The Don'ts of Dealing With Criticism

Criticism is tough to take, and it’s human nature to feel hurt or angry upon receiving harsh remarks—constructive or not. Being that it’s inevitable, though, it’s important to learn how to accept critical comments and react appropriately, without letting your emotions get in the way of good decision-making (e.g., flipping your boss the bird). Inc. recently revealed what NOT to do when handling criticism, a task that relies on emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize and understand emotions and use that information to guide your decisions. The key is to be proactive, not reactive. Below are a few don’ts for when criticism comes your way.

Don’t make the problem seem smaller than it is. Remember, there’s a reason you’re receiving criticism, whether it’s a big deal to you or not. If your actions bothered one person, chances are they’ll bother someone else, too. Consider it a lesson learned and move on.

Don’t allow excuses. Instead of wasting your time explaining yourself, ask yourself why you’re being criticized and what you can do better to avoid a similar situation in the future.

Don’t avoid the issue. You’ll never improve if you refuse to recognize a weakness. Tackle issues head-on; dancing around them will ultimately lead you in circles, rather than to success.

Don’t be above blame. When it’s always someone else’s fault, no one wins, so be the bigger person. It’s easier to accept criticism by using it to improve yourself—you’ll be the one who benefits in the long run.

Head over to for more on how not to handle criticism, and purchase this printable positive thinking calendar from Clementine Creative to keep your spirits up.

How do you deal with criticism? Tell us in the comments below.