How To Handle Criticism Calmly

Criticism is a topic that has been passing my way a lot in the last few months. I’ve never felt as much criticised as in the current period of life. So I was asking myself: Do I take things too personally? Or is it the fault of others and they should pack their criticism in nicer, more constructive words?
The thing is, you can’t change how others act around you. You can only change your own perspective and action. So today I would like to share my thoughts on criticism with you guys. I collected a couple of good ideas and tips, which can help us all to handle criticism better. If you have some more ideas, please let me know in the comments below. I would really appreciate it!

Getting Criticised Doesn’t Mean You’re A Loser

The first thing that can help you to deal better with criticism is opening up yourself. Change the way you look at a critic. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most critics help us to better ourselves and our behaviours. It is okay to make mistakes, we all do. You don’t have to be perfect all the time and it is completely normal that criticism will pass your way. That doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. When you get more open to a critique and even expect it to come, it will hurt you less. Take it as a way to better yourself, instead of looking at it as your failure.

Every Critic Is A Lesson

Hiding in a defensive posture is a shortcut, not a behaviour that will help you in the long term. Instead of looking at a critic as a personal attack, better appreciate it as a lesson. You can only better yourself when you truly listen to others. What did you do, that bothered them so much? Take the critic seriously and ask how you could handle a similar situation better next time. Understand what went wrong and why it hurt the other one.

Acceptance Is The Key

When you listen to someone else, don’t justify yourself directly. Listen to how they feel and accept it as their truth. It won’t help you if you come up with an excuse or respond with a critic. Accept the criticism and understand where it is coming from and the motives first. Only when you truly understand the true intention of the critic, you can solve the problem in the long run.

No Silly Excuses

Don’t come up with excuses. If you made a mistake or hurt someone, stand by it. Apologize when it is necessary and explain your point of view. Share your insight, but keep in mind that it is not about you at the moment. You are talking about the critic at the moment and the main focus should go on that topic. On finding a way how to behave better in the future.

You Are Not Your Mistakes

If you are taking criticism too personally – just like me – it can help to build up an emotional distance from criticism. You are talking about something you did, not you as a person. A critic shouldn’t tear you down, it’s there to help you better yourself. Look at it as a chance.

The Right Form Of Criticism

The way how we communicate something is often so much more important than the actual topic. When you get criticised hold on for a moment and analyse the situation. Is the critic constructive? Is the other person giving you a chance to respond or just attacking you?

Verbal Attacks

A critique isn’t the same thing as a verbal attack. When someone screams at you or attacks you with a never-ending monologue don’t respond directly. Take a moment and instead of listening to what the other one says in their anger moment concentrate on something else. I learned that it can help to count slowly to 10 before I respond. This means that the other person gets a moment where he/she can let out their frustration, but when I’m at ten it is time to stop them. If they still want to attack, it is a clear sign that this is not constructive talk and it’s time to end the conversation.
Alternatively to the counting, you could also concentrate on colours. Look in the room for 5 things in blue. Then in yellow, and red. After finding those main colours you will be calmer inside.

You Are Completely Overwhelmed

When a verbal attack is so harmful that you might get into a panic attack I can recommend you this little exercise. Start with the 5 things you see in the room I described before. Then concentrate on 5 things you feel – but it is more about substances, not your feelings. For example, you can feel the floor material, the fabric of your jeans and the touch of your hand on your arm. Afterwards, search for 5 things you can hear. It sounds so simple, but it can actually help you a lot to calm yourself and shake off a panic attack.

Don’t get fooled

Sometimes a critic isn’t about you. It says more about the other person and their own problems. If you realize that the other one is just overexaggerating, you should definitely question the critic. If the intention of a critic is just to harm you, give a clear response, that you will not accept this kind of behaviour to you. You can offer the others to listen, in case they want to talk about their own feelings, but if they just want to harm you with their words, you better walk out of the situation. Don’t waste your time and energy, on something that is neither your fault nor in your hands to change.

