These are just a few of the many nasty comments I’ve received from Yahoo! readers.
When I started blogging for Yahoo! last year, I didn’t have any idea that I would generate this much hatred!
(To be fair, I’ve also received lots of encouraging comments.)
Writing for Yahoo! has been a humbling experience, because I’ve never been the target of such intense criticism and negativity before.
At first, I felt upset about receiving this kind of feedback.
After all, I spend hours writing each article, and I sincerely want to add value to my readers. Moreover, I do all of this writing without getting paid a single cent.
Are you pushing your own buttons?
But I’ve come to realize that every time we feel offended or upset, it’s an indication that we have our own personal issues we need to address.
We lose our cool when our “buttons” are pushed, but we have to take full responsibility for these buttons in the first place.
Do we have insecurities we need to overcome? Are there things in our past that we have yet to deal with? What areas do we need to grow in?
Reflecting on my experience as a Yahoo! blogger, I’ve come up with 10 ways to deal with criticism.
Here they are:
1. Don’t take the criticism personally.
Understand that you’re not being attacked personally.
The critic just has an issue with your ideas or behaviour. It’s only when you refuse to take the criticism personally that you’ll be able to benefit from it.
2. Look for the truth in the criticism.
Take a step back from the situation and ask yourself which aspects of the criticism are valid. This will allow you to decide on the action steps you can take to develop yourself.
3. Wait before responding to the criticism.
It’s natural to feel angry when someone criticizes you. Take at least 15 minutes to cool off before you respond to the criticism.
If you respond immediately, it’s more likely that you’ll say something you’ll regret.
4. Learn that you don’t always have to be right.
Getting criticized reminds you that not everyone agrees with you. When you let go of your need to be right all the time, your mind will be opened to new perspectives and ideas.
5. Remember that it’s okay to have flaws.
No one is perfect, and that’s alright. Receiving criticism reminds you of this.
6. Work on your unresolved issues.
If you feel offended by the criticism, it’s a sign that you have other issues to work on.
Are you a people-pleaser? Do you have deep-seated fears? Do you have an anger management problem?
This is a great opportunity for you to pinpoint any unresolved issues you might have and get to work on addressing them.
7. Remind yourself that it’s only people who dare to try who will ever be criticized.
The way to prevent yourself from ever getting criticized is simple: Do nothing. Attempt nothing. Say nothing.
If you want to make a lasting difference in this world and to the people around you, you’re going be criticized, sooner or later.
This means that if you continually receive criticism, you’re on the right track!
8. Learn to forgive.
If you’ve been hurt by the criticism, learn to let go and to forgive the critic.
This way, you won’t carry around an unnecessary burden, and you’ll be able to make the most of the feedback.
9. Remind yourself that haters are going to hate.
No matter how solid your plan is, how innovative your idea is, how eloquent your speech is, how well-written your article is—there will be someone who has something negative to say.
Ignore the people who hate just for the sake of hating. There are plenty of such people out there.
10. Develop your personal definition of success.
Years ago, I wrote down my personal definition of success:
“Success to me is loving life and loving lives, constantly giving and constantly growing.”
Every time I feel discouraged, I refer to this and remind myself that as long as I’m living according to this definition, then I’m a success, regardless of what the critics say.
I encourage you to write down your own definition today and review it every time you receive negative feedback. This will allow you to see the criticism in a new light.
I love this saying by Emil Rhodes: “No one ever built a statue to a critic.”
Instead, people build statues to those who dream big and dare to fail, those who dare to be criticized.
If we’re serious about developing ourselves and leading a meaningful life, we’re going to get criticized.
So let’s turn the criticism we receive from a stumbling block into a stepping stone to greater things!