How to deal with criticism? Take it With Pinch of Sugar!

“SCENE: It was around 10.45 am and I was on my way back to home – on the way, I saw her returning from her drawing class. I’m a curator of arts, and I love creative & crazy people – at least they are not lazy like the rest others. I just tried to crack a “raw” conversation…

“Heya! How are things going on in your world? Any new paintings, Miss Artist?” I asked her with a pot full of enthusiasm. She was Trushna (her name is replaced) one of my close friends. She was silent, so I added, “Actually, I really love the diversified creativity that your art always portrays. Your every painting is unique and has something to say.”

“Stop making fun of me. I know you are kidding. Stop bothering me and just leave me alone.” She paused for a second and added, “I have stopped painting.”  her voice had pain and frustration.

“Heyyyy What’s wrong with you? I’m not kidding, nor I have any plans of making fun of you. I really love your paintings – they are just phenomenal. You bring life into a canvas when you paint. You paint it with the colours of your life – and it seems to be real. Whenever I see it, I feel that I have lost myself for a while in your world where there’s no pain, no sorrows, but beauty – in it’s purest form.”

“Really?” She seemed to be intrigued and quite a bit puzzled.

“Yes.”  I paused for a while and continued, “There is a beautiful thing inside of you, Too captivating to be captured in poems, Too alluring to be admired by anyone, Too exquisite & enchanting to be loved by everyone, But loved so very deeply by a chosen few.”  

“Ah! Hey…” She started stuttering, and started to believe – I wasn’t kidding at all. She showed me a magnificent landscape with greeny grass spread across up to infinity, it too was beautiful, “See this, I showed this to our art teacher and she told that it’s some piece of shit. Is she blind or you?” 

“No. THE EYES ARE USELESS WHEN THE MIND IS BLIND.” I promptly responded.

And with this, we both started laughing crazily and loudly. After that – we got busy talking about all the other things going on in our lives (And I won’t be sharing them here). Well, we lost this conversation. But it was not long ago, I heard of someone who gave his life – because of some crappy and destructive criticism. I thought for a while, well, that was the same reason Trushna was frustrated and a little bit disturbed that day. Hearing about the man who gave up his life just because of the external “destructive” criticism “got stuck into my head” and I was unable to stop thinking about it. How could it be so dreadful that forced that man to give up his life?

It doesn’t really matter how you choose to live your life, either you be an incredibly successful entrepreneur or one from the “happily mediocre” crowd. Also, whether you build a billion rupees business or work in a corporate job with meagre earnings, choose to pursue your passion or to go along with the flow, do something unique & great and serve people or choose not to do so… The fact of the matter remains “constant” and that is, “You are going to face ‘criticism’ from some ‘random assholes’ along your way – no matter what you pursue.”

Having said that, the first thing to be understood is this: “10% of people will always find a way to take anything personally. Expect it and treat it as math.” Particularly, as I build my audience – I mentally prepare myself before publishing anything. “Oh, I have 1000 readers now. That means 100 are going to respond like assholes. Not because I’m bad, not because they are bad, but because that’s how the math works.” If you anticipate it, it will throw you off less. If you (wrongly) assume that everyone is going to respond with smiles and hearts, you are going to get slapped right on your face. You will respond impulsively, and you will triple the damage.

“Avoid compulsively making things worse.”
(Anticipate – don’t react)

So, no matter what you do, people will always find a way to criticize it harshly and in a totally unreasonable way – that will, without a doubt, hurt you.

“You can be a juicy ripe peach and there’ll still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.”

SO WHAT?

Too many people are so much sensitive to such criticisms that they either don’t start anything because of the fear of criticism or quit before they actually start it. The fear of criticism has killed a lot of dreams than failure has ever done.

“Failure is a death, while fear is a suicide.”

In fact, all of us would definitely have experienced some sort of criticism – from some random creatures who just seem to be on a mission to make you feel overwhelmed and miserable. But how long will their criticism affect us? Never again after today. Because today, I’ll be sharing some unique and phenomenal tips that will free you from any type/kind/tribe/class/category/variety/breed of criticism. I’m not kidding – if you are still with me, then you will never ever have to “suffer” because of criticism. (It is to be noted that the author is not at all claiming that you will never ever face criticism in your entire life. It’s just that you will never ever suffer because of it, in your entire life.)

