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, when we ask for critical comments, what we usually hope to get are
compliments. Who wants to be criticized anyway? After all, criticisms always seem out to
wound our pride and deflate our ego.
Are you getting the most out of criticisms? How can you make criticisms work for you?


In order to benefit from other people¶s assessments, pause for a moment and examine the
criticisms objectively. Be careful though, for being receptive to criticisms does not mean simply
smiling in agreement. You must learn to identify those criticisms which can actually help you to
improve and those which cannot.

Not all criticisms are unkind, unjustified words from someone out to hurt you. Some
people are just not very tactful and their good intentions can easily be mistaken for nastiness.
Their comments may very well be sincere and legitimate, so do not brush these aside.

On the other hand, you should be wary of those who seem overly confident and ever
willing to offer their supposedly worthwhile observations. Most of these very eloquent critics
have very little constructive suggestions to offer. Comments which are cleverly worded are not
always useful ones. Some are the result of mere sarcasm, meant to discredit and intimidate you.
Your best response will be to ignore them.


Sometimes when someone has, deliberately or not, belittled your efforts and hurt your
feelings, it is very difficult to remain cool. But nothing will be gained from launching an
immediate counter-attack.
Instead of lashing out in a moment¶s anger, give yourself time to cool down. When you
are sufficiently calm, think over the remarks. Analyse them and assess their validity. Decide for
yourself if they are reasonable and helpful. Look at the situation with an unjaundiced eye.
Remind yourself not to get too sensitive and overwrought. Do not shut your mind off by setting
up a defensive barrier.


Once you have decided that a particular criticism is constructive, the next step is to accept
it with a positive attitude and do something about it. A constructive criticism will only be helpful
if you act on it. Consider the things you will gain and think over how you should work to get it.
Make extra efforts to improve.
It would also be a nice gesture on you part if you take the trouble to express your
appreciation to the critic. This basic courtesy not only reflects maturity of character, but also
your sense of responsibility. At the same time, it can help establish a rapport between you and
your critic, leading to a deeper and more trusting relationship. Show that you have taken heed of
the recommendations and that you intend to find ways to remedy your errors or improve on your
weaknesses. You¶ll never know-the criticism may prove to be the start of a very illustrious career
for you.


If, after careful consideration, you are quite certain that a comment has been lashed out in
spite and malice, just ignore it.
You can toss and turn in bed or tear out your hair in desperation over some harsh
remarks, but nothing is going to change. And do not be too hard on the culprit. Unkind things are
often uttered in anger. Everyone does it one time or another. Forgive and forget. And be a
happier person.


If you think that certain criticisms are biased or unjustified, do not simply attack the other
party in an aggressive manner. Instead of getting abusive, adopt a diplomatic tone. Ask for an
explanation if there are any comments which you are uncertain about. And you should of course
keep an open mind.

! "

Careless comments can sometimes turn a friendly dialogue into a heated and touchy
debate. Under such a highly charged setting, it is only natural that you react impulsively.
Hostility and antagonism start to set in and this can eventually turn into an ugly situation.
Instead of exploding in fury at being made the target of insulting remarks, it will save
everyone the discomfort and agitation of a full-blown verbal battle if you just use a little humour.
Ignore the offending remarks. Learn to laugh away the mean words and unfair comments.
Sprinkle some humour over the tensed atmosphere.
If you frequently display an aversion for criticisms, others will soon become reluctant to
offer any constructive criticism or advice. This means, you will not have to be subjected to the
agony of taunting and often biased accusations, but you will also be forfeiting yourself of
possibly beneficial and well-meaning observations. Instead of honest opinions, others may resort
to the flattery and false praise the feel you desire.
Words may inflict hurting and shameful wounds on your pride, but if they are well-
intentioned and offer helpful advice, they certainly deserve your attention. Whether you can
actually gain from them depends entirely on your attitude and on how you respond to him.