Super Habit #32 suggests that we accept constrictive criticism with grace. I won’t backtrack on that argument. However, Super Habit #31 is another important habit in regard to criticism. Most generally, we should ignore negative criticism.
Ignore doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen. We should. But often, negative critics are not experts. They’re often people who think they know something about the topic at hand, but they’re not truly educated on matters.
Ask Yourself a Few Questions About the Critic
- Do they have the qualifications? I’ve had people criticize my music who have absolutely no background in music production. Of course, we should listen to our customers, clients, and fans, too. But sometimes they don’t truly understand. Or they are judging based on their own personal preferences.
- Are they being helpful? If the negative criticism is framed in a way that could help you to improve, then there might be some good that can come from it. Sometimes we need to hear things we may not want to hear. If you can learn from it, it’s constructive.
- Are they being hurtful? Often, negative criticism comes from people who are insecure about their own lives, their own abilities. Sometimes the criticism has no value. Whether or not the critic is purposefully being hurtful is less important than if the criticism itself is hurtful. If it upsets you, you could get stuck in a downward spiral. But there are some actions you can take.
Ignore the Negative
- Listen: Don’t tune out at the first word the sounds negative. Hear out your critic. But be ready to evaluate their judgments logically.
- Be calm: Try not to get emotional. That’s often exactly what your negative Nancy wants you to do. Stay calm. Say something like, “I appreciate your concern and your view on this matter. I’ll take your thoughts into consideration.”
- Don’t take it personally: You need to disconnect. Don’t let negative criticism get to you. If you know the information isn’t true, it should be easy to let go.
- Keep on moving: Keep doing what you do. Keep improving. Don’t let unwarranted negative criticism stop you from becoming better at what you do.
When you’re on the road to success, there will be a lot of people who think they know more than you. They’ll try to bring you down because they wish they were in your shoes. Ignore those people. Let the negative criticism roll off and keep working to become better every day.
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