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Joe Bryant

How Well Do You Handle Criticism From "Regular" Or Even Anonymous People?

How do you handle it when a regular or anonymous person says something critical or even mean or hateful?  

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Karmapolice posted an interesting thread today about something he perceived to be criticism. 

This had me thinking about how people in general handle criticism.

And by criticism, I'm talking mostly about critical or even mean / hateful comments from "Regular" or even anonymous people.

Criticism by a parent or spouse or loved one is different I think.

For this, I'm talking about the stranger on the street, or the co-worker you don't know well, or the random person on Twitter. 

How do you handle it when they say something critical or even mean or hateful? And I realize I'm talking about a wide range here. But in general, how do you feel about it?

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unless it's from someone i know and respect, i barely notice it.

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i welcome it ... and, as i've learned lo over these many years, it usually says a lot more about the one criticizing than it does about me. 

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One of the perks of being perfect is never having to face criticism.  If anyone is criticizing me, obviously they are wrong.  Why waste my time with such fools?

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Just now, TheIronSheik said:

One of the perks of being perfect is never having to face criticism.  If anyone is criticizing me, obviously they are wrong.  Why waste my time with such fools?

Of course, this other guy I know always takes things to heart.  Probably lets it hurt him when it shouldn't.  Wish I wasn't...  I mean, he wishes he wasn't that way, but he can't help it.

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Other people don't need my approval or affirmation to live their lives the way they want.  Similarly, I don't need the approval or affirmation of others to do likewise.  That's how a healthy society ought to function IMO.

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I'll admit I have fairly thin skin.  I care what people think about me, regardless of they are close to me or just "anonymous".  I try to not let things get to me... especially in this day and age where everyone has a platform.

Oh and I voted ""It kind of bothers me but not a big deal".

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My immediate reaction is to crush my enemies -- See them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

Then I settle down, reflect to see if what they’re saying has merit. Improve myself or ignore them accordingly. 

 

 

 

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I think it's situational for me, but I generally go between "barely notice" to it "kind of bothers me".  It reminds me of a recent situation with my 13yr old son...

 

He's a very quiet, shy, reserved kid that doesn't show a whole lot of emotion.  He's been increasingly obsessed with hunting waterfowl , so I took him to a national refuge to do some scouting for an upcoming goose hunt.  This requires a lot of miles in your car, checking fields with binoculars, etc.  We were standing at the entrance to a field watching geese with our binoculars when a moron drives by... <HONKKKKKKK> ####ING LOSERS!!!<HONKKKKKKK>  All that was missing was a thrown big gulp at us.  

I could see that my son was a little shaken, so we had a good conversation about how you can't let things like that bother you.  

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4 minutes ago, Ned said:

I think it's situational for me, but I generally go between "barely notice" to it "kind of bothers me".  It reminds me of a recent situation with my 13yr old son...

 

He's a very quiet, shy, reserved kid that doesn't show a whole lot of emotion.  He's been increasingly obsessed with hunting waterfowl , so I took him to a national refuge to do some scouting for an upcoming goose hunt.  This requires a lot of miles in your car, checking fields with binoculars, etc.  We were standing at the entrance to a field watching geese with our binoculars when a moron drives by... <HONKKKKKKK> ####ING LOSERS!!!<HONKKKKKKK>  All that was missing was a thrown big gulp at us.  

I could see that my son was a little shaken, so we had a good conversation about how you can't let things like that bother you.  

If there's such a thing as karma, I hope that guy hit a deer immediately afterward.  What a tool.

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everyone's being glib, all evidence to the contrary...

this all is a big part of what i keep hammering on - people taking life personally. it is at the base of the widening fissure in political discourse, demon of the Twitterverse & bane of Thanksgiving get-togethers.

we are mammals who developed higher brains by being capable of both fight & flight. our entire response hierarchy and most of our endocrinology is based in alarms. danger alarms go off with every challenge, do not subside without resolution or an all-clear and, in humans, mostly end up being abstracted into lion's share of our negative behaviors. i could get much more complicated about our reactive structures and the virtual entirety of personality being rage-based, but i always lose folk when i do

i seethe when criticized. i've had a monstrous temper since i was two, would hurl myself and flail at any challenge and run head-first into walls til i calmed down if sent to my room for doing so. i spent almost 50 yrs atomizing the phenomenon before entirely conquering it.

i still seethe when challenged, but i also get gas when i eat certain kinds of food. i let both pass now, taking one no more personally than the other.

just because survival is not an issue for most of us now, it has been for all but the most recent flicker of time, meaning we are all still locked & loaded with no one to shoot at. every social media behavior is based in how we sublimate that. deal widdit -

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I've got pretty thick skin and really only get funky if someone I'm with gets criticism and I can tell it bothers them.  I don't tolerate seeing people bullied very well.

