Have you ever dealt with direct or overt criticism from friends or family who weren’t supportive of your life choices?
Especially when you choose not to follow conventional paths or those laid out by them – you start receiving criticism from all angles.
While it hurts, the sad part of it is that they all feel they’re doing you a favour and would do anything for you to come back to your senses.
Criticism, whether constructive or destructive, can be hard to take. Here are some tips on how best to receive criticism from family and friends.
9 tips to help you deal with criticism from friends and family:
1: Most criticism are born from love
This is a hard pill to swallow even for me as you might think some people are out to get you.
But that’s not true majority of the time – most people that criticize you do it out of love. It is callback natural for people to want to please those closest to them.
So, when family members or friends give negative feedback, it can feel especially hurtful.
Respond with kindness while dealing with criticism from family.
Let them know that you appreciate their feedback, even if you don’t agree with it.
2: Try to understand where they’re coming from
One way to deal with criticism from friends or family is to simply listen to what they have to say and try to understand their point of view.
What might be their motivation for critiquing you? They might simply want to help you stay on “track” but can be harsh at times whether intentionally or unintentionally.
In fact some people feel the more blunt they are – they faster it gets to your head and you can “get back to your senses.” Filter out constructive criticism from the noise.
3: People give advice based on their level of Experience and knowledge
They may not acknowledge this – but most people’s words and advice are merely “autobiographies.”
I’m writing this based on my level of experience and knowledge in life. If you read a good book – the author most likely has a decent level of experience and knowledge in their field and have spent some time in learning how to portray such information to their audience.
To those who criticize you for going the unconventional route – it stems from what they have been indoctrinated with and have known to work.
4: Don’t take Criticism personally
What can you learn from those words? What can you ignore? What can you address in terms of misconception?
You can’t think this deep when you take it personally. Instead you immediately get defensive, withdraw from valuable networks and connections and never learn anything.
Think about it – just as people are different accept that everybody you meet cannot criticize you in a calm and loving manner. Its what it is.
They do so out of their different personalities and mindset which reflects on how they talk and act.
In fact, when they’re rude or dishonest don’t take it personally: It’s not about you, it’s about them.
5: Prioritize experiencing life for yourself
If you don’t experience any “truth” for yourself – it’s easy to feel empty even after you achieve whatever reward was promised. This applies to everything including Faith.
So don’t just take people’s word or advice – make some effort to put skin in the game. This does not in any way mean you should avoid learning from other people’s experiences – but you gotta make the decision yourself.
Don’t just take people’s word without pondering on them.
6: Learn from others’ criticism
When someone criticizes you, it’s important to first thank them for their feedback.
Then, take some time to really think about what they said and see if there is any validity to their points.
If you agree with the critique make it a priority to learn and implement right away. But don’t stop there waiting for other people’s feedback.
Be proactive about it getting quality information and advise. How?
- Ask questions
- Read books
- Take classes
- Reach out to safe people
- Observe the habits and routines of the smartest people you know
7: Offer a different perspective:
If you feel that the criticism you are receiving is unfair, there are a few things you can do.
First, try to calmly explain your side of the situation. It’s also important to communicate your own thoughts and feelings honestly and openly.
Personally i qualify people before doing this. E.g. I wouldn’t waste my time and energy on a random troll on the internet.
Help them see things from your point of view.
8: Protect yourself toxic people
After giving your honest opinion, it doesn’t matter if its family or friends – when you see their intention is not to help you grow or they’re blind and stuck to only their level of thinking then you have to make effort to protect yourself.
Be selective about the type of people you share sensitive information to.
Avoid people that can’t respect your beliefs.
- People who belittle or mock your dreams
- People who are only interested in short-term results not processes
- Gossipers and naysayers
9: Drop your Ego
Lastly, almost all forms of criticism are a battle between our Ego and our self-growth.
The former thrives on applause and praises. While the latter works by self-reflection and honesty.
It takes discipline to keep our Ego in check. Even when you think you’re on the right track long-term – you still want to control your ego as its easy to fall if you don’t take heed.“
Most successful people are people you’ve never heard of. They want it that way. It keeps them sober. It helps them do their jobs.”― Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy.
It takes some maturity and emotional intelligence to get over being oversensitive about family criticism or teasing.
Yet you need to protect your mental health to minimize association with anyone coming from a toxic angle i.e. choosing yourself.