Take advantage of criticism

Take advantage of criticism

The fact of receiving a criticism does not have to be synonymous with responding with anger. This happens very often and prevents us from capitalizing on criticism. Since childhood we are conditioned to react angrily when someone criticizes us. We feel that our worth is at stake and that we are worse or less valid. Although the person who criticizes us can do it in a hostile way, it does not mean that in his message there is no real part.

It is convenient to remember that the criticisms are comments or requests for change of attitude that we do to another person and that they can be both constructive and pejorative. It is true that they do not teach us to criticize. If our partner is very messy, the first thing we usually say is something like: "You are chaos, you will never change". Although it may seem like a way to encourage change, criticism is lacking in functionality. For example, a criticism like the following would be much more efficient: "With such a mess, the house is always upside down, I would love you to try to be a bit tidier and so we would be more comfortable".

The difference between the first and the second criticism is that the first one directly accuses the person by calling him "chaos" and ensuring that change is not possible, "you will never change." The second criticism expresses an improvement in the house and only criticizes the attitude of the disorder and not the person directly. Throughout this article, We will learn to take advantage of criticism, both of those friendlier and those a little more hostile. Let's get started!


  • 1 Take advantage of criticism
  • 2 What prevents us from capitalizing on criticism?
  • 3 How to capitalize on criticism?
  • 4 When criticism is not convenient

Take advantage of criticism

If we learn to react calmly to criticism, it will undoubtedly be an important step to bring them better. If our reaction is calm:

  • We will learn to control our negative reactions of anger.
  • We will avoid feeling attacked.
  • We will know that criticism is an opinion and we will not put our self-esteem at stake.
  • We can differentiate if the criticism is constructive or they try to manipulate us.
  • If criticism is constructive, we can learn from it.
  • If criticism is an attempt at manipulation, we will frustrate the other person of his attempt.
  • When we don't react in an irascible way, we don't show our weak points.
  • We own our reactions and become the last Thursday of our behavior.
  • We can emerge victorious from a situation in which on many occasions it can become uncomfortable.

What prevents us from capitalizing on criticism?

About ourselves

  • We can fall into a self-assessment That makes us think that we are worthless. Therefore, it is important to know that a criticism is just that, a criticism and does not represent all our value as people.
  • Knowing that we have the right to make mistakes will help us accept them. If, on the contrary, we think that the error is not part of us, we will not take any advantage of the criticism.
  • To think that criticism implies that others stop loving us It can affect your acceptance. “If what they tell me is true… it is because they have a negative image of me and that cannot be; so he’s wrong, it’s not true what he says ”. In this way, instead of reflecting on some aspects of our person, we will be more locked in ourselves.

About the situation

  • Yes we think that life must be as we want and things must go as we want, we are very likely to get frustrated and not accept criticism. “He tells me this because he doesn't know anything about life… bah, I do my thing”.

About the other person

  • When we think that the other person issues a criticism to harm us we are more likely not to listen or reconsider. We can think that there are good and bad. The good ones are those who never tell us anything and the bad ones criticize us.
  • It is important to know the intention of others. On many occasions, the negative motivation to others is added by us. In addition, we can also make mistakes, we are not perfect.

How to capitalize on criticism?

  1. First of all it is recommended change our private speech. We must keep in mind that we are not perfect and are constantly subject to change. It is also recommended change the concept of criticism. Instead of thinking that it is an attack, better think that it is a suggestion, in this way, we will be more open to listen. Also, better avoid thinking that a criticism is a personal failure, but that It's just a comment about a specific aspect of us.
  2. Critic Evaluation. Is it good to change or reject criticism? In this way, we begin by analyzing whether criticism is important and if it plays a prominent role in our day to day. In addition, we can ask who criticizes us. Today the anonymity of social networks is overwhelming and many people tend to criticize for criticizing. In this case, it is important to know how to distinguish, for example, between a criticism of a loved one from someone anonymous who may criticize everything you see.
  3. What is the intention of the criticism? Does the change requested have any basis? If I have a relationship and the criticism is that I spend a lot of time with friends, we can reflect if we are neglecting the relationship or if our partner wants to absorb us and move away from our loved ones.
  4. Frequency and people. If it is a frequent criticism that comes from different people, perhaps we should start contemplating if it hides something of truth.
  5. If the criticism is constructive then it will be better to control our emotions, not defend ourselves excessively, listen actively, ask for more information and establish a strategy of change.

When criticism is not convenient

When we consider that criticism is made with bad intent or is an attempt at manipulation, we can assertively deny. For example: "I understand what you mean, but I don't think that ...", "I don't agree ...", "for you it could be ... but for me ...". Instead of reacting with anger, just talk.

On the other hand also we can use the fog bank. In this case it can be used when the criticism has some truth but it is still very insistent or with a certain harmful nuance. For example, if our friend reproaches us that we are very heavy with the same jokes we can answer: "Yes, it's true, I'm very heavy with the same jokes". If our parents consider that we should play sports because we are getting fat: "Yes, it's true, I'm getting fat, maybe I should play sports".

Finally, mention the advice that, from Buddhist psychology, gives us the famous Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron. Chodron states that If a criticism is true, what is the problem? It can help us to learn and improve. And on the other hand, If a criticism is false and with the intention of harming, what is the problem? If it's a lie, why get angry? Chodron says that if we were told that we have a horn in the forehead being a lie we would say: "No, I don't have any horn" and we would not need to get angry.


Vera, M. and Roldán, G. (2009).Social anxiety Practical manual to overcome fear. Madrid: Pyramid.