How to Emotionally Detach from Criticism

Speaking of bad reviews, as we were below, here’s a broader take on dealing with criticism of all types because let’s face it, not only do sensitive writers take a pounding from time, so does everybody else:

by Beth Skwarecki

Young Houdini shows how detached he is!

You’ll never make everybody happy—and the people that aren’t happy are liable to tell you why. Criticism is part of the price of being human. But even though we know that, it’s hard to deal when the negative stuff starts rolling in. Share an opinion on the internet—or just report some inconvenient facts (ask me how I know)—and you may have hordes of people telling you what a bad person you are. Here’s how to stop criticism from ruining your day.

Accept That It Will Happen

The only way to totally avoid criticism is to simply not let anybody find out that you exist. As soon as you start putting your face, name, writing, or actions out into the world, people will have opinions about you. Nobody, no matter how wildly successful, is universally beloved. Haters gonna hate.

When you think about it that way, getting criticism is a sign that you’re doing something right. You’re putting your work out in public. When I get one of those cringey flashback memories of a time I said or did something stupid, I like to tell myself, I was brave. Maybe I fucked up, but at least I was trying.

Pay Attention to Who Is Giving the Criticism

Do you care about the opinion of the person who’s giving the criticism? If they’re your boss, or your trustworthy friend, that’s different than if they’re just some rando who’s dashing off a mean tweet and didn’t know you existed until 30 seconds before that.

Separate Facts From Interpretation

Even well-meaning criticism has layers of human fallibility between the actual problem and the words or thoughts that come back to you. The other person interprets what you’ve done and they react in their own way; you hear their words and make your own assumptions.