Merge's Blog

Negative criticism – how to tell the useful from the useless

Criticism can be hard to take.  Even if it is well-meaning, it can hurt.  And if it is unkind, it is even worse.  What should you do?  React or ignore it?  Respond or walk-away?  Act on it or disregard it.  All compelling questions, but not always easy to consider in the emotion of the moment.  The reality is that only a portion of the criticism you receive is actually valid, and even a smaller fraction are things you should actually follow-through on.  The key to not letting the criticism get to you lies in separating these latter few from the rest.

In this morning’s The Globe and Mail, I give a great two-step process to unemotionally evaluate the criticism you receive so that you can decide what to do next.  Read: How to differentiate helpful from unhelpful negative criticism and find out how to separate the trolls and the fake friends from the supporters and the experts.

negative criticism

If you’re a paid online subscriber to The Globe, you can also access this directly at their site via this link: And if you’re a subscriber to the print edition, my column is expected to publish there in Wednesday’s edition.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with negative criticism, whether you were on the giving or the receiving end.  Please share your thoughts by adding a comment below.

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