Be open but not too self-critical

Don’t be too self-critical. Especially woman tends to criticise too many things about themself and don’t realize how awesome and unique they actually are. Be open to criticism and take it as a chance to better things, but never forget to also be proud of the person you are – cause you are your own kind of magic.

What about you guys: Are you good at dealing with criticism? What helps you to handle a critique and not take it too personally?

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  1. Criticism can be so hard to take as sometimes if comes of as a personal attack instead of a way of informing people on how to be better or addressing the mistake at hand.
    I do think that we ALL need constructive criticism as it challenges our image of ourselves and our mental paradigms about the world at large.
    I really love this post especially when you said we are not our mistakes. Yes, we can learn from them and move forward; be a phoenix. Such things are easier said than done.
    You always post very intelligent content. I love coming here.
    Keep shining darling!


    1. Hi Omaye, oh yes we should have a class on how to criticise constructivily in school 😀
      Thanks so much for your huge compliment! It really means a lot to me

    1. Oh I`m not sure, if I`m so wise. I just like writing about things that I deal with in my personal life and want to learn more about
      Have a great day Kathrine

  2. I clicked on this topic so fast!
    Ahhhh criticism – happens in the workplace and amongst friends and family.
    You’ve given a lot of good tips.
    Something that helps is to really look at the person criticizing you – with some people you know it’s coming from a good place, with others you know

    to mentally put their criticism into a trash bin ( ; Xo

  3. Hallo Tiziana,

    konstruktive Kritik ist bei mir immer herzlich willkommen. Früher habe ich Kritik als persönlichen Angriff gesehen, heute bin ich dankbar dafür. 🙂

    Ein schönes Wochenende und herzliche Grüße, Tati

    1. Hallo Tati konstruktive Kritik ist etwas wunderbares, denn sie hilft einem seine Fähigkeiten zu verbessern und stärker auszubauen. Mit destruktiver Kritik umzugehen, ist um einiges schwieriger.
      Ganz liebe Grüße and dich

  4. Tiziana

    The content of this post is extremely difficult one to write. It’s a very delicate topic especially now with trending social media hawking our personal lives, we all are so used to getting complements that even a genuine critic is seen as a villain. Thanks for the helpful tips. I loved the faring clmness tips of counting till 10 and watching the colours to calm down.

    1. Hi Hasin, oh that was really interesting to read! I felt like the opposite, maybe it`s depending on where people live.. I feel like compliments are really rare these days and that people critic and gossip about a hundred things each day

  5. Criticism doesn’t always mean something is bad. We learn if we make mistakes, when we never make mistakes we’re not able to learn. If somebody tells us to do it the other way round it also doesn’t mean he’s right. Accept criticism though but never feel offended.

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

  6. Guten Morgen Tiziana, manchmal kommt es bei mir darauf an, wie ich Kritik verarbeite. Wenn etwas ein Herzensprojekt von mir ist und man krittelt daran herum, merke ich gleich, wie ich meinen Rücken versteife und meine Schultern verspanne. Da muss ich tief ein- und ausatmen, damit ich nichts Blödes sage. Und dann gibt es Kritik, wo es gleich noch einen Verbesserungsvorschlag gibt. Sowas ist natürlich herzlich bei mir willkommen. Ich wünsche Dir ein schönes Wochenende. Liebe Grüße Jana

  7. Liebe Tiziana, Kritik ist für die meisten Menschen auf den ersten Blick mal was Negatives. Da wird etwas bewertet, etwas, das ich gemacht habe, etwas, das ich gesagt hat, wie ich mich verhalte oder benehme und es wird zumindest innerlich gleich mal auf Abwehr gegangen. Oftmals wird dabei da bei einem „Dies ist nicht besonders gut“ nicht die eigentliche Bewertung der Arbeit ins Auge gefasst und überlegt, was da besser gemacht werden kann, sondern es wird auf sich selbst als Person bezogen und als „Ich bin nicht besonders gut“ verstanden. Daher finde ich es toll, welche hilfreichen Anregungen und Gedanken du dazu hast. Sicherlich gibt es ungerechtfertigte, böse und gemeine Aussagen, aber in vielen Fällen handelt es sich doch um konstruktive Kritik, die uns schlussendlich auch helfen kann und daher ist es absolut sinnvoll, eine positive Kritikhandling zu entwickeln.
    Hab einen ganz wunderbaren Tag und alles Liebe

    1. Hi Clarissa, dealing with criticism is definitely a hard one for me as well 🙂
      The more we learn about it, the better we get. Send you a big hug !

