Yellow Brick Roads

How To Graciously Receive Criticism (and Even Appreciate It!)

confidence in women

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

When you put your heart and soul into something or put yourself out there, there’s nothing more stinging than someone immediately saying something negative about it. It’s only human to become defensive if someone speaks badly or offers tough feedback on something you’ve worked hard at or on, but the fear of receiving criticism shouldn’t stop you embarking on the path at all.


The greatest of self-confidence stories involve strong women being told that they couldn’t or shouldn’t do something… and going ahead to achieve it anyway. But how to graciously receive criticism and actually work with it to improve yourself? Let me help you out.

Acknowledge Your First Reaction

How do you react when you first receive criticism?

Do you get butterflies in your tummy?

Do you smile graciously even though you want to cry?

Do you become defensive and immediately start trying to make excuses?

Do you storm off?

All are common reactions to criticism, but often leave us feeling worse than it needs to.


Next time you receive criticism (constructive or otherwise), take note of your immediate feeling and reaction. Reflect on how this could be adapted to make you feel better. What does confidence look like in these situations to you? Even if you have to smile when you don’t feel like it and admit that it hurts to receive criticism, promise that you’ll take it into account as soon as you’re able to. Stop, and remind yourself of the lessons you can learn here. One of the most telling signs of confidence in women is that they’re able to pause and consider how to act next.

Actively Listen

Once you’ve been able to calm yourself and collect your thoughts, now’s the time to really take in what’s being said. Listen closely without interruption, and then repeat back the key points you understand. If there’s any potential misunderstandings over vocabulary or purpose, cover them off and ask questions; after all, it may be that the person giving the criticism is looking for something you can’t offer, or don’t intend to offer, or hadn’t considered before. 


Avoid questioning or critiquing the feedback. Just take it all in and remember: the person giving the criticism may be feeling as awkward providing it as you are receiving it! 

Deconstruct The Feedback

Bear in mind: this doesn’t have to happen at the time you listen to the critique, or even with the person there. Wait until you’re feeling grounded. Go through the criticism and, if possible, ask questions. If not, no problem – work through it and deconstruct it. Consider the following points:


  • Are there examples given where situations could be dealt with better?
  • Is this an isolated issue/a one-time error, or has it happened more than once?
  • Are there proposed solutions given in the criticism, and if so, are you comfortable adopting them – or can they be adapted for you to take on?
  • Are there solutions you can think of to resolve any issues?
  • Are the issues raised in the criticism worth you working on? Can they be worked on? Are they in your control?
Know When To Say No

If there’s nothing constructive in the criticism, you can disregard it. Negative feedback with no purpose other than do harm is not something you have time for, nor something you should stand for. If there’s genuinely content within it you can use to improve, do so – but if not, and if the person providing it is unable to give tangible true examples, forget it.

Keep Tabs Moving Forward

You may feel yourself falling back into old habits as you move forward with your life, and that’s only human! Acknowledge this when it happens and try to improve it next time around. You’re not perfect, and you’re learning all the time, but it’s important not to lose sight of the tools provided to you to help you get better.


Constructive criticism can be a gift and give you new perspectives you’d never have considered yourself. Use it as an opportunity rather than a slight, and you’ll be able to keep growing into the fabulous new you you deserve to be. 

Join the YBR family and start building your CONFIDENCE today.

Don't worry, you won't have to click 3 times... just once will do!

Spread the word

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email


  1. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  2. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
    I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to
    everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    1. Author

      Hi and thanks for your comment.
      I am happy to share my blogging format with you.
      I will send the format to the email address that I have recorded for you.
      Hope it helps, Emma

  3. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this topic for a
    while and yours is the greatest I’ve found out
    so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure about the supply?

    1. Author

      Thank you Claudia. Please explain to me in a little more detail the question you’re asking?

  4. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve
    truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing
    to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  5. Hey there. I discovered your website by way of Google at the same time as looking for a related topic, your website came up. It looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Donia Anton Yerkovich

  6. Just desire to say your article is as amazing.
    The clearness in your post is just nice and i can assume you are an expert on this
    subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to
    keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the
    gratifying work.

  7. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    With thanks

  8. After looking over a number of the blog posts on your web page, I truly like your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website too and let me know your opinion. Valina Justus Hills

  9. I really like it when folks come together and share views. Great site, continue the good work! Liva Marco Rudelson

  10. Hi there. I discovered your site by way of Google whilst searching for a related matter, your website got here up. It seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Ingunna Eb Korney

  11. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you. Oralie Skelly Sarah

  12. You should take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the net. I am going to highly recommend this site! Tamara Emmet Raquel

  13. Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain about the source? Natala Smitty Manno

  14. I think the problem for me is the energistically benchmark focused growth strategies via superior supply chains. Compellingly reintermediate mission-critical potentialities whereas cross functional scenarios. Phosfluorescently re-engineer distributed processes without standardized supply chains. Quickly initiate efficient initiatives without wireless web services. Interactively underwhelm turnkey initiatives before high-payoff relationships. Blinnie Lenard Azar

  15. I all the time used to study article in news papers but now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for content, thanks to web. Marilyn Bevon Fabi Cherianne Saunders Domingo

  16. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world the whole thing is existing on net? Stevena Dewain Octavla

  17. After exploring a few of the blog articles on your web page, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and tell me how you feel. Ellyn Farley Grodin

  18. Keep up the excellent work , I read few articles on this web site and I believe that your blog is real interesting and contains bands of wonderful information. Petrina Davis Gregorius

Leave a Comment

More To Explore

fed up at work

Fed Up At Work… Now What?

We’ve all been there… miserable, bored or feeling ‘stuck’ at work, confused and not knowing what to focus on first! Survey results vary but up to 85% of people go


The Missing Link To Understanding Your Child

Being a mum to three girls, although wonderful, does have its challenges. My girls are all very different: their personalities, traits, the things they like and dislike and most importantly,

Ready to kick-start 2022 and build unstoppable confidence?

Join the YBR community and grow your confidence so you show up every day as the courageous, authentic you.

You're nearly there! Check your inbox for a confirmation email from me, if it doesn't appear check your junk mail.