Critics and criticism have long played a role in the honing and finetuning of all products of creativity and technology. Constructive criticism is indeed a stepping stone to precision and perfection. However, it is the critic and the time of offering critique that is most essential. Not all criticism is constructive, and so not all criticism deserves registering or even response.
In an ideal world, we would all have confidence in our abilities. We would be able to take criticism and not be negatively affected by it. We would be born with the self-realization to know whether a complaint is valid or not. However, we do not live in an ideal world, so criticism, especially unsolicited criticism, often affects us greatly. We have all heard about how we should take criticism in stride and learn from it, it is obviously great advice, but we also need to keep our humanity in mind. Human beings are complex creatures. All of us can’t have the same attitude towards negative stimuli, and thus it becomes essential for us to come up with ways to better deal with such situations. Sometimes it takes very little to bring us down, so it is imperative to make ourselves resistant if not indifferent to criticism. People often disregard their hard work and progress just because someone criticizes them and go right back to square one. A reaction like this is a derivative of not knowing your capabilities. We often look for validation from outside sources and get in the habit of rooting our self-confidence and self-worth in other people’s opinions of us. In this situation, even the slightest disapproval from someone can shatter our confidence and lead to emotional turmoil and gloom. Therefore, the first step in making ourselves indifferent to criticism is to make our faith in ourselves indubitable.
Confidence is the key to success and happiness in life. Having an unshakable sense of self is of the utmost importance. In order to strengthen your self-worth, you must stop relying on external validation. One may say that the best way to become indifferent to criticism is by inculcating an indifference to praise. If you are to be unaffected by criticism, you should also learn to be indifferent to praise. Your worth as a human being is not and has never been rooted in the opinions of others; as long as you live your most honest truth, you will be worthy.
When we talk about criticism and learning to pick and choose which opinions we should or shouldn’t care about, we should also introspect. If you don’t want to be negatively affected by criticism, you must also be someone who doesn’t criticise others just for the sake of it. You should practice refrain and learn when and how to present your opinion about someone else’s work or life. If you’re someone who gives unsolicited advice and says things while completely disregarding other’s feelings, you should also have the grace to accept the same positively.
People often say harsh and unking things under the guise of being honest; however, it is rarely about honesty. More often than not, it is about trying to look down upon people and making themselves look better. Introspect and identify if you have been someone like this in the past and do better, you will find that once you refrain from such behavior, a lot of your insecurities will seem illogical. Consequently, you’ll be able to better deal with criticism. The other aspect of the same coin is identifying individuals who might be saying things just for the sake of it. Often we find that the people whose criticism negatively affects us are those we would never even go to for advice. The golden rule, in my opinion, is to treat people how you want to be treated and to accept nothing less than what you deserve.
The next point in the quest to be indifferent to criticism is to change the way you are influenced. One must always work on their critical thinking abilities. The development of critical thinking allows us to form our own opinions rather than piggybacking on someone else’s. If you incorporate the habit of critical analysis into your daily life, you will find yourself less likely to be influenced by external opinions. When criticized, learn to listen and analyze. Try to see if it is an opinion that you should take seriously. If it is something that in no way improves anything about you or your work, go ahead and ignore it. There is no need to carry the weight of unnecessary critique. However, if you do find a sensible opinion in the criticism, go ahead and accept it. If it can help you be better at your job or as an individual, take whatever information is relevant to it and make the most of it. It doesn’t matter how or why you make a change. What is important is that you constantly try to be better than the previous day. If you have to listen to a few bitter words in the process of being better, so be it. The most important thing is to know how to filter all the opinions coming your way.
The conclusion is that we are unique individuals and can not have a one size fits all solution to any problem. We all handle criticism differently, so ultimately, all we can do is believe in ourselves. The world has no filters; we must learn to react and imbibe whatever the world throws at us selectively. So breathe in, believe in yourself and know that neither criticism nor praise can change your worth as a human.