How Can a Student Deal with Criticism


It is difficult to imagine a person who has never received criticism and does not experience any bad feelings as a result. All people enjoy receiving compliments. In order to function well in society, we must be able to perceive the constant evaluation we receive from others. Adequate doesn’t imply humiliating and silently agree with it. However, it also does not imply being aggressive!

We must first distinguish between constructive and unconstructive criticism, as well as between discounting and picking on one’s own address. The first one makes sense. That’s what we’re responding to. The second is essentially the problem of the one who is expressing it. It has nothing real to do with the person being criticized, and its purpose is to humiliate him and/or get him out of his mind. The best cure for this is to ignore it.

Four signs of constructive criticism

  • Objectiveness

First of all, you yourself understand that the remarks are fair.

Second, the opinion expressed by your opponent about your decision, your work, or your action does not claim to be the final truth, even though it contains understandable arguments.

  • Specifics

It refers to a single action, task, article, lab, etc., not to your entire activity as a whole, much less to your personality.

  • It is based on the professionalism and experience of the one who criticizes.

If the answer to the student’s problem does not suit the teacher, the professor, in general, the expert in his field, there is a high probability that he is right (although not 100%, because everyone makes mistakes). And when, for example, decisions at the level of the country outrage the cab driver, one wants to know at the very least: did he graduate from university, maybe served in the diplomatic corps?

  • Not necessarily, of course, but, as they say, constructive criticism is very desirable to reflect the pros (and they are in everything, even in the students’ work that got an F).

First, it is circumstantial evidence of the critic’s professionalism: he sees what is being considered thoroughly.

Second, it motivates you not to despair, not to abandon what you started, but to fix it.

So how do you respond to criticism?

So, the only criticism that is competent and constructive deserves a response. Although it is not offensive in and of itself, it encourages understanding the problem, fixing it, and avoiding it in the future.

However, if you find that you are still overreacting to remarks, it may be time to start self-examining. Why such a perception?

An expert content writer who also writes papers for college found a very interesting example described in psychological literature. A professor, in order to show how a person can react to criticism, began to ridicule a student for her green hair. In this case, her coloring was very simple and standard. The girl (and those around her) did not even realize what the professor meant. But if she had really had strands of strange color, the student would have been very likely to start worrying. Conclusion: we are only affected by what we ourselves are not sure about.

The ideal response to criticism is to listen calmly. If the comments are obvious, agree and start correcting them. Understand incomprehensible moments. Something to argue with. When the opponent is just as reasonable, you will have a dialogue, and even manage to convince him, eventually spinning to an ideal result.

Often a person has a painful reaction to criticism:

  • Turns on the aggression. If possible, directly at his opponent. If not (for example, the boss, the teacher on whom the grade depends, or the most popular student in the group) – he harbors a grudge and takes revenge at the first opportunity.
  • He withdraws into himself, becomes even more insecure, and doesn’t try anymore, saying that he will make a mistake anyway and become an object of ridicule.

You have to fight it! In particularly acute cases – with a psychologist. But until you get to him, at least try to react to the remarks correctly and with benefit:

  1. Take any such situation as an opportunity to improve and immediately begin to improve. Even if you don’t become a high-level master, you’ll still improve your skills: today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow is better than today.
  2. Ask yourself: what does this situation teach me? For example, to learn the material, to be more attentive next time you write, to not do the assignment at the last minute, to check your sources, etc. Even a proper, calm reaction to a remark is also a lesson to be learned.
  3. Don’t be silent if you disagree, feel and understand that the criticism is unfair. Without internal anger or insulting your opponent, of course. Just ask: what exactly are you wrong about? Even if your opponent disagrees, you’ll either realize your mistake or you won’t, but at least you’ll start trying to do it and you certainly won’t end up feeling humiliated and insulted for keeping silent.
  4. If possible, find out the opinion (and more than one) of other specialists, maybe your opponent was wrong in your case. Or you can be 100% sure that you yourself were wrong. And you will begin to move upward, to self-improvement.

Facing criticism for the first time? Welcome to adulthood. Reread the article and remember how to take any comments appropriately.


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