Just received a negative comment or snub on your latest project, publication, or blog post? Don’t worry, it’s probably for the best!
Consider a new blogger:
- They’re eager to write, but worried about people’s reaction to their work. They bite the bullet and publish an article. Ping! Someone comments on their blog post. Excited, they approve the comment and read on. The comment isn’t quite what they expected…it’s disparaging to say the least.
What should they do?
A. Hit “Reply”: “At least I’m pursuing my passion, what are you doing?”
B. Ignore and adopt a “words will never hurt me” attitude
C. Quickly delete the comment
D. Thank the reader for the comment and consider how to learn from the criticism
The response to this question really depends on the individual’s personality. According to Proverbs 9:
7 “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
Our attitude towards correction should be like that of the wise person and not the mocker. I must admit, this advice is easier said than done. Having gone through graduate school where my work was constantly scrutinized by colleagues, professors, peers, and journal editors, I used to respond to correction like the mocker: I’d sulk, get defensive, take it personally…rejection is not pretty. The irony is that implementing the feedback usually produced a better product. Yes, criticism improved the quality of my work!
Today I’d like to think that I’ve developed thick skin. I see myself transforming into someone who invites instruction and learns from criticism. Wisdom has helped me realize that correction is the doorway to growth and learning.
How do you respond to criticism or correction?