Handling Criticism With Grace

Whether you’re pursuing a career in entertainment or a career in finance, if you want to be great at anything, you need to learn how to handle criticism with grace. How else can you get better?

Working at my school’s Writing Center, I look at all the graduate and doctoral students I tutor, and I’m inspired by them. Not gonna lie, a lot of them are already really successful folks in their own right. Some of them own their own companies. Some of them are strong advocates for the underprivileged. Some of them are high up in the government.

But how did they get that way in the first place? Being successful I mean.

Well, first off, they are not afraid to admit they might need help. Obviously, they’re going to the Writing Center with their drafts, and they’re handling critique and feedback on ways they can improve. Many of these students, even if they’re already solid writers, want to become better.

They openly listen to comments without being defensive, they make their own judgments, and they change what they see fit. They’re not afraid of constructive criticism because it helps them be better, and sometimes you need another perspective to do that. This is called having thick skin.

I say this because so many people, including myself, are afraid and or hostile towards this kinda stuff. In my work as a writer, there are some writers who absolutely flip out when an editor has something to negative to say about their piece. Or if the editor comes back with some corrections, reactions would flare. As a result, these writers are let go because of their pride and defensiveness.

However, without acknowledging your own weaknesses and accepting help/advice from others, you fail to grow.

PS. You’re never too old to grow.

I dunno, that’s just what I’ve observed, and that’s just my two cents. As a writer, I’ve always held my tongue and looked at feedback as a way to improve. The editor may not even be right, but most likely, they know their brand more than I do. I’ve always responded to editors with a positive and “glad to be here” attitude because let’s face it–if I’m difficult to work with and lowkey hostile, they can easily replace me with someone more amenable.

I will end this off with a quote that is kind of related, but not really. Kind of.

“Open-minded people don’t care to be right, they only care to understand. There’s no right or wrong way. Everything’s about understanding.”

Make good decisions y’all!

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