14 Nov 2012

Who Is Your Biggest Critic?

No! Not yourself! But the world! The world dons the hat of being your most constructive critic, whether you like it or not. Never mind the fact that there is nothing constructive in their criticism. Most people have the habit of judging you based on how good you are in their domain. You may be good at many aspects, but aspects which they know better decide how good they think you are. So you may be a good musician, biker, blogger, athlete, person, etc. But they’d rather focus on your clumsiness while cooking, grooming, allergy to bullshit, things about your attitude that they find offensive, etc.

Mind you, even leaders have to put up with this behaviour. People won’t just tell them how a situation should be handled; they will also chastize the leader for trying something contrary to what the masses believe.

Yes, it’s important to be diplomatic in today’s world; it’s KALYUG after all. However, one must fight the tide that is the herd and come up trumps.
Who's Your Biggest Critic?

Here are 5 suggestions:

1.      Be Amused: - Isn’t it amusing how the world is full of irony? While people will criticize you for a certain act, they will justify it when they do the same. Trying to fight at such times will aggravate tension. Instead, realize the criticism is hollow; the person can’t practice what he preaches. Does such criticism matter? Be amused at how filled with contradictions the world is, and you’ll soon be able to see the world through a larger perspective.

2.     Smile: - Believe me, it dispels tension within you; you can always worry about the world seeing your pearly whites later. When someone points something out in you, smile. It’ll make you realize the person is incapable of seeing things from your viewpoint. Also, he is insecure. One genuine smile and you’ll be in a forgiving mood instead of a sparring one. The latter isn’t worth it. And when you think you can’t smile, force yourself. Smile for 20 seconds and you automatically start feeling better. It really works!

3.   Be Confident: - Confidence stems from self-respect. Don’t lose your self-respect for anyone. Self-respect lets you care for people without being walked upon. Confidence lets you do what you want, be how you want and deflect criticism that shouldn’t come your way in the first place. Doubt there’s any need for further elaboration.

4.     Be Assertive: - Make sure your confidence doesn’t spill into overconfidence. There’s a thin line between assertiveness and aggression. The aggressive, know-it-all person deserves to be picked upon by others. Know your limits, respect people and others’ respect will eventually find its way to you.

5.    Listen: - Yes, this sounds like it contradicts everything written above. But you must listen to people to keep finding areas of improvement in yourself. There’s a true saying – “The moment you’re through changing, you’re through.” You don’t wanna end up like the rest who can point out hundreds of faults in others but fail to look inwards. So listen to the underlying message. Disregard how it’s being said. Most people don’t understand the meaning of constructive criticism. You’ll pick out finer points to improve yourself. You’ll be able to handle negativity also; you’ll learn how to turn adversity into an adventure.

Marc and Angel say that most people criticising don’t do so personally. They’re merely disappointed in themselves, which reflects in what they see in the world. Also, if people are criticising you, it’s because you’re doing things which displease them and threatens to break away from convention. So if you’re gutsy, go ahead! Be who you are and stand up for what you believe in! Some say if the world is moving the direction opposite to you, just turn around. I disagree! The world is waiting to be herded in thousands by people like you who are confident. This confidence yields power. Are you strong enough?

image courtesy Google Images


  1. You have a valid point Vishal. We have a habit of shortlisting those qualities abt other people where we feel they are weak. And will develop our own perception. The best thing to do, as you pointed out, is to listen, smile and take it in your stride. If you think the criticism is genuine, try changing yourself, else let go and smile again :D

  2. Thanks for such a lovely post. Instead of saying the whole world is your critic, I guess, it is the people who know you and who are in regular touch with you are your critics. Also, if a person doesn't know you well he cannot criticize you. He can just either blame you or accuse you.

    I am adopting these five points as the five mantras for taking on criticism and implementing it in real life. Cheers !!

    1. Purvesh, thanks... You've given me a topic for my next blog post :)

  3. Hi Vishal

    True, people just cant stop criticizing. Most of us HAVE to give our opinions on something or the other. :) Handling everything with a smile is not easy but I guess with practice it will go a long way in dealing with all of the stress.

  4. Hmmmm.......... much of your tips come from experience. I realize that I have changed in the way I react to criticsm - from defensive to cynical to actually understanding the viewpoint. Good read!

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  6. Whoa Vishal, I loved all the 5 points to bits especially these two points
    1) The irony where the people justify theirselves and criticize others for the same act!
    2) The need to be assertive and not over confidant !
    Thanks for this post and have a great day!

    Would love to hear from you! Do stop by my blog! *cheers*

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