Everyone’s a Critic: How to NOT Be Crushed by Random (Unsolicited) Criticism

 

Nothing kills your momentum faster than succumbing to criticism…and if you put yourself out there, it WILL happen. You will hear people saying, writing, or even tweeting that you are too this or too that, that your such-and-such is not enough like so-and-so’s, or that your latest book, blog or keynote could have been better.

Taking the opinions of others too seriously can crush your creative spirit IF you let it. The hardest lesson every entrepreneur must learn is that you cannot control the criticism – only how you react to the criticism. It’s sometimes easier said than done when the criticism cuts to the core.

How to NOT Be Crushed by Random (Unsolicited) Criticism

Learning to take criticism instead of internalizing it isn’t easy. A few (unsolicited) tips when you are the victim of random, unsolicited feedback:

Get Mad. Then Get Tough – Give yourself 60 seconds to be crazy mad about it – yell and scream if you think it won’t scare the kids or the neighbors – and then get your tough face on. Chin up and keep on smiling. Remember, the worst thing you can do is let the criticism get to you.

Examine the Source – Who is doing the criticizing? Is this someone whose opinion should matter to you or just some random person who happened to cross your path? Does this critic even have the authority to criticize? If it doesn’t matter, ignore it. If it does matter, look for the gem of wisdom and learn from it.

Question the Intent – Know that some people criticize to be helpful (like the people who graciously point out typos) while others do it maliciously or because they have nothing better to do. Remember the golden rule of social media (and life, if you think about it): Don’t feed the trolls.

Separate Yourself – This is a difficult one for creative types, but you must separate yourself from your creative works and know that a criticism of them isn’t a criticism of you. A simple exercise to get over the connectedness is to look back at your earliest efforts and realize that even you have criticisms of them. Chances are they don’t reflect you now just as your current work doesn’t reflect the future you.

Go to Your Happy Place – If you don’t keep a file of Nice Notes, you should for this very reason. Take a moment to read through all the wonderful comments and feedback you have received over the years. Now compare that to the one snide remark from some random person.

Dear Readers, know you aren’t alone. No one is immune to criticism. Listen to the people who matter the most: the ones who truly know you and not the ones who think they do based on their outside observations!

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About Carla Young
Carla Young, MOMeoMagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched MOMeoMagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!

Comments

5 Responses to “Everyone’s a Critic: How to NOT Be Crushed by Random (Unsolicited) Criticism”
  1. uDaeth says:

    I totally ignore criticism, and it’s not hard because I don’t get a lot thankfully.

    Thanks for the blog post!

  2. Carla Young says:

    Thanks for the comment! Yes, fortunately it doesn’t happen often, but this last week, the topic of criticism came up a few times and I had a random critic decide to weigh in on one of my posts.

  3. Jim Theo says:

    ooh, this gives me ideas. not sure what context your criticisms were couched in, but i will explain in terms of music or art critique:  1) criticisms are usually lobbed at another, due to a set of perceptual filters defined by the preferences held by the ‘lobber’. for instance, a classical music ‘snob’ is going to criticize say, someone like justin bieber, since bieber’s music is not ‘technically proficient’ or ‘artistic’ or ‘virtuosic’ or ‘mature’.. 2) art and taste preferences are JUST THAT, most people tend to forget that art is SUBJECTIVE, when self importance says ‘my tastes in so and so music are superior’ that is ranking on elitism, and elitism is a form of egotism. Really, there is no benchmark or genuine criteria that can be defined that says ‘THIS is better than THAT’. To think that any artform can be reduced to objective criteria is: a) to debase the arts in general with a materialistic notion b) denigrate the notion of subjectivity and the importance of individual discernment, inasfar as ‘taste” is concerned/  c.) allow for egoism to creep in and useless ‘so and so is better than so and so ‘ arguing sets in ( Youtube Comments, esp)  **. 3) people will justify their snobby positions by using logical fallacy and sideswiping of issues, in order to reinforce their egoic notion that “my stance about this taste issue is correct. justin beiber is a sellout, his stuff is not ‘music’, only ‘Bach’ is music”, and hence any kind criticism can be generated with that mindset,  4) THE RECIPIENT of the criticism needs to understand that ‘IT IS NOT ME, it is them!!’ –> even the tendency to be mean and rudely critical of someone reflects A CHARaCTER DEFECT in THE CRITICIZER! As such, one should be empowered and think ‘yes, i am cool, no need to take this personally, that critic really just has a stick up their butt, that’s all!’ I learned this a long time ago, and, I tell you, once you understand this, life becomes much nicer, and the mind is much clearer. Constructive criticism, too. One should always graciously and gratefully accept constructive criticism, especially if it is delivered nicely. Other’s opinions about your craft come from a vantage point you can never have, since you are not ‘the other’, and you never will be ‘the other’!! . okay, enuff rambling, nice post!

  4. MorganSorrell says:

    I just gave the first chapter of my novel to my editor and two friends to critique, so I’m definitely nervous right now! I haven’t heard back from them yet, and I really hope that any feedback I do get is good. But if it isn’t, I will definitely be taking your advice! Thanks for the inspiring post :)

  5. Emma says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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