#1:

“SABse bada rog, kya kahenge log”

 

 

The very first thing that we need to do to fight against the monster of “criticism” is to kill the “internal critic”. Dealing with internal fear of criticism.

At times, it’s easier to complain about the outside critics, but the biggest critic in your life usually lives between our two ears. The first and the most important challenge is to defeat our own self-doubt, uncertainty about ourselves and the lack of confidence. These are the only fears keeping you miles away from getting started. Well, you cannot blame anyone for these fears – I really won’t do that.

I’m still researching that why people give more importance to “other’s opinions” rather than their own life goals. Well, if you find any solid conclusions, I’m open to it. After all, the fact of the matter is, criticizers won’t stop if you stop. They will still criticize you for doing “nothing”. 

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you will be criticized anyway. You will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

But wait, that’s not the whole picture. There’s still more. Dealing with internal criticism might seem easy – because it actually is. But today, we all are more wounded with “external” criticism than “internal” criticism. As far as I know, there are two types of External criticism: 1. Constructive & 2. Destructive.

#2:

 

 

“Dealing with external criticism”

 

In simple words, “Constructive criticism is helpful and can make you better, while destructive criticism is hurtful and is “meant” to make you bitter.” While dealing with external criticism, it’s essential to filter out what kind of criticism is it – that we are facing. Because it’s pretty easy to sabotage our own “hard-earned” success by never considering the fact that we all are “imperfect” in some or other ways. Just remember, “Constructive criticism is meant to gear you up, while destructive criticism is solely meant to tear you down.”

#A: Constructive Criticism:

There are many incredible examples that I know who have sabotaged their own “hard-earned” success by being “much too” ignorant to any assessment, or opinion – which if considered would have made their art “remarkably noteworthy”. Well, we call it, “insanity”.  Though sometimes, and maybe many a times, the criticism might seem harsh and useless at first glance. But to directly flush it all, wouldn’t be a wise decision. Hence, the first step is to recognize if it’s meant to construct you or destruct you. Here are the few ways I use to differentiate “constructive” and “destructive” criticisms. Well, you too can use some or all of them – if they work well with you. (If not, I’m open to some “constructive feedback”). 1. Know the source, from where is the criticism coming? 2. Is there any truth in it, that you are missing? 3. Understand “why” is the critic saying that. Once you know it’s constructive – there isn’t much hassle to deal with it.

here are few simple ways that I know to efficiently manage “CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM”

#1: Really understand what the critic is trying to convey.

Today, it’s very easy to make assumptions and mess things up, and in fact, we human beings are “master assumptionists”. We can make anything out of anything. Hence, the first step would be to understand without any bias “what is it that the critic is trying to say.

#2: Is there anything you could learn from it?

Oh! That’s a pretty good question, I would say. Ask yourself, curate the criticism precisely and minutely. Is there anything you could learn from it? See if it can really make you better. Sometimes, even a small tweak can bring a huge difference.

#3: Respond to the suggestions and not the tone.

It’s easy to be lulled by our ego. Well, wise people are really wise. They never get caught up in the “crappy” trap of ego. Many times, you may get constructive criticism wrapped up in a packet of harshness. So, it’s really a good suggestion – not to respond to the tone of criticism and focus on “timbre” of it, and see if we can find or make something constructive out of it.

#4: Thank the critic and move on.

Yes, if the criticism was constructive, then “thanking the critic” at the end, is really considered as “good manners”. Appreciate the critic’s effort in improving you even a tenny-tinny-bit! Done with that? There’s a long way ahead – just move on!


#B: Destructive Criticism:

What if the criticism is destructive & it’s only meant to knock you down, tear you off, and make you bitter? Oh! Again, that’s a pretty good question. I appreciate it. You know what? “The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the ‘crackerjack’ comes from having question for everything.” Anyways. Today, unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, we have to face more destructive criticism than constructive ones. How would you deal with it without getting disturbed and acting like nuts?

here are few simple ways that I know to frictionlessly manage “DESTRUCTIVE CRITICISM”

#1: take it as a compliment:

The best way to approach “destructive” criticism is by taking it as a compliment. Critics only criticize people who are playing extraordinarily well. They only prefer to criticize “high achievers”. The ones who are playing high in the sky – even higher than their imagination. They never criticize people who are doing worse than them. Their aim is higher than that. They never settle criticizing “happily” mediocre people.

