Criticism is a fact of life. Getting criticized is as inevitable as death and taxes. Anyone who says they enjoy receiving criticism will lie about others things also.
There is a lot that can be learned from criticism. In order to do that, we have to have some guidelines that help govern our response. Charles Stone is a minister and author of several books. Here are his suggestions relating to absorbing and responding to criticism when it comes our way:
Healthy ways to respond to my critics-
1. Give them your ear, but within reason. Don’t allow someone to destroy you with caustic criticism.
2. Let your body language communicate that you are really trying to understand their criticism.
3. Avoid an immediate retort such as, “Yea but,” “You’re wrong,” or some other defensive response.
4. Breath this silent prayer, “Lord, give me grace to respond and not react.”
5. Before responding, take a few moments to check what you’re about to say. President Lincoln suggested that we when we get angry we should count to 100 before responding. That may a bit of overkill, but counting helps us avoid reacting.
6. Look for the proverbial ‘grain of truth’ in the criticism, and learn from it.
7. If you see more than a grain of truth and you can’t process it alone, seek feedback from a safe person in your life.
8. Ask God to keep you approachable to your critics (within reason). You probably don’t want to vacation with them.
9. Learn from your critics on how best to deliver criticism to others. When someone delivers criticism that you received well, ask yourself what they did that made it easer to receive. For those who botched it, remember to avoid those tactics.