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Accepting Criticism

When others tell you how they think you can improve, they give you criticism. To accept criticism appropriately:

  1. Look at the person. Don’t use negative facial expressions.
  2. Stay calm and quiet while the person is talking.
  3. Show you understand. (Say, “Okay” or “I understand.”)
  4. Try to correct the problem. If you are asked to do something differently, do it. If you are asked to stop doing something, stop it. If you can’t give a positive response, at least give one that will not get you into trouble. (Say, “Okay,” “I understand,” or “Thanks.”)

Reasons for using the skill, Accepting Criticism: Being able to accept criticism shows that you can accept responsibility for what you do and accept advice from others. It also prevents having problems with people in authority. If you can control yourself and listen to what others have to say about how you can improve, you’ll have fewer problems. And, the criticism may really help you!

It is most important that you stay calm. Take a deep breath, if necessary.
Getting angry or making negative facial expressions will only get you into trouble.

When you respond to the person who is giving you criticism, use as pleasant a voice tone as possible. You will receive criticism for the rest of your life – all people do. The way you handle it determines how you are treated by others.

Most criticism is designed to help you; however, it is sometimes hard to accept. If you don’t agree with the criticism, ask mom, dad or another trusted adult.

Always ask questions if you don’t understand. (But don’t play games by asking questions when you do understand and are just being stubborn.) Give yourself a chance to improve!