By Anusha Bapat

A tough but essential part of everyone’s career is receiving feedback. It can be difficult to hear that you haven’t succeeded at a task especially if you have put a lot of effort into it.

However it’s important to realize that sometimes criticism is delivered not to attack you but to help you improve. It’s perfectly normal for negative feedback to bother you but it will keep coming and you need to learn to come to terms with it. 

Here are 5 ways to deal with criticism:

1.Listen to what the person is trying to convey – We are quick to cut them off and defend ourselves. Remain calm and avoid getting aggressive. Evaluate the person’s intentions honestly and then politely offer your side of the story. It is important to be respectful at all times or you might end up saying something you will regret later.

2. Avoid taking it personally – The majority of the time, they’re criticizing your work, not how you are as a person. One comment does not mean they dislike you. Thank the person for giving you feedback to improve and tell them you will work on it even if it hurt you on the inside. 

3. Take constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn – This is a cliche but no one is perfect. You have to keep improving in life. Acknowledge the criticism and decide whether it is constructive without a bias. For all you know, your work might instantly ameliorate after taking their suggestion. 

4. Allow yourself to feel disappointment and anger – Give yourself a break and try self-care techniques like journaling. If it bothers you too much, go to someone you trust and vent about it. Don’t allow criticism to affect your self-confidence. Remind yourself of all that you have achieved and that one setback does not mean you’re incompetent. 

5. Schedule a follow-up a week or two after you’ve received criticism – This can give you a chance to show that you have made an attempt to improve and inquire whether you need to change anything else.

At the end of the day, criticism is inevitable. You will receive it in some form nor the other. You need to distinguish between the constructive and destructive, take it with a grain of salt and focus on improving.