What Men Can Do to Better Handle Criticism

Reviewed, fact-checked & edited by Lenny Terra.
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Criticism is a part of life. Whether you are an entrepreneur, artist, or athlete, your work will inevitably be criticized at some point.

Nobody wants to hear negative feedback about their work, but understanding how to handle criticism can help you grow as a man and become more successful in the long term.

We will show you how to deal with criticism to have better mental health and improve your performance in all aspects of life!

Understand that criticism is not personal.

Understand that criticism is not personal

When you receive criticism, it is essential to remember that the person giving the feedback is not attacking you as a man. They are simply giving their opinion about your work.

This is especially important to remember when the criticism is harsh or rude. Remember that the person criticizing you probably feels frustrated and angry about their own situation and is taking this out on you.

Try to stay calm and understand that the criticism is not personal – it’s just an opinion!

Tip: If someone criticizes your work in a way that feels personal, try responding with something like, “I can see how my work might look like that to you, but I actually…”. This will help them realize that you are not to blame for what they interpreted and show that you care about their opinion.

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

― Elbert Hubbard 

When someone criticizes your work, they are not attacking you as a man. They are commenting on your work. Remember that the critic is not always right, and don’t take their comments too personally.

Use criticism to improve yourself.

Criticism is not always destructive! It can be beneficial in pointing out areas you need to work on or improve.

When you receive criticism, take some time to think about what the person said and how you can use it to improve your work. Don’t get defensive or ignore the feedback – that will only lead to more problems in the future!

Tip: If you get angry or defensive when receiving criticism, try writing down what the critic said and why it made you feel that way. This will help you understand and deal with your feelings better.

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop.”

― Winston Churchill

When someone gives me criticism, I usually react by feeling angry or defensive. I need to start thinking about using this feedback to improve my work instead of ignoring it.

Sometimes criticism can be very helpful in pointing out areas you need to work on or improve. When you receive criticism, take some time to think about what the person said and how you can use it to improve your work. Don’t get defensive or ignore the feedback! 

Remember that not everyone will like your work.

It is important to remember that not everyone will like your work – and that’s okay!

When you create something, it is important to be proud of it. Don’t worry about other people not liking your work – if they don’t like it, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with the piece itself.

You can always try making changes based on the feedback from others but ultimately accept and embrace the fact that some people will simply not enjoy your work for various reasons! Remember: If a million people love it, one person hating it does NOT make this art any less worthy (and vice versa).

Tip: If someone criticizes something you created or produced, try asking a friend who knows about this topic. Their opinion might help give you some perspective. Just make sure they are honest with their feedback – if they say everything is perfect when in reality there were lots of mistakes, then obviously their opinion won’t help much either!

“If everybody likes you, you are doing it wrong.”

― Ben Michaelis

Not every painting is a masterpiece; not every book deserves praise, and not everything needs to go viral on social media (who cares anyway?).

Sometimes people will hate something just because they don’t understand it – but most of the time they won’t like it for their own reasons! That doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with what you did – just take the feedback as a lesson and move on.

You don’t need to please everyone – just keep doing what you love and be proud of yourself for the things you produce (not all of them will turn out right after all).

Make changes based on the feedback you’ve received, but don’t over-correct or change too much.

Make changes based on the feedback youve received but dont over correct or change too much

If someone gives you feedback on one of your projects, try to find the positive aspects of their comments and use them in future work.

Remember that change is good! If a critic points out something you need to improve, don’t be afraid to make these changes – but only if they fit with what you are trying to say or do (don’t let others force changes on you that don’t feel right).

However, be careful not to overcorrect or change too much based on the feedback you receive. This will usually not improve your work and can even make it worse.

Also, don’t let people’s opinions change what you want to say or what you want to create – the only man who should decide this is YOU!

Tip: If you want to make changes, try to find a way of doing this that doesn’t take away from the original idea. If you change it too much, what’s left might not be very good.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

Remember: You are the one who is ultimately responsible for your work, so make changes that you feel comfortable with and that represents your unique style.

When handling criticism, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for someone else might not work for you – and that’s okay! Just find what works best for you and stick to it.

Be confident in who you are and what you do.

Never forget to have confidence in yourself and what you do – this is the only way other people will start seeing your talents too.

Be confident in who you are – even if some of the things you create aren’t “perfect”. No one likes a hostile critic or someone who brings everyone down with their words (but no one wants to listen to those types either).

