How To Deal With Criticism | People Skills Primer – Part 7

Let’s talk of YouTube.


Yup. More specifically, comments of YouTube. Because don’t you agree that YouTube comments are the newest and chicest feedback/ criticism engine?!


You know how YouTubers get negative comments all the time? Some of the most ridiculous comments that YouTubers are bombarded with surely hit them hard? So how do these YouTubers deal with the tough “love” in the form of criticism?


Check out this video to find out. Just FYI, the good stuff starts at 2:10!


*Curated Video by theDOMINICshow


Phew! Now that you know all that, pretty awesome right! These YouTubers have serious swag! And the reason we feel they’re super cool? Their response to criticism…

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In your own story, when someone comes up with these negatives, what do you do? And what if this starts happening in real life? What if your manager or your professor gives you negative feedback?

Usually when someone doles out negative feedback, it’s difficult to cope. People tend to get emotional, angry or just plain confused and blank. Chances are you’ve been there too. Or you will soon be. So the question is, how to deal with such feedback?

D’uh. There are some simple rules:

For too many people, feedback is a dirty word. It conjures images of being called to the principal’s office or to the dinner table by your parents as a child, and gives birth to the cliches of collective adult horror at your boss saying “see me before you leave” or your significant other greeting you with “we need to talk.” Now as adults, none of these things should necessarily be that scary. Serious talks are times for growth and communication and can lead to so many good things! Human nature being what it is, though, it can be hard to avoid the instinctive cringe when you think you’ll hear something negative about yourself, your work, or your business. But it can be done.

Here’s how you can go about accepting feedback:

  1. Don’t fear feedback
    Feedback can be scary, because what if it’s something negative or what if you find out something you’d rather not know, but it is the way to improve and learn. You can’t fix something you don’t know is broken, and you can’t improve something that you don’t see may have a weakness.
  2. Be gracious
    Even if you disagree with the feedback given, accept it in the spirit of someone communicating with you and wanting you to improve. Maybe that won’t always be true, because there will probably always be people who use what they think is feedback as a way to criticize people with impunity, but it’s best for your sanity and your reputation to behave as if the feedback is being given with the best of intentions.
  3. Consider feedback carefully and then use only what you can
    Give every piece of feedback you get serious consideration, let it sit until you can look at it objectively if need be, especially if the feedback is poking at a sensitive spot for you, and then toss out what you can’t use. Everyone has a different perspective, and every piece of feedback may not ultimately be useful to you, and as long as you give everything due consideration, that’s just fine.
  4. Suspend any defensive responses that you might naturally feel.
    Frankly, most of us have had negative experiences with receiving feedback so our initial reaction may be a “fight or flight” response. Work to keep your emotions in check!
  5. Seek specifics
    Using a non-defensive tone and body language, seek additional information, particularly if the person giving you feedback hasn’t provided you with specific details.

    For example, you could say,

    “I’m sure you know that providing exceptional customer service is very important to me, so I want to make sure I understand more about how I came across in this situation. Could you give me a specific example about what you observed?”

  6. Key Takeaways:

    1. Don’t take feedback personally or react emotionally to it.
    2. Be gracious for feedback irrespective of whether you are going to use it.
    3. Filter through the feedback with an objective mindset and decide what you want to do. It is okay to reject feedback, but you must do so graciously.
    4. It is okay to dig in deeper and ask for detailed feedback or specific suggestions on how to improve. If you are unsure whether you understand the feedback, ask the person to explain it again.

    In the next part, we share how you can figure out that “extra” in extra ordinary and make yourself indispensable.


    In the People Skills Primer, you’ll get a crash course on how you can take charge of your internship or your new job. Here’s the different aspects you’ll get to know more about in the coming chapters.

    • Communication With The Boss
    • Cardinal Rules Of Communicating With Colleagues
    • How To Do Your Emails Right
    • Communicating With A Client
    • Communicating With A Vendor
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Dealing With Criticism & Feedback
    • How To Be Extraordinary At The Workplace
    • Own Your Career

    Team InsideIIM

    We are the team behind your favourite platform.