Psychology

Coping with Criticism



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How does George Bush cope on some days? Sure he has made his share of really bad decisions, but man, I wonder what it must feel like to be the subject of roughly 80 percent of America's criticism. No matter how poorly managed his eight years in Washington were, it still is a hard job to be President, and I would imagine it can't be easy to have to manage all the complex decisions that have to be made. And that is without all the political wrangling that gets thrown in there too.

Now, everybody in life gets criticized, no matter who we are or what we do. No matter what, there is always someone out there who will have an opinion on how we are doing in life. Whether it be talking about our looks, how we do our jobs, or what kind of car we drive, someone always will have an opinion. Sometimes people will be kind in their judgments of us, but there will always be those who are harsh toward us.

So how do we deal with the criticism that we go through? Well first of, you have to consider your source. Just because someone is being critical of you, doesn't mean you have to listen. The guy you passed over for a promotion may be just a little bitter and probably won't have nice things to say about your management style.

What if the person talking about us is a friend? Or has no real reason to making comments about you?

When you hear harsh words in that situation, consider the context that the comments were being made in. Did someone make fun of your car? If so, who cares, chances are the person who would do that doesn't really have a nice car either and is just happy that someone else is in his situation. Since it isn't him it is an outlet for frustration, and really shouldn't be taken seriously. A lot of criticism is a mask for one's own insecurity, or a way of gossiping, or playing politics.

Sometimes though, criticism is a valid form of insight. For example, as a Bills fan, I have been highly critical of coach Dick Jauron. Why? Well, in his last game, despite having a productive running game, he calls a pass play which results in a turnover and the Jets won the game based on the that. In layman's terms, it was clearly a poor decision, and criticism is warranted.

If you feel like someone is calling you out, you should examine the situation and really reflect on what happened. Maybe you were at fault, perhaps you can use that experience as a way to improve in some aspect of life for the future. Maybe it was the only situation you could have made anyway, and you know your going to get harsh words from someone, in that case who cares, you already knew it was coming so you just take it and move on.

Whatever happens, don't take criticism to heart, or else it will hurt you in the long run. Just because someone says something doesn't make it true, and sometimes people aren't even trying to be critical. Either way, it is a chance to learn, and you know what someone really thinks, so in a way it can help communication with another person. We all do it, its not always that bad, and as an adult we should learn that the only opinion that matters is your own. If you are happy, who cares what other people think.

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More about this author: Cody Hodge

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