If something needs fixing, try finding solutions without attacking others for giving feedback on the thing they hate about your art/work. Don’t let criticism affect how much value you give yourself – you are worth much more than that! You can always change based on feedback, but don’t let its negativity get into any other parts of your life.

Criticism can be hard to deal with, but it’s important to remember that it’s not always bad. If you are open to feedback and willing to listen, then most of the time, it can be a source of inspiration.

Tip: Don’t forget to take a step back and look at your work objectively every once in a while. This can help you see where you need to make changes and improvements.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

One of the best ways to handle criticism is by being confident in who you are and what you do.

It can be easy to take negative feedback personally (don’t let other people’s opinions define your self-worth). However, remember that most critics don’t know much about what they’re talking about – they might not even understand everything there is to know!

If someone says something bad or makes fun of one of your projects, don’t get upset – just think: “I made this work based on my own ideas and vision; I could have done things differently, but these were MY decisions”. In many cases, the critic doesn’t matter – only YOU matter!

There are two types of criticism: constructive and destructive.

There are two types of criticism: constructive and destructive.

Constructive Criticism.

This type of criticism helps you improve your work or puts things in perspective by pointing out the good and what needs improving on a project/work. This is also known as “honest” feedback because it points out issues without being judgemental (which makes it easier to accept). Constructive critics can provide additional help and guidance if needed too!

Destructive Criticism.

This kind of criticism targets the person instead of their work. It usually comes from people who don’t have any knowledge about the topic they’re talking about but still feel that they need to share an opinion anyway (e.g., “your art is terrible!”). Destructive critics are often negative for the sake of being negative and can be damaging to one’s self-esteem.

Tip: It’s important to remember that constructive criticism usually has good intentions, while destructive criticism doesn’t. If you’re unsure if a critic is giving you helpful feedback or just trying to ruin your day, ask around or do some research before taking any action.

“It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man’s oration; it is a very easy matter, but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.”

― Plutarch

Constructive criticism can help you improve your work, but only if you’re willing to listen. On the other hand, destructive criticism is just plain mean and should be avoided at all costs.

Remember that not everyone who gives feedback is a critic – some people might just have suggestions or ideas on how to do something better. When it comes to handling criticism, try to take everything into account before deciding whether or not to listen (and act on) what’s being said.

In the end, it’s up to you whether or not to take criticism seriously – just make sure that you’re always learning and growing from the experience!

Keep your cool when receiving criticism.

Keep your cool when receiving criticism

When you receive criticism, it’s easy to get upset or angry.

Remember: no matter how mean the critic is being, they’re not doing this because they hate you (in most cases). They’re just mad at what they think you did wrong and want to share their opinion – don’t let them ruin your mood!

Tip: If you get mad or upset, take a break and return to the conversation later. This will help you think more clearly and give better responses.

“Usually, people don’t see beyond the surface of things and cannot understand more other than the obvious; they are used to judging a book by its cover, and that is why they don’t hesitate to bully.”

― Maria Karvouni

It’s also important to stay positive when receiving feedback – after all, it can help make your work better!

If someone wants to start an argument, give them a piece of your mind instead! The best way to handle critics who are attacking your work/personality is by sticking up for yourself.

In situations like these, try one of these responses:

  • “If you think that’s true, why don’t you try doing it yourself?”
  • “I made this work based on my own ideas and vision; I could have done things differently, but these were MY decisions.”
  • “You might be right about this, but I also think that this is a great work/idea as well. What do you think?”
  • “I can’t do anything about your opinion, but I’ll certainly think about what you said. Thank you for the feedback!”
  • “I’m sorry, but I can’t help that.”

If you feel uncomfortable or don’t know how to deal with criticism, stay calm and professional. It’s also important to remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation – if you don’t want to explain your work or why you did something a certain way, then don’t!

In the end, always think about what’s best for you and how to handle the situation in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Receiving criticism is never easy, but with practice, it can get easier over time. Stay strong, and keep creating!

I am thankful for all the negative comments because they have helped me develop a thicker skin. I used to get offended, but now I know that people are just trying to help.

Listen before you speak.

It’s easy to get upset when you hear criticism, especially if the person criticizing your work is being mean.

