How to Bounce Back After Criticism

It’s hard ignoring that feeling of getting punched in the gut the moment you’re critiqued. You know the value of constructive criticism, so why does it feel like a personal attack?

Bouncing back from negative feedback like a champ is a skill—and like all skills, you can master it with practice! Get started with our suggestions below.

Take a breather.

Naturally, your thoughts instantly enter “fight-mode” when it seems like someone just took a jab at your ego. We’re only human! But when it comes to constructive criticism, it’s best to check your emotions at the door. Take a step back and let any negative emotions subside before responding. It could put a serious damper on your working relationship if you quickly snap back.



Show appreciation.

Chances are, the person delivering this feedback wasn’t trying to offend you. Even if you need time to process what you just heard, at least muster up a simple “thank you.” The best way to bounce back after criticism is to show you were being attentive and appreciate the opportunity to improve.


Find motivation. 

While you’re taking a moment to calm your emotions, reflect on the whole situation. Does this criticism mean you totally suck at your job? Probably not. In fact, everyone receives negative feedback from time to time. The trick is to make it your motivator!

Did you know that Walt Disney was once told he lacked imagination?

Were you aware that Stephen King’s most popular book was rejected thirty times?

Yup…point proven. Receiving criticism is part of life! Let it make you better instead of bitter.


Come up with a plan. 

Now that you’re motivated, you’ve got to figure out your plan of action. Ask yourself: What was I criticized for? How can I do better next time? Was there anything I was criticized for that I can justify? How can I show that I’m eager to learn more? The positive actions you take after negative feedback are important.


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