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i handle it perfectly fine and can't believe that you would even ask this question of me, as if i'm somehow highly deficient, you #####.  good day to you, sir.

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46 minutes ago, fissure man said:

My immediate reaction is to crush my enemies -- See them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

Then I settle down, reflect to see if what they’re saying has merit. Improve myself or ignore them accordingly. 

 

 

 

And then drive them before you and relish the lamentations of their women?

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Random person bothers me a little but won't stick with me.

Criticism from someone I know is a whole different story, no matter how much I try to tell myself I don't care what other people think.

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1 hour ago, joffer said:

unless it's from someone i know and respect, i barely notice it.

This should be /thread

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My dad taught me as a teenager that "nobody is above an ###-chewing" and it's stuck with me.  I don't go actively seek out people's criticism or feedback because I'm not that insecure, but if you want to give it, bring it on.  It means that at some level you do care enough to give it in the first place, and if there's something I can improve or do better, then maybe I can learn from it.  

 

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Here I've found that if I simply put the entire forum on ignore there is nobody left to bother me.

This is where the recent meme "ignorance is bliss" comes from,  in case you aren't smart enough to figure that out for yourself.

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24 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

everyone's being glib, all evidence to the contrary...

this all is a big part of what i keep hammering on - people taking life personally. it is at the base of the widening fissure in political discourse, demon of the Twitterverse & bane of Thanksgiving get-togethers.

we are mammals who developed higher brains by being capable of both fight & flight. our entire response hierarchy and most of our endocrinology is based in alarms. danger alarms go off with every challenge, do not subside without resolution or an all-clear and, in humans, mostly end up being abstracted into lion's share of our negative behaviors. i could get much more complicated about our reactive structures and the virtual entirety of personality being rage-based, but i always lose folk when i do

i seethe when criticized. i've had a monstrous temper since i was two, would hurl myself and flail at any challenge and run head-first into walls til i calmed down if sent to my room for doing so. i spent almost 50 yrs atomizing the phenomenon before entirely conquering it.

i still seethe when challenged, but i also get gas when i eat certain kinds of food. i let both pass now, taking one no more personally than the other.

just because survival is not an issue for most of us now, it has been for all but the most recent flicker of time, meaning we are all still locked & loaded with no one to shoot at. every social media behavior is based in how we sublimate that. deal widdit -

I see you post responses like these from time to time and it intrigues me.  I wish you'd go further in-depth one of these times.

I don't always fully comprehend the pissah-lingo, but I recognize your wisdom.

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I don’t think criticism, if honest, can be mean or hateful.  Should those negative energies be central to the message, then they are the message and not the criticism.

I think if we’re all honest we’d admit to disliking criticism initially because that forces an internal review and openness to being wrong or off in some sense.  Most would, however, be open to it after that initial resistance and seek to improve and/or correct whatever issue.

If you come at me with plain ol’ mean and hateful words, I didn’t know you before and I’m comfortable in knowing that I never will.  Plus, I’m so full of sarcastic self-deprecation that you can’t come close to affecting me 

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Kinda welcome it

Life is about learning. As long as the criticism is coming in a cordial and genuine form I'm always open to learning to be a better individual. 

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47 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

everyone's being glib, all evidence to the contrary...

i seethe when criticized. i've had a monstrous temper since i was two, would hurl myself and flail at any challenge and run head-first into walls til i calmed down if sent to my room for doing so. i spent almost 50 yrs atomizing the phenomenon before entirely conquering it.

i still seethe when challenged, but i also get gas when i eat certain kinds of food. i let both pass now, taking one no more personally than the other.

Yeah, I'm here with the normal typeset, need to get to the italics.

Edited by rockaction

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36 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Yeah, I'm here with the normal typeset, need to get to the italics.

same with people who have PTSD (and the ten people who are sold the idea that they have PTSD for every one who actually does). isolating impulse from idea is a bigly part of inner peace & order

because life is a search for meaning, people attach meaning to everything which occurs in their head. well, a good (and loud) part of that is dealing with the alarms from the survival centers of the brain (amygdala & hippocampus) which have no more intellectual basis than a yawn reflex but are indulged as a personal construct. that's simply a mistake, but one which rules & sometimes ruins a great number of lives.

Edited by wikkidpissah

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HEY! WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?? 

Yeah, you too buddy.

(mutters under breath)

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36 minutes ago, Ned said:

I see you post responses like these from time to time and it intrigues me.  I wish you'd go further in-depth one of these times.

