Picture of a man and woman pointing fingers at each other. How do you handle criticism? 5 questions to ask yourself when criticized.

Posted by & filed under Life Coaching, Relationships, Self-Improvement.

Don Powell, Ph.D., of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine writes that sometimes criticism—the right kind of criticism—is just what we need to make important changes. In an AIPM handbook, Dr. Powell outlines the following questions to ask yourself when working with criticism:
  1. Does the criticism seem reasonable? Is there some truth to what was said? (Perhaps you should pay attention to the remark.)
  2. Have I been criticized by other people on the same issue? (If so, maybe it warrants attention.)
  3. Does the person making the critical remark know what he or she is talking about? (If he or she is a self-appointed critic-at-large, ignore the remark.)
  4. Was the remark really directed at me, or was the critic venting general frustration, anger, or bitterness at something over which I have no control? (If criticism stems from general dissatisfaction, let it slide.)
  5. Is the criticism based on a difference of opinion? (If so, don’t overreact.)
Once you decide that there is some truth to the criticism, you are on the path to taking positive steps to make changes in your behavior or outlook. Being able to hear and absorb criticism without anger or defensiveness helps make the path that much smoother.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

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