How to accept criticism

Q&A: How to accept criticism without taking it personally

Question: “Hi Tomas, how can I learn to accept constructive criticism without taking it personally?”

This is an important question and very relevant in both personal growth and professional development.

Let’s get into it.


It’s common to struggle with constructive criticism because it can feel like a direct attack on your abilities or character, even when it’s meant to help.

This reaction often stems from our instinct to defend our self-image and the fear of appearing inadequate.

Understanding that constructive criticism is a valuable tool for improvement, not a personal slight, can shift how you perceive and use the feedback.


The goal is to reframe your perspective on criticism from a threat to an opportunity.

It’s important to detach your self-worth from the feedback and view it as a resource for personal and professional growth.

Recognizing that even the most skilled professionals require feedback to reach their full potential can help you embrace the process more openly.

⚙️ HOW

Here are practical steps to help you start accepting constructive criticism more gracefully:

1️⃣ Reflect Before Responding
Take a moment to process the feedback instead of reacting immediately. This pause helps you approach the critique with less emotion and more logic, allowing you to understand the intent behind the words.

2️⃣ Seek Clarification
If feedback feels vague or confusing, ask for specific examples or further explanation. This not only shows your willingness to improve but also helps ensure that you fully understand the feedback and how you can apply it.

3️⃣ Separate “You” From Your Actions
Understand that criticism is usually aimed at your actions, not you as a person. By distinguishing between who you are and what you do, you can focus more on improving specific behaviors or skills without feeling diminished as a person.

4️⃣ Apply Constructive Parts
Focus on the useful aspects of the feedback. Consider how implementing this advice could lead to better outcomes in your work or personal life. This approach makes criticism feel more like a tool for success rather than a form of judgment.

⏱️ NOW

Think about a recent instance where you received constructive criticism.

Reflect on your initial emotional response and how you might perceive it differently now, using the steps above. Try to revisit the feedback with this new perspective and plan how you can apply it constructively.

This exercise can be your first step toward changing how you receive and benefit from criticism in the future.




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