So, if you ever face destructive criticism henceforth then, “Many Many Congratulations! You are playing better than you think you are.” Take it as a compliment and you will be fine!

“Criticism can be easily avoided by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

-Aristotle

#2: whose problem it really is?

Again, I would consider this a pretty good question. Always remember, whose problem it really is? Whenever you feel overwhelmed or disturbed by someone’s crappy comment, ask yourself – whose problem it really is? Well, it is the critic that should be disturbed – why you? Wiseness is in understanding the fact that, if someone is mad at you for no good reason, it’s just that they are having a bad day and you are just an opportunity for them to open up and omit some part of the frustration they are carrying along with them since the morning.

Many people get instantly angry by nitpicking comments. Always remember, it’s the critic’s problem, not yours. Never hand over the keys of your mood to the other person (Your critic)

You will find that by not responding defensively you won’t become as upset by the exchange. It has nothing to do with you as long as you don’t try to take part ownership of it.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn & complain and most fools do.”

#3: what people say is a reflection of themselves & not really about you!

It’s good, not to rule out the fact that what people say is a reflection of themselves and not really about you. If you show a single flower to 100 different people – everyone will have their own perspective about “how this flower is like?” For some, it might be the most beautiful flower they have ever seen, and for some it might not be the same case. In fact, take anything from this globe or internet. What’s the most beautiful and amazing video on the internet according to you? Which one you think is the best and most amazing book across the globe – go out and look upon the reviews – you will never see the best book or the best video or the best blog having 5/5 stars. Maybe if it’s too good, it will have 4.9/5 stars. Why? Well, there always will be someone out there who will feel offended or disturbed by your product or whatever it might be. Always remember, what people say is a reflection of themselves and not really about you!

Back in the days when Germany was divided, a huge wall separated East and West Berlin. One day, some people in East Berlin took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the West Berlin side.

The people of West Berlin could have done the same thing, but they didn’t. Instead, they took a truckload of canned goods, bread, milk and other provisions, and neatly stacked it on the East Berlin side. On top of this stack they placed the sign:

“EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS”

I won’t give a darn about anyone bullshitting and saying recklessly anything about my work. After all, it’s none of my business.

#4: Are you rating the critical person’s opinion of you higher than yours?

“Never let other people’s opinions be your reality.”

What if I come to you and tell you that you are the crappiest person who is ill, stupid, miserable and nothing other than a “GOAT asshole” (P.S. Here GOAT means, Greatest Of All Time). You are bullshit! You are just like a fat PIG! (P.S. I would never dare to do so. : wink). What would you do then? Well, if I were you, I would do “nothing”. You heard it right, absolutely nothing. Here are few core reasons why A. I don’t give a darn about what you think who I’m. B. I know who I really am, and so I would be least concerned about what you think about me – actually, I really don’t have much time to be concerned about what you think of me. Now, the key point that I’m trying to emphasise here is simply this: if you know who you really are, you would never be concerned about what people think you are. I would further justify my statement with a beautiful example:

The seminar was at its peak. People were totally immersed in it, they were really enjoying it. Suddenly the speaker approached one of the participants and said, “I’ve conducted a lot of seminars and lectures, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a stupid person among the listeners.”

Obviously, it hit the girl pretty hard, and she got upset. But the speaker calmed her down by saying it was just an exercise.

Then after a while, he looked at her again and said, “I’ve conducted a lot of seminars and lectures, but this is the first time I’ve seen a girl with green hair among the listeners.” This time the woman laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” the speaker asked her.

“Because my hair isn’t green.

“Then why did you get angry at me the first time?”

Criticism hurts only when we think of ourselves in the same way as the person criticizing us does. If we are confident in ourselves & if we know for sure that we’re smart, beautiful, generous and slim, then no matter what others say we will still feel good about ourselves.

People find criticism in songs, looks, jokes, and memes. We tend to find criticism where it most often doesn’t exist at all.

So whenever you feel upset because someone said something negative about you, just ask yourself this question: Do I really have that “green hair”?

“Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but that doesn’t mean that their opinion is always right.”

#5: take it casually:

Once a Chinese man came to Goa for holidays.

