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The Best Response to Criticism

Elbert Hubbard

“To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Elbert Hubbard

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Best Response to Criticism

The Best Response to Criticism

https://www.raptitude.com/2014/12/the-best-response-to-criticism/

raptitude.com

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Key Ideas

Accepting criticism

Criticism weighs more on our emotions than praise does. 

We remember negative events more vividly than positive ones, and we give more emotional weight to a loss than an equivalent gain.

Overvaluation of negativity

We tend to be more passive in life than we would be if we weighed negativity and positivity the same.

Bad outcomes seem to weight more in terms of punishment than good outcomes weight in terms of benefit, so it can seem sensible to speak out and try new things as infrequently as possible.

Criticism is not about you

Criticism is about all the critic’s experience, not the target’s. 

It all begins with an internal reaction between what the critic sees and what it reminds him of.

The critic is really just reacting to an appearance that happened to include you, filtered through his own worldview, emotional state, and personal experience. 

How we perceive criticism

While the process for the critic is very often superficial and ephemeral when we’re criticized we take it as an indictment of our selves directly, of our very being. 

From the sender, it may really mean “I don’t like what this seems like,” but to the recipient, it feels like “You shouldn’t be who you are.” This is why we keep thinking about it for hours or days.

Meet criticism with empathy

The most powerful tool for responding to criticism is empathy.

We are in a much better position to learn from criticism (and minimize its sting) when we think of it as something that is happening in someone else’s head.

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Turn The Heat Around

Make it your critic's job to prove themselves to you, rather than the other way around. 

99% of critics disappear when confronted with any kind of rigorous intellectual challenge....

Preparing For Battle

No one is going to engage in a serious debate with you when you look prepared for an academic beat down.

If someone attacks your work in a nasty way, don't get angry. Say instead something like:  “it’s interesting that you should say that because my research (cite some book or blog post) seems to suggest that the opposite is actually true. Is there some study or paper you can point me to that would validate your claim?”

Get Inspired

Use the criticism of your past work to generate ideas for new projects. 

For example, researching a response to a critic may lead you to read about or experience something you never would have before, which can open the door for all sorts of new experiments in your professional or personal projects.

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How to criticize with kindness
  • Re-express your target’s position so fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way".
  • List any points of agreement (especially if they a...
Tactical Hell

It is a place where we are perpetually reactive to other people’s demands and needs, driven by emotional instead of logical impulses.

We need to escape it and see things objectively an...

The Art of Negative Visualization

This is a stoic lesson, to visualize failure in advance.

It helps because if you imagine failure you start seeing all the ways that have led to that result. And you can start actively working on addressing and mitigating them in advance.

The ‘Draw-Down Period’

Before he would jump into an idea and go full steam, take a reflective period to step back ask yourself: "What do I really have here? Do I actually have something? What am I hoping to accomplish?”

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