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Ways to be less sensitive to criticism.

Criticism is abundant in my world. I encounter many people who each have multiple comments for why my idea/contribution is flawed or insufficient. I take it personally as a reflection on me, a criticism of my value (or lack there of) and sometimes I perceive is as an attack so I get defensive.  Here are a few ideas on how I can try to be less sensitive. 

    1. It may not be personal.

    It might not be about me. It actually might jus be the idea. Focus on the idea. "It's not personal, it's business"

    2. Try to get some distance

    When I'm hurt I don't think well. I lash out. I need to give myself some time to process. I can tell the criticizer, thanks for their opinion and I need to process their perspectives. 

    3. Perfection is a fallacy

    Nobody is perfect (although some people do give me the impression that they are pretty close).  So I'm normal if I'm not perfect either. Perfection is not necessary for success. Sometimes going good enough is what is needed. 

    4. Critique the criticism

    Be honest. Is my idea good? Or could it actually be a bad one? Why am I hearing criticism? Is it constructive? Politically motivated? Is it related to my delivery? 

    5. Could it be interpersonal friction?

    I may not be communicating well. Or they may be struggling to articulate What they are thinking. 

    6. Take the long view

    My attempt might be a failure. But if multiple other people fail too, then maybe it is a dead end and we all should stop and go in a different direction. 

    7. I’m not alone

    Everyone fails at some point. Think about it, adjust and get back at it, but do something differently next time. Even professionals have a bad day. 

    8. At least I tried.

    "A for effort" is a back-handed comment that I hear, but some people are so afraid of failing and don't do anything themselves. At least I care enough to try!

    9. Advance the ball.

    I'm terrible at golf and I don't like sports analogies but here I will use it. Movement in the right direction is important even if I don't think the results are good enough. Multiple small shots will eventually get me to my goal.  

    10. Stop dwelling on it and Get back up

    I tend to repeat the criticism in my head on a perpetual loop and convince myself that I'm not good enough. That type of behavior will not help me. So I'll try to stop that or limit how many times I let myself hit the replay button. 

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