At Airport he hired a taxi to take him to Panjim.

On the way, he sees a bus 🚌. He said – “The buses here are so slow and noisy… In China, the buses are very fast.”

At Cortalim Bridge Chinese sees a train passing by on the railway bridge the other side…… he says – “The trains here are so slow….. in China, the trains are very fast.”

All the way driver kept silent and drove to Panjim.

Chinese man 👨 gets off the taxi and asked for meter readings.

Driver – “₹ 5000.”

Chinese -” ₹ 5000? Are you kidding? Your buses are so slow, the trains are so slow…  if everything else here is so slow then how come the meter of your taxi is so fast? ”

Driver – “Because the meter is made in China.”

Well, jokes apart. But if you could really learn the art of taking “destructive” criticism casually, well then, I can bet you that you will save yourself a lot of time, energy and resources that can be used for your constructive projects – the things that really matter the most to you. What would you focus on? Goals or Criticism? Wherever focus goes, energy flows. The choice is always up to you.

Here’s how I respond to criticism that I’m blessed with:

Criticism Screenshot

Above is a screenshot of a message that I received from a random stranger on a social media app. I have my website link tagged with almost all of my social media bios.

“I just looked at the site on your bio, and damn… That is some sh#t man.” As soon as I received it, I first checked if there’s anything specific that my dear critic is trying to point out, upon which I can improve or get better or it is something that really needs my consideration. On my primary investigation, I found nothing such – everything was working perfectly fine. Then what? Simple, it’s none of my concern. I just thanked the critic and moved on. You see, it saved a lot of my time, energy and resources that I utilized in creating this long and amazing post. Isn’t that a constructive use of my energy? I won’t argue with that. Imagine, what if I would have tried to react to his nitpicking comment? I’m not sure about my critic, but I surely would have wasted much of my constructive time, energy and resources.

In Conclusion:

Love people – empower them:

The reason I’m here today is just because when I started, someone appreciated my work, up to an extent that I owe all of my success to those who appreciated and encouraged me and my work.The reason why today I can speak up in front of thousands of people and inspire them is just because when I stood in front of my class (10 of my friends) for the first time – everyone appreciated me, just for the way I tried to make them laugh. Yeah, my first ever stage performance was not as a “transformational speaker” but it was as a “stand-up comedian”. I still remember one of my high school teacher who for the first time, empowered me to speak in front of the entire class. I was a bit reluctant to go on the stage and bluff all that I had, but he pushed me to the stage with a promise that – ‘it’s all gonna be okay!’ That’s what started me. Today, whosoever I’m I owe part of my success to my high school sir. And when I would be at my peak level – empowering millions of other lives, in any of my live event – I have already reserved my teacher’s seat in the front row. I don’t want to mention his name here – but I would surely give him back the gift he gave me long back ago. It was within me, but he helped me to explore it, and unleash my true potential. I’m still dreaming of that day when he would be sitting in the front row, and the time when I would get a chance to thank him in front of many millions. “Thank You so much, sir… because of you – I didn’t quit. And see the results.” Wow! What a wonderful moment it would be for him and me!

Like kindness, appreciation is something that can ignite a spark in someone and later on that spark can enlighten the entire world, who knows? What if, my teacher would have killed my hidden Aditya the first time when I went on stage by criticizing whatever I had to offer? Well, I won’t be here – if it would have been the case! I know my first performance was the worst I have ever delivered, but I also know that it was the best I could deliver at that instant of time. From the day, I realized the importance of encouragement and appreciation – I have never missed a single chance of appreciating
someone who is trying something new to impact this world in a positive way.

If we cannot appreciate anyone – it’s perfectly fine. God has not blessed everyone with that skill but, at least we should not “unfairly” criticize anyone. If you could, you can surely offer someone “fair” and “constructive” criticism in a “gentle” and “polite” manner. The way in which it doesn’t kills his motivation and desire to plunge ahead. But it’s my humble request to you that please never ever criticize just for your fun, or in a destructive way. Because we never know that some people… they are just living for that one cause, just one purpose and we don’t have any rights to kill his/her purpose of life. Life is too short to be a critical critic. Far better it is to be a fine student of art. Be like my sir and people will always remember you in their best times of life.

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, there was a painter who had just completed his course.and painted beautiful scenery. He wanted people’s opinion about his calibre and painting skills.

