We’ve all been there, we’re trying something new and we’re not sure about it, then someone comes along and criticism ensues. It’s likely to happen at least once and it will sting a bit. You need to be active in your decision of how you are going to take it on board and deal with it. If you’re passive about it, it will only bring you down and you don’t need that.
My preference is to always take the high ground because nothing good is ever going to come of saying anything back.
My 7 key tips to dealing with destructive criticism
1. Constructive verses destructive – First you need to figure out, is the criticism constructive or destructive. The differences between the two are light years! You can normally learn something from constructive criticism and the person giving it, is actually being positive, they are trying to help. You’re not always going to get everything right, no one ever does, absolutely nothing wrong with making mistakes. Often that’s when you figure out the best stuff. Constructive criticism usually helps get you there. Now you’ve figured out it’s not constructive at all you need to deal with it.
2. Stay calm – Often this is when we become the most defensive. However that’s exactly what the other person wants, don’t give it to them. Centre yourself take a breath and walk away or if its online hit delete. Nothing good can come of it and if you give them the opportunity to keep going they probably will. So just remove yourself from the situation without making something of it.
3. Active thinking – You need to actively tell yourself this is a reflection of the person they are not who you are. Some people are just horrible and bitter with the world. This means anyone who thinks different is a target for their hate, or their jealousy and so the way they are making themselves feel better is by bringing you down… are you gonna let them? Hella NO you aren’t! You look dapper af you know it, they know it and everyone around you knows it. So tell yourself to let their words go!
4. Intent – Not all destructive criticism is meant that way, if you know the person and it seem out of character think of a light-hearted way of dealing with it so you don’t feel awkward later. I’d suggest thinking about a light-hearted answer if you were to get a question about your look. My standard line when someone new asks, “Why are you wearing a bow tie?” is “Because I look bloody adorable in one” this always gets a chuckle and takes away any awkwardness that might otherwise be hanging in the air. Completely destructive criticism however warrants no response, nothing good can come of it. You’re better then responding to such behaviour so walk away or hit delete!
5. Self-talk – This helps put you back into a positive mindset. Remind yourself you are unique and awesome and all of people who matter know this to. So what weight does 1 bitter persons’ words really hold? Only as much as you let! So kick those thoughts from your mind.
6. Surround yourself with like-minded people – I mentioned this in my last post about confidence. This will give you people (who know what they are talking about) and a place to ask about how valid the comment was. Doing this you may even end up being able to take something away from what was initially a negative experience. Like I’ve said before if you ever get a negative comment put a pic up on Instagram and tag me @knotustforboys with the question or comment you got I will happily respond!
7. Rite of passage – Anyone whose fashion sense is different will always be seen as a trend setter. So look at criticism is a rite of passage, like going through the gauntlet. You never know who might be looking on in the back ground being inspired by how you do your own thing. So don’t let boundaries confine you and who you are, deal with criticism like a boss!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments or other ideas on how to deal with destructive criticism please put them in the comment selection below and make sure you head over to the Instagram handle @knotjustforboys and follow for style ideas!
Now we’ve got the important stuff out-of-the-way check back for the next blog post on the level up approach to becoming dapper af. So you can just get the compliments that are going to be coming your way!!