How to Accept Constructive Criticism

If you believe that life is growth and that people should strive to grow both intellectually and emotionally, then you need to accept comments by others (oftentimes called criticism) as being in your own best interest.

Accepting such comments with a positive spirit depends on two criteria:

(1) You trust the person and understand that what the person is sharing with you is in your own best interests.
(2) The comments are specific to the situation. Certain terms are avoided, such as ALWAYS, as in, “You always….,” or NEVER, as in, “You never….”

Think of a physician giving you a diagnosis. You don’t react negatively. You accept it because you have faith that what the physician is sharing with you is in your own best interest and you know that the purpose is to help you, not hurt you.

To give you another example, can you list any of your idiosyncrasies? If you are like me, you may be able to list one or two, but that’s about it. However, if you ask someone who sees you on a regular basis, that person will probably have no problem giving you a very long list of things to consider.

Of course, accepting any suggestion for improvement is a choice. But I find that listening to someone else’s perspective is often in my best interest.

What do you do to make constructive criticism easier for others to accept? How do you change your mindset to see the value in any constructive criticism you receive?