He put his creation at a busy street-crossing. And just down below a board which read -“I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. Please put a cross wherever you see a mistake.”

While he came back in the evening to collect his painting he was completely shattered to see that whole canvass was filled with Xs (crosses) and some people had even written their comments on the painting.

Disheartened and broken completely he ran to his master’s place and burst into tears.

This young artist was breathing heavily and master heard him saying”I’m useless and if this is what I have learnt to paint I’m not worth becoming a painter. People have rejected me completely. I feel like dying”

Master smiled and suggested “My Son, I will prove that you are a great artist and have learnt flawless painting. Do as I say without questioning it. It WILL work.”

Young artist reluctantly agreed and two days later early morning he presented a replica of his earlier painting to his master. Master took that gracefully and smiled.

“Come with me.” the master said.

They reached the same street-square early morning and displayed the same painting exactly at the same place. Now master took out another board which read -“Gentlemen, I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. I have put a box with colours and brushes just below. Please do a favour. If you see a mistake, kindly pick up the brush and correct it.”

Master and disciple walked back home.

They both visited the place same evening. Young painter was surprised to see that actually there was not a single correction done so far. Next day again they visited and found painting remained untouched. They say the painting was kept there for a month for no correction came in!

Moral of the story:-

It is easier to criticize but DIFFICULT TO IMPROVE.

So don’t get carried away or judge yourself by someone else’s criticism and feel depressed…

Criticism: Take it With Pinch of Sugar!

Critics are Useful till you Limit them to positive lessons only! Always put your heart into your work and do yourself a favour to keep yourself always inspired, since surrounding people are enough to do a demotivating job.

Keep your eyes open and your feet moving forward. You’ll find what you need.

 

“Na kisi ke abhav me jio, Na kisi ke prabhav me jio, Zindagi apni hai…Use apne swabhav me jio!”

 

DID YOU LOVED THIS ARTICLE?

WELL, THERE’S A LOT MORE TO EXPLORE!

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“Few people know the ‘price’ of everything, and yet ‘value’ of nothing.” I  know that’s not you, because if it were the case – you won’t be flickering here to make things better and take your life to the next level.

Be Successful by Aditya Bhavsar
Today, a lot of people know what to do, yet a very few do what they know. The reason being is – they just don’t know how. This book is all about “how”. This book will help you to enhance and optimize each and every area of your life and will empower you how to crush it all!

It is not what the book will cost you, it is what it will cost if you don’t read it. 

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15 thoughts on “How to deal with criticism? Take it With Pinch of Sugar!

  1. Krupa says:

    Oh my gosh !! Wow!!! Just Awesome ….the illustrations were ♥ …..and best was the green hair one !

    1. aditya says:

      Thank You so much for the most amazing compliments, Krupa. I really admire your appreciative and charismatic nature.

  2. Prarthana says:

    Aadi😇, thank you for elaborating on such important problem which everyone faces. I think none other but a magnanimous person can only write such good views. May God bless you dear.

    1. aditya says:

      Thank You so much, Prarthna. Glad that you loved my creation.

  3. Virendra Singh says:

    Fabulous! Excellent quotes, well supported with appropriate examples. You are too good Aditya. Keep it up!

  4. Bhavesh Makwana says:

    Such a beautiful solution about the Human faces problems.
    So nice Aaditya
    Goooood…

    1. aditya says:

      Thank You so much, Bhavesh. Glad that you loved this article.

  5. MUMBERE AUSBEL says:

    Hello this one is a nice piece.

    1. aditya says:

      Thank You so much, Ausbel. Glad that you loved my work.

  6. Khozema Rupawala says:

    Aditya bhai it is so timely so inspiring so lively. It made my vision so positive n crystal clear thank you sir.

  7. Aditya Bhavsar says:

    Thank You so much for the read, I’m glad that you loved my creation. Will do my best to deliver more and more such amazing creations.

    Kind Regards,
    Aditya.

  8. Ronald says:

    Hey man, this is one of the best and most comprehensive blog I have ever read so long and that far, Loved it thoroughly.

  9. Shruti says:

    Wow Adi. You have written this beautifully. Loved every word of it.

  10. SannyDaunc says:

    Make a more new posts please 🙂
    ___
    Sanny

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