Humans fear criticism more than cancer. The dictionary defines criticism as a form of expressing disapproval regarding something living or non-living. People criticize others or get criticized regarding their work, lifestyle, habits and many other things. The ability of a person to handle criticism is a big determinant of their future. Criticism can be classified in two ways:
CONSTRUCTIVE – Opinions expressed with the right intention and presented in the right manner that encourage a person to aim for self-improvement.
DESTRUCTIVE – Opinions improperly expressed that denigrate and discourage a person from doing something out-of-the-ordinary or improving themselves.
While constructive criticism is usually offered by the select few closest to us, most people encounter large amounts of destructive criticism from friends, colleagues and other peers which prevents them from moving forward in their lives. The art of soldiering on despite destructive criticism is a key component to success in life. This art can be mastered by learning how to confidently handle criticism. This can be done by:
INCREASING MENTAL STRENGTH – Good mental strength is a huge confidence building tool which enables easy handling of destructive criticism. The best way to improve your confidence and mental strength is by increasing your knowledge and improving your already-existing skills. Newly acquired knowledge and skills will provide you with the necessary weapons to tackle any kind of situation with confidence. Knowledge helps to counter and disable the negative critical comments provided by the opposing individual. Such difficult situations can be turned into conquests when dealt with the requisite knowledge and skills. Every conquest increases your mental strength and confidence by leaps and bounds.
IMPROVING BODY LANGUAGE – Body language is a key indicator of your confidence quotient to people you meet. The body language of a person indicates whether they are oozing with confidence or down in the dumps. The future of any kind of meeting or deal negotiation is dependent on the kind of body language exhibited by all parties involved. Some of the most common indicators of confident body language are:
- Uninterrupted eye contact especially while speaking
- Correct posture
- Confident tone while speaking
- Firm handshake
- Appropriate attire
- Avoiding nervous gestures like clutching your palms or fidgeting
- Avoid unnecessary pauses
INCAPACITATING INTIMIDATORS – Destructive criticism is generously dispensed by people with the intention to intimidate or scare others. Such people use intimidation as a cover for their own underlying insecurities. Many people mistake this intimidating attitude for confidence and cower down or get discouraged. The best way to incapacitate such
is by appearing unaffected by their comments. Continue maintaining uninterrupted eye contact with them despite the derogatory comments they have made. Avoid replying immediately and take a deep breath as this will buy some time in which you can collect your thoughts and correctly process what you have just heard. Your silence is the best way to incapacitate them as they expect you to have some kind of knee-jerk reaction like getting upset or even crying and stomping out of the room.
Once you have regained your composure and mentally formulated your reply, start speaking slowly in measured tones and this will disarm the intimidator as he will be caught completely unawares. A diametrically opposite reaction to the one they expected is enough for them to concede defeat. It is quite likely that they will think twice before trying to intimidate you once again.
A whole new world be conquered by simply incapacitating these destructively criticizing intimidators who are the biggest hindrances in your confidence-building journey. Once this form of criticism fails to have an impact on you, SKY IS THE LIMIT.