How to Handle, and Grow From, Hateful Criticism

Producing something of value to many, elicits comments from a select few. The numbers increase as the population you reach grows. Some people will be praiseful, others will critique. Some critics, understand which aspects of your output they should critique and which ones they shouldn’t. Malicious critics though, will select aspects about your output to critique which may be more personal. They’ll attack you under the guise of attacking your work. They’ll use your outputs into the world to draw conclusions on who you are as an individual.

This article is about turning the hateful critiques of others into something you can use to improve yourself. If you’re serious about seeking success in any chosen domain, then you’ll need to master being a receiver of criticism. You’ll be hated by some, and adored by others. This article aims to suggest ways you can limit how effectively hateful critics stunt your growth.


Methodology Be Damned; Its Subjectivity Warrants No Reaction

All critiques hurt just a little bit. The pain they deliver varies depending on their subject matter, and how right those critiques are. A particularly painful type of critique is one which is right in what it critiques, and goes on to use that information to attack you personally. For instance, if the grammar in this article needs some work, an average critic would point out the mistakes and suggest ways to improve. A malicious critic, would point out the mistakes and use them to deliberately cause pain. They’d mention that, “The author of this article needs to go back to second grade,” in an effort to use a weakness as a weapon.

Critiques which are completely fabricated tend not to be painful. Even if they go on to attack you personally for something they’ve fabricated out of thin air, they wouldn’t be very successful in delivering damage. As receivers of criticism, we’re sensitive to truth. The painful criticisms are often true. They force us to face our weaknesses, and to either grow past them or be defined by them.

Truth which is used maliciously is the most painful, and sometimes the most hateful. Possessing a legitimate critique about someone places you over them. You wield the power to discredit something they’ve done with truth. Critics become attracted to making a bigger impact than simply stating the truth, and some of them will opt to deliver that truth in as painful of a way as possible. It shows a lack of discipline on the critics part, and a thirst for coming out on top.

When facing criticisms which wrap a hint of truth into a weaponized package for delivery, practice first looking at where that hint of truth is. No matter how hateful a critique, know what the root cause behind its hateful package is. Ignore all hateful methodology used to deliver that critique. The first step to improving yourself amidst all criticism, is to be unattached to their methods of delivery. Recognize a hateful criticism by labeling what exact truths were wrapped in a hateful package. Analyze what about the package they delivered was a hateful dig at you, and which part would be a warranted criticism in itself.

It takes a lot of discipline to be honest with which part of a particular hateful criticism is warranted. The lines between warranted and malicious will sometimes be blurred. Try your best to not be reactionary to someone’s painful digs directed toward you. View their attempts to package truth in a hateful manner as an expression of a lack of discipline.

Address the Truth

Once you recognize what the causal truth was behind someone’s bashful delivery of a critique, begin to address it. View this portion of the process as, “Cutting the head off the snake.” Any hint of truth behind someone’s hateful critique is the driving force of the whole package they’ve sent your way. Without truth, their critique is useless. It’s thereby critical that you begin to address the truth after you ignore the bashful methodology used to deliver it.

Addressing the truth, for the most part, involves acknowledging its truthfulness, and making an attempt to improve based only on that truth. Since you’ve established it to be the truth, the only thing left to do is to let others know that you’re aware of this truth, and that you’ll be improving yourself based on that truth. If you’ve analyzed the bashful critique correctly, there would be nothing left for your critics to say. Since their hateful criticism was predicated on this truth, your acknowledgment of them being correct on that specific portion of their critique would serve to rob their subsequent hateful methods of their power. They’d be seen as simple bullies if they go on to continue bashing you for something you’ve acknowledged to be true.

Limiting incrimination on your part is an important piece of dealing with these people effectively. They’d be in a ramped-up state whilst delivering bashfulness, and will almost expect an altercation. They’d be caught off guard by your lack of reaction to their hateful method of delivering what perhaps is a little bit of truth. No matter what their reaction turns out to be, limit yours down to only abiding by what is factual about their brash statements. Be calm, address any truths, and don’t react to the way that truth is packaged.

Optional: Calling Out Aspects of Their Criticism Which Were Designed to Deliver Pain

If you decide to further the dialogue between yourself and the people who’ve chosen to hatefully critique you, you can elect to take a step further to discredit their hateful critique. Once you’ve addressed any truth that their critique contained, you would have the opportunity to call them out on the package they wrapped their critique in. Especially if there is an audience experiencing the back and forth, calling out the needlessly malicious aspects of their critique would do well to paint the critic in a bad light.

As you’d have acknowledged the truth behind their criticism, the only thing that would be left to address (if you choose to) would be the methodology they used to deliver that critique. It’s advised that you do not react to their methodology, but simply describe it for those watching to understand. Describing their malicious methodology can be used to paint a truer picture of the critic’s intentions. It can motivate them to be less bashful in their future criticisms, and it can dispel any myths they sought to propagate against you. Remember, a reaction and an address are different acts. If you choose to expose malicious critics in their ways, address the methodology they used after you admit to there being some root truth to their critique. Do not react in emotional, malicious, or uncontrolled ways yourself. Assume the role of an observing educator in this optional phase of the process.


Next in line:

How to Distinguish, and Deal With, Baseless Criticisms

Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.