The act of expressing an opinion or judging someone’s good or poor attributes is known as criticism. But the term is commonly used to imply unfavorable judgment or to point out faults of others. So, it’s no wonder that a vast majority of people are afraid to hear criticisms from others. Running away from uncomfortable situations in order to avoid criticism is an issue that nearly everyone has experienced at some point in their lives.
For students, though, there is no getting away from criticism. People from all walks of life, including loved ones, friends, teachers, coworkers, superiors, and even complete strangers, may offer criticism to students. This criticism comes in different forms – they can be uplifting and encouraging or, on the other hand, hurtful or discouraging.
Types of Criticism
There are mainly two types of criticism, namely, constructive and destructive criticism.
1. Constructive Criticism
Constructive criticism is intended to be beneficial and is based on facts and observations. The goal is for students to develop and get stronger. It is often given with a sympathetic and helpful attitude. Even if the criticism isn’t always positive, it might help you see things in a different light.
Constructive criticism involves suggestions or tips that are given with the right intent, typically to assist students in improving their performance. The feedback must be precise, concise, detailed, and actionable. Only then can the feedback be considered as constructive criticism.
2. Destructive Criticism
On the flip side, destructive criticism is criticism that is intended to insult or hurt another person. It often has a malicious intent meant to cause the person pain and embarrassment. It is unclear and non-specific and does not include any suggestions or tips. Destruction criticism comes from an ignorant point of view; it doesn’t contain any valid facts. It is a personal attack aimed at insulting a person and bringing down their self-esteem.
How to Respond to Criticism?
Criticism from those who are not interested in assisting students differs greatly from criticism from those who are. You as a student must learn to differentiate constructive criticism from destructive criticism. Negative feedback should not be met with a negative response.
Try to absorb criticism without becoming offended. An effective way of doing that is to not take things so personally. Remind yourself that criticism doesn’t define you. Instead, look at it objectively and view it as an opportunity for growth. For instance, imagine one of your close friends has given you some negative feedback. Try not to get upset and angry.
Instead, listen carefully and understand what they are trying to say. Their criticism could be difficult to hear, but as a student, you will undoubtedly benefit from it. Your friends and family have your best interests at heart. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself.
Moreover, we human beings have the tendency to overlook our shortcomings. We don’t notice our weaknesses easily, but other people will be able to pinpoint them to us. That is why constructive criticism is helpful in improving our abilities.
You must learn how to take criticism in stride if you as a student want to be an effective leader. Most people lack the talents and attributes that great leaders have. One of them is the ability to listen to criticism and be proactive. That is the mark of a true leader. Even in the face of negativity, they remain positive and cope with criticism in a productive way.
Rather than automatically react to negative criticism, they remain calm and collected. They take the time to absorb the feedback and think about the actionable steps that they can take to improve. When they make a mistake, strong leaders admit it quickly. They recognize that they aren’t perfect. They become stronger as a result of their mistakes and failures because they learn from them. This sets them apart from others.
You have the ability to influence others when you, as a student, lead others. And the only way to encourage and motivate others is by learning from your mistakes and constantly improving and progressing. This sets a good example for others and inspires them to do the same!