I don't always fully comprehend the pissah-lingo, but I recognize your wisdom.

i have - @Joe Bryant even started a thread for me to do it in, but people tire quickly of hearing precisely how little credit they can take for much of what goes on inside them. i carry on many PM chains with the people who are more curious than others about my theories and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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1 hour ago, Ned said:

I think it's situational for me, but I generally go between "barely notice" to it "kind of bothers me".  It reminds me of a recent situation with my 13yr old son...

 

He's a very quiet, shy, reserved kid that doesn't show a whole lot of emotion.  He's been increasingly obsessed with hunting waterfowl , so I took him to a national refuge to do some scouting for an upcoming goose hunt.  This requires a lot of miles in your car, checking fields with binoculars, etc.  We were standing at the entrance to a field watching geese with our binoculars when a moron drives by... <HONKKKKKKK> ####ING LOSERS!!!<HONKKKKKKK>  All that was missing was a thrown big gulp at us.  

I could see that my son was a little shaken, so we had a good conversation about how you can't let things like that bother you.  

Did he actually say "honk" twice, or honk his car horn twice. This will greatly affect my reaction to this story.

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I voted bothers me a little. but thinking about it- I get irrationally angry when I feel I've been misjudged, so that's not quite right. I am typically judging myself more harshly than others, so most of the time I tend to either accept or not notice criticisms which have typically already been internalized.

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6 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

Did he actually say "honk" twice, or honk his car horn twice. This will greatly affect my reaction to this story.

It was actually 1 drawn out truck horn with the commentary during the honk.

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Really depends on the person giving the criticism and how they do it.

Jackass yelling?  Ignore

Co worker actually having something substantive? I'll listen and see if there's merit to it. 

I can say the only times recently I remember getting criticism were from my boss once, after an interview for another job didn't go as well as I'd hoped, he was professional and I appreciate it. The other was from a Marine vet watching me swim.  I listened out of respect, I don't think he's right so I move on. 

Listen to the substance. If there's something there, take heed if appropriate. 

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1 hour ago, El Floppo said:

I voted bothers me a little. but thinking about it- I get irrationally angry when I feel I've been misjudged, so that's not quite right. I am typically judging myself more harshly than others, so most of the time I tend to either accept or not notice criticisms which have typically already been internalized.

I'm a little opposite. If I am misjudged I barely notice and rarely worry to correct someone. If the criticism is spot-on it bothers me because I suck about something. 

My father had a little motto/short lecture he shared over and over with his six children. Lightly paraphrased it went like this: "What other people think of you is none of your business. It's in their heads. It is their business. Don't worry about it and take care of your own business." 

It's rubbed off on me.

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I get annoyed naturally but I also think about it the criticism has merit and their motivation for the comment could have been. 

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For me, it is entirely dependent on how I feel about the person that is leveling the criticism.  If it is a someone that I do not care for, I might actually enjoy it.  If the person is someone that have some admiration and/or respect for, it really bothers me.  It's reciprocation. I think everyone hopes that they are respected by those who they respect, even if it is unspoken.

Because of that, if the person is a true stranger, and I had no positive or negative feelings toward them in the outset, I really could not care less.

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39 minutes ago, FatMax said:

For me, it is entirely dependent on how I feel about the person that is leveling the criticism.  If it is a someone that I do not care for, I might actually enjoy it.  If the person is someone that have some admiration and/or respect for, it really bothers me.  It's reciprocation. I think everyone hopes that they are respected by those who they respect, even if it is unspoken.

 

To me, this depends on your view of criticism. And of course what the criticism is about. If it's just "you're a horrible, worthless person", then sure. But that speaks more to the person saying it than the person being insulted. 

Joe is trying to combine criticism and being mean or hateful in this thread, but they're completely different beasts. It seems he really means insults here. 

When I hear "criticism", I usually assume it's at least meant to be helpful. 

Criticism by a person you know, to me, means that person sees something in you worth molding.  

Telling someone "you dress horribly and stutter" could be criticism, but it just seems like an insult. "You'd look better if you tucked in and ironed your shirt" is constructive criticism. "You would have nailed that interview if you had just prepared a couple examples of your work in this specific area, feel free to write the question down and take a pause before answering" is criticism, and helpful. 

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If the criticism is constructive and based on facts then I love it. It's how I get better. 

If it isn't then snark overload usually commences. That always then ends well.

And there's very little in between. 

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There wasn't really an option for me to vote, but I live around criticism everyday. 