Before responding (and potentially starting an argument), take a deep breath and think about what was said. If there are any points that you agree with, make sure to mention them – this can help keep things calm and avoid unnecessary fights!

Tip: Before replying to or arguing against someone’s criticisms of your work/personality/etc., try taking some time away from the situation before responding. It helps me relax and realize whether I want to respond or not.

“Respond only to the righteous criticism from righteous people in a righteous way.”

― Dido Stargaze

Listen carefully before responding – this is your opportunity to understand what the critic is saying and why they think the way they do.

Sometimes people might be right about their criticisms, and it’s essential to be open-minded enough to hear them out. Other times, the critic might just be looking for a fight – in these cases, you can choose to ignore them or give them a piece of your mind!

No matter what, always think before you speak and make sure that your response is helpful (or at least won’t make things worse).

Arguing with someone never gets you anywhere except mad and frustrated. If somebody has something bad to say about you, they’re probably not worth your time.

When you think before you speak, you can more effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings. This is especially important when receiving feedback – it’s important to listen closely and figure out what the person is saying, then come up with a response that helps you understand their concerns.

Ask for clarification if you don’t understand the criticism.

Sometimes, people might criticize your work without fully explaining their reasons why. If you don’t understand what they’re saying, ask for clarification! This can help avoid any misunderstandings and make sure that you’re getting the most helpful feedback possible.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone is familiar with the same terms or concepts – so don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t understand what you’re talking about. Just take a second to explain things so that they will understand.

  • “I don’t quite understand what you’re trying to say. Can you explain it differently?”
  • “I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what you’re trying to say. Can you explain it in more detail?”

It’s essential always to be respectful when asking for clarification, even if the critic is rude. Remember that you’re trying to get the most helpful feedback possible, and sometimes that requires some patience.

Don’t get upset if someone doesn’t understand what you’re talking about – they probably just need a little more explanation.

Tip: When asking for clarification, use polite words and be patient. Remember that the person you’re talking to is probably just as nervous about saying something wrong or offensive as you are.

“The most critical aspect of feedbacks is how you interpret them.”

― Bernard Kelvin Clive

Often, people will make criticisms that are vague or hard to understand. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

For example, if someone says: “This blog post sucks,” ask them why they think that and what specifically could be improved.

This is especially important when you’re receiving negative criticism about your work. If you don’t understand what the person is saying, it can be hard to improve your work/life with their feedback!

Seek out positive feedback from others – it will help balance out any negative comments.

Seek out positive feedback from others it will help balance out any negative comments. 1

Get as much positive feedback from others as possible. This can help you see the bigger picture and remind you that everyone makes mistakes sometimes!

Even if it’s just a friend or family member, getting positive feedback will make it easier to deal with any negative comments/criticisms later on. Their support might also inspire you to improve your work further. Remember to talk with them about what you’re trying to improve on so that they can give you more specific and helpful feedback.

When someone offers you constructive criticism, it’s important to remember that they’re giving you a gift. They’re taking the time to help you improve your work – thank them for their time and effort!

Tip: When seeking out positive feedback, make sure to ask specific questions about what they liked best. This will help you focus on what you’re doing well and continue doing them!

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”

–James M. Barrie 

If you get some positive feedback, don’t be afraid to share this with the person who criticized your work in the first place! This can help make sure that they consider their own criticism when offering advice or comments.

At times, someone will inevitably criticize something you’ve done. Don’t let this discourage you from continuing to do your best.

Conclusion

We hope that these tips will help you deal with criticism better and more efficiently. Remember, there’s a difference between receiving feedback and being criticized.

When you receive criticism, it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is trying to attack you – it could just be that they want to help. Always try to stay calm and remember that the critic might not know everything.

As long as you are a respectful, open-minded, and polite man, criticism shouldn’t be a big problem. Try to stay positive even if someone is negative, and always think before you speak.

What are your tips for dealing with criticism? Do you have any good comebacks to common criticisms? Let us know in the comments below!

Author

  • Lenny Terra is the founder & editor-in-chief. He’s a life coach, software engineer, freelance writer, and has a diploma in Modern Applied Psychology. Lenny has a passion for great living & beautiful design. He is married and is the father of two beautiful girls. His life’s mission is to help people improve their lives, become happier and more productive. This blog is his contribution to that goal and to the empowerment of his readers. Lenny and his family live in Texas with their two dogs.

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