Key Psychological Concepts

How to take feedback

Our identity is often threatened by criticism as people never like disapproval. All in all, negative criticism is crucial in tackling life issues because our advancement is based on unpleasant experiences. We learn by scrutinizing and fixing mistakes. This can be enhanced through performance reviews and self improvement manuals. Likewise, parenting is perceived as another form of negative criticism. (Wright, 2011, p. 28) Everyone thinks of ways they’d do differently from their parents. Parents should think of factors which influence their kids more than others. As such the kids will not always find fault in their parents’ judgment.

The fear of segregation and losing connection is another reason why people dislike criticism. Social connections keep us going and losing such connections as a result criticism is potentially lethal (Wright, 2011, p. 73). Identity is strongly tied to the groups we associate with. Strong criticism therefore threatens our membership to such groups. When we realize that loss of connection is directly connected to criticism, we should find the best way to deliver the criticism.


Another common problem associated with negative criticism is that we feel it comes from people not qualified to give it to us in the first place. When someone seeks for feedback from another person, they are explicitly assigned the task of critic (Wright, 2011, p. 72). Warm and buoyant facial expressions can help soften the impact of negative feedback as opposed to anger and other negative emotions. Similarly, in a critical conversation, a frustrated tone will not be effective as it results in people alienating themselves and coming up with self protective responses. As such, one should not give feedback when angry because anger drives a wedge between one and his listener.

Another important factor that should be considered is to know the person being addressed as different personalities react in different ways to criticism. Some take mild criticism as personally while others capitalize on such feedback to improve on their weaknesses. When one gets negative feedback, they should be ready to admit that it is accurate and should not respond with defensiveness. All in all, a positive attitude should be nurtured between the recipient of the criticism and those offering it (Wright, 2011, p. 89).

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