1. Professionally, I'm a graphic designer and most of my job is presenting my creative ideas to people and clients and wondering if I hit the mark or not. I've had to present my work to room fulls of people and have them shred it to pieces—some with good reason and others with no real merit other then "I don't like it." But for every one of those, they are 5-10 "OMG this is so amazing!" reactions. So those far outweigh the negative ones. 
 

2. I referee ice hockey on the side at some competitive levels. And even if you are doing a great job, someone in the stands is usually not happy and has no problem telling you about it. I've been doing it for 20 years, so in most cases just I laugh it off and let them make an ### out of themselves. But it get a bit harder when a whole side of the stands is against you. 

I called a great High School game the other night, by all accounts, both coaches gave me credit, etc. Yet some yahoo father had to stop of the rink door as we were exiting the ice and gave me an earful about "how that was the worst game he's ever seen and I did a horrible job." (I'm 100% sure his kid was the one I called for a blatant stupid penalty with under 2 mins left in a tie game and they lost on the goal that followed)

Again, I rarely let these get to me, but this one hit a nerve, mainly b/c it was such a good game all around, and I just unleashed verbally on this guy. I know it was wrong, and I needed to take the high ground, but this guy just set me off. 

Edited by glvsav37
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I referee football and basketball, so I get criticism from strangers a couple of times a week.

I usually completely ignore it, but sometimes it bothers me.  Ocassionally you can just hear utter hatred or disdain in their voice, like you are actually torturing their child or something.

The behavior allowed by our society toward officials is total bull####.  I have kind of gotten fed up with it lately and am not allowing coaches much of a leash as they typically are the bandleaders of the boo birds in the stands.

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8 hours ago, El Floppo said:

 I get irrationally angry when I feel I've been misjudged, so that's not quite right. I am typically judging myself more harshly than others, so most of the time I tend to either accept or not notice criticisms which have typically already been internalized.

I'm close to this, particularly with regard to professional stuff.  I rarely will get angry outwardly in the workplace, but when I am critiqued/judged by someone that I am certain doesn't know what they're talking about (and it happens pretty frequently when you're a working creative, as you well know yourself) it bothers me.  Sometimes a LOT.  Not because I care what they think,  per se, but because they clearly aren't valuing my expertise over their own lack of it.  That CHAPS me.

It's similar on personal stuff,I suppose, but it's more dependent on who is doing the critiquing.   Some rando?  I may have an initial "WTF does this person think they are?" moment, then I forget it.

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It was hard for me to answer because I have different triggers with different subsets.  For the most part I’m a very even keeled person, my wife describes me as very calm. But with strangers I don’t respond well to bullies and can (much to my disappointment with myself) get fired up when being talked down too (which thankfully doesn’t happen much). With people that know me well my only real trigger is my integrity being questioned, it’s something I work very hard at maintaining.  

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15 hours ago, El Floppo said:

Did he actually say "honk" twice, or honk his car horn twice. This will greatly affect my reaction to this story.

Driver was 50% right.

 

Love you @Ned

Edited by AAABatteries
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7 hours ago, Jayrod said:

I referee football and basketball, so I get criticism from strangers a couple of times a week.

I usually completely ignore it, but sometimes it bothers me.  Ocassionally you can just hear utter hatred or disdain in their voice, like you are actually torturing their child or something.

The behavior allowed by our society toward officials is total bull####.  I have kind of gotten fed up with it lately and am not allowing coaches much of a leash as they typically are the bandleaders of the boo birds in the stands.

I know the jackasses are the ones that are the ones hurling the criticism, but know that there are lots of parents that appreciate what you do.  Kids wouldn't be playing without folks like you, so thanks for that.

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I guess I’m struggling to find the scenario Joe is describing.  My assumption is that if I know the person at all I would take their comment to heart.  If I don’t know them then I don’t give a damn about their opinion.  And I don’t do social media.

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I welcome all points of view and have seen large growth personally in areas people challenge me, so in that sense, I welcome it.  Absolutely nothing about it bothers me though.  It's a bunch of strangers.  How do people have time to care about what strangers are saying to let it get to the point where it bothers them?

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Depends on my mood, and the nature and/or delivery of the criticism.

Usually I don't get excited about it and understand that the criticism may be helpful. Sometimes I'm embarrassed (Wow, how did I do something so stupid?). Sometimes amused (LOL, how did I do something so stupid?). Sometimes dismissive (Wrong fork? Who cares?). A couple times angry (I allow you in my house and you disrespect me like that? Who the #### do you think you are? GTFO!).

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Ok, so I couldn't stop thinking about this thread last night.  Was up all night.  I feel like Joe was taking a shot at me.  

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