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15 Effective Ways of Dealing with Criticism & Negative Comments

purity muriuki



criticism woman looking scaled

Does your day gets derailed by a sassy comment or ill-received piece of feedback? If so, you’re not alone; many are affected by criticism. The world is against self-esteem, and it will take a lot of energy and time to convince yourself that you’re an amazing person.

Criticism refers to good and lousy evaluation or judgment that is based on specific standards. It affects our values.

However, you can refrain naysayers from infiltrating your awesomeness with their comments. You can also use criticism to get better. Your professional and personal success depends on your strength to take criticism both online and offline.

Continue reading the article for more information on how you can handle criticism without injuring your self-esteem.

1.   Evaluate the Critic’s Intention Honestly

No one is perfect; thus, listen to the negative feedback objectively. Thinking about your strengths and weaknesses could help you to approach criticism with an open mind to be able to understand the difference. For instance, someone may tell you to sip your tea quietly or go back to your desk. That comment may seem confrontational at first. However, if you evaluate it positively, you will realize that the individual could be dealing with their personal issues. That means that they are not against you as an individual.

2.   Assess if the Feedback provided is Constructive or Destructive

There are several factors that you need to consider before making any decision. Is the person giving feedback known to care about you, referring to an area you should work on, or providing guidance on how you can go about it?

On the other hand, a person with authority may criticize your work and follow it with a self-aggrandizing or demeaning language. Such an individual is dragging you into an endless power trip.

Therefore, react based on the intention of the criticism and after taking stock of those who love you. View their comment as a dialogue and if you don’t like it let them know how you feel about it,

3.   Show Gratitude to those who Offer Constructive Criticism

Thank every person who offers you meaningful feedback, for they want you to succeed. Although it may hurt to know what you did wrong, understand their motives, and thank them.

4.   Control Your Emotions when Handling Constructive Criticism

Refrain from exploding when you receive criticism even when it’s evidently mean-spirited for two wrongs don’t make a right. Thus you shouldn’t react angrily to the feedback for you will regret later.

On the other hand, don’t allow others to injure your self-esteem. So seek clarification, and you will notice that most of the comments that were ill-intended will shatter like rocks under scrutiny. Therefore, it’s always important to set your emotions aside and take a breath before responding.

5.   Apologize for Your Weakness

An apology is a clear indication that you can take responsibility and not that you’re evading it. It also changes the situation from a combat mode to collaboration. Further, it delays the critic’s thought to a latter day or time.

6.   Consider the Suggestions not the Tone of the Feedback

Understand that some people may have valuable critical suggestions, but their tone and style of speaking may hamper the way you receive it.  For those reasons, it better to respond to the feedback and not their confrontational manner. Therefore, detach the two items and focus on the useful suggestions.

7.   Avoid Taking the Criticism Personal

People tend to feel personally offended when they receive criticism. They perceive it as an attack on their real self. It’s important to realize that you also criticize other people’s jealousy or pride, which is merely passing emotion but not the real person.

8.   Smile

Wear a smile even if it’s a false one, for this will help you to relax. A smile will create a positive feeling and lighten the situation. Thus, a smile helps you psychologically and motivate the critic to be moderate in their approach.

9.   Act on the Positive Feedback

Make plans to work on the areas that were highlighted in the feedback. It’s important to realize that most critics have some bits of truth. Thus, even if it’s negative, ensure that you have learnt from these comments. These are cheat codes of self-improvements, and you should keep a record of them and implement them.

10.  Silence the Critic

You may need to silence the critics once in a while by telling them that you understand that you haven’t lived up to their expectations, but you will do better next time.

You can ask them to give you actionable points in their next comments. The phrase will help them to manage the way they offer feedback next time.

11.  Let them Know that You can’t Listen now

Don’t feel guilty about withdrawing from a conversation when you’re preoccupied with listening. Let the person know that you appreciate having the discussion, but not now. Then go ahead and suggest the appropriate time to continue with the conversation. The step will allow them to reconsider or weigh their criticism and make it more meaningful.

12.  Speak Your Side of Story

Tell the critic how you feel about the issue at hand. It’s essential to maintain peace with people; however, being overly accommodating to avoid conflict at cost is not the only way out. You can use tact and appropriate timing to speak up your mind. Thus, speak up when you get a chance of being heard for even difficult things can be voiced with kindness.

13.  Be Compassionate to Yourself

Be kind to yourself whenever you receive destructive feedback. Give yourself positive self-talk and a treat. Tell yourself that the criticism hurts, but the thoughts doesn’t define you.

14. Allow Your Feeling

At times feeling hurt or angry is inevitable, and burying your feeling is not helpful. Therefore, speak up or write your feelings; however, let them out creatively and move on.

15.  Reduce Your Interactions with Harmful People

The world has different kinds of people, and some thrive off weighing others down. You may cut off interactions with people with a pattern of offering negative criticism. It’s the right time to build your identity by cutting links with such persons.

Bottom Line

You will encounter constructive and destructive feedback from your family, friends, and colleagues, among others. However, you can handle criticism successfully by establishing its intent, responding calmly, acting of the feedback, and cutting ties with negative individuals.

Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to address and filter criticism to live a happier life.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.



  1. Ahmad

    05/05/2021 at 4:55 PM

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to apply what you suggested and let you know my experience with you.

  2. Faris Baker

    05/06/2021 at 1:16 PM

    Thank you for this good article!

  3. Tonya Sanders

    05/15/2021 at 3:27 AM

    I recently ended a 30 year friendship with what I felt was a toxic person. I vowed to myself I was no longer entertain her with immature arguments. It really bothered me by staying silent. I had to remove her from my life in order to have a Peace of mind

  4. Patrick

    06/04/2021 at 12:22 AM

    You have a very great article on criticism and I will use all your input to make me a better senior writer who is writing his first book to help all seniors learn the digital basis for their first time in a day by day learning plans to be successful users in 30 days guaranteed.

  5. Norma D. Rivera

    06/08/2021 at 10:03 AM

    One of the best and comprehensive article on 15 Effective Ways of Dealing with Criticism & negative comments, I am bookmarking it so I can read it again. Thank you Purity Muriuki, You really inspired me to learn more.

  6. Bright Birsir

    07/03/2021 at 9:34 PM

    Well thought piece of advice on the subject of criticism

  7. Keith Cooper

    07/21/2021 at 10:08 AM

    Your online post was one of the most informative articles I have read. However because of the context of my situation some of it applies and some of it does not. This takes nothing away from you.
    As a person who has retired from working for the government and lives alone and one who found it necessary to retire because I had to use Sick Leave for a year because of a knee injury due to a subway accident on a platform after work in December 2019 I often play Chess with a hired house helper who before the game starts says : ” Ready to lose”?. And without exception he usually wins! What do I do about this?

    Keith P. Cooper

  8. Dania

    01/31/2022 at 12:49 AM

    Purity I have been getting criticism at work. It makes me furious and robs my peace of mind. This article is so helpful! Thank you very much!

  9. Annette

    07/29/2022 at 11:04 AM

    Hi Purity, thank you for putting up such a good piece of work. The post has helped me a lot after facing a negative criticism.
    This is exactly what I was looking for.

  10. Diane Lavos

    12/22/2022 at 7:06 AM

    Looks like we can’t post directly under the comments anymore. I’m responding to Keith Cooper: when your chess opponent says “Are you ready to lose?” answer “actually no, I’ll play you when we each have a good chance of winning. Or “I’ll play you when we can have mutual respect for each other.” Whether you make a joke about it or not, don’t play when he says are you ready to lose.” Just wait with a slight smile on your face and see what he does.

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