5 Tools for Handling Criticism

Criticism doesn’t have to hurt or elicit anger.

Here are five ways to lessen its impact:
1. Consider an Apology
When appropriate, it shows your regret that a conflict or misunderstanding is occurring.

2. Agree
If the criticism is valid admit your responsibility and apologize. You might agree by saying, “You’re right, I do interrupt sometimes. I’m sorry.” Then drop it and move on.

3. Share Your Perspective
If you do not agree with the criticism , communicate how you see things without placing blame or personalizing the situation. Wait awhile after hearing the criticism so you don’t seem “defensive.” Give it some time and then state your side.

4. Make amends
If you did or said something deserving of the criticism, think about what you can now say or do to “mend fences” with the other person. If you are unsure, ask the person, “What can I do or say to make this up to you or to help make things better between us?”

5. Set Some Boundaries
Use this technique when you get criticism in an abusive manner. Even if you did do something to warrant some criticism, you have the right to put limits on how you are treated! Be polite, clear, and firm. Make sure your limits are clear and reasonable.

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