  8. This is a great post. I like to think i’m good at receiving criticism but it is something I have worked on over the years. I used to take it personally and it did knock my confidence right down. I believe in giving great criticism without having to hurt the others feelings. I hope you are doing well : ) xo

  9. Liebe Tiziana,
    eib toller Blogpost, in dem ich mich total wiederfinde. Ich kann mittlerweile besser mit Kritik umgehen als früher, aber dennoch triggert es mich manchmal, je nachdem, worum es geht. Da sind manchmal noch alte Glaubenssätze zu sehr im Fokus bei mir, daran arbeite ich.
    Bei destruktiver Kritik hilft auch oft, daran zu denken, dass das, was die Person äußert, mehr über sie statt über dich aussagt!
    Ganz liebe Grüße und einen tollen Start in die Woche!

  10. This is a great post, we should talk more about this. I like to think i’m good at receiving criticism but it is something I have worked on over the years. I used to take it personally and it did knock my confidence right down. I believe in giving great criticism without having to hurt the others feelings. I hope you are doing well : ) xo

  11. I often take criticism quite hard so all these tips were definitely helpful. It’s so true about how sometimes it’s not even about you but the person making the comment.

    Eileen |

    1. Hi Eileen oh I feel you. I`m also struggling with staying calm when I get destructive critic. I learned a lot about it in the last months and hope the older I get the less I will care 🙂
      Constructive critic is obviously a completely different topic and really helpful!

    1. Thanks Heidi! 🙂
      I think you can pack critic in a respectful and constructive way, that way it`s not hurting the other one and is really useful

  12. These are very helpful, and I always remember when it comes to other criticizing me if they actually have a right to do so, since some people really don’t have a right to do so, and certain people don’t come with this in a way that is constructive or does it come from a place of heart or good. Unfortunately a lot of my family falls into the category of no heart or good, to be honest. I feel like this list is more helpful for me with a few family members and mostly friends. I think I can take it too personally sometimes, which is why I don’t react, I leave it ago for a short time, then reflect with fresh eyes and that helps me. 🙂

  13. Hello Tiziana, hope you’re enjoying these odd summer days!

    First of all your pictures give me those peaceful vibes that are really needed nowadays, and you can really link them to the topic you’re talking about!

    I love these tips, specially for the fact that they could be useful for everybody, despite our activity, work or we have a project that we’re starting. We have to understand and learn that not everybody would like us and that perspectives of others are conditioned to many factors right? The good stuff is to take the feedback and learn from it, as you said!

  14. Wow, der Post passt perfekt! Ich hatte neulich auch mit Kritik zu tun – von Leuten, von denen ich es eher nicht gedacht hätte, weil wir eigentlich gut befreundet sind… Gottseidank hat sich das geklärt.

    Deine Tipps sind toll, besonders das mit dem Konzentrieren auf Farben, Dinge die man fühlt, etc.

    Viele liebe Grüße,
    Krissi von the marquise diamond

    1. Danke Krissi, da bin ich froh, dass sich die Kritik von deinen Freunden klären konnte und es eventuell eher ein schlecht kommunizierter Gedanke war, als wirklich ein ernstgemeinter unschöner Kommentar.
      Ich hatte in der letzten Woche auch einen überraschenden Kritik-Moment mit ein paar neuen Freunden. Ich glaube, manchmal trifft einen Kritik so hart, genau dann, wenn man sie am wenigsten erwartet und total von ihr überrascht wird. Wie bei allem macht auch hier Übung den Meister 😉

    1. Hi Maria oh I feel you! I´m really working on how to be less self-critic. We should better give ourselves some love and respect how far we´ve already come

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