positive perspective to shape your temperament’s nature. A positive person will use this opportunity to improve drawbacks and limitations, whereas a negative person will keep sulking in depression.

Learn from criticism

Positive people listen to the critique and move on instead of stagnating. They correct their faults and do not return to the business repeating the same mistakes. Some individuals avoid being constantly highlighted and criticized by colleagues or their personal lives. However, this could be a complicated process for those with pride and ego issues who think they are always better than the rest. In some scenarios, the person at the receiving end might be wrong, and the critic may be suitable to point out the mistakes. Rather than developing grudges, use this opening to be a better person.

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Consider it a gift

Constructive feedback can be a hidden blessing, allowing an individual to improve. Consider the source, and do not ignore it if it comes from someone you dislike or have personal preferences toward the individual. You might have individual differences with the manager or a co-worker in the workplace, but a few suggestions and critiques should be acknowledged now and then. This happens in a professional world where personal biases are put aside, and work is done in mutual agreement. Please focus on the message rather than the person delivering it.

Mistakes and failures: two separate

The fact that you have been projected under negative feedback does not necessarily mean you are a failure. Everyone needs improvement in certain areas, as we all have pros and cons. Viewing yourself as a total failure will take you to the lowest level, ruining your confidence. Positive points are widely appreciated, but weaknesses must maintain balance and acquire potency. Each step is a lesson; give yourself time and check where you need improvement.

To achieve positivity in negative feedback, the critique should be compassionate, as it shows that the person delivering the message is considerate and wants the recipient to progress. The comment should be specific and focused on the topic. The criticism should highlight the areas the recipients lack and suggest ways to improve them. Lastly, it should match the recipient’s emotions and sentiments. Hurting people through negativity and bad reviews never allowed anyone to flourish; therefore, selecting polite words is essential.

After receiving feedback, analyze and process the situation. A wise option would be to avoid debates and arguments. Share your perspective and indulge in a healthy exchange of ideas to get a clear picture. Getting to the root of an issue would allow you to think better and find a focal point for the prospective situations, resulting in clarity and a stable relationship with colleagues in the office. A person giving criticism would be productive and humble rather than oppositional, positive, and based on the feedback received.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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