Whenever I’m on a job interview and asked “what is your greatest weakness?” I say, “sometimes I struggle with criticism.” And it’s entirely true — I have an insanely hard time handling serious critique of any kind. I’m generally a tough cookie, too, but the second someone tells me that I’m doing something wrong, I can feel myself immediately start to tear up. I hate how sensitive I get, and admire people that say things like, “tell me what I can do better,” because I never have the guts to say that!
So I liked this article of Hillary Clinton’s advice for young women. This is what she said about dealing with criticism:
“Too many young women I think are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others. Believe me, this is hard-won advice I’m putting forth. It’s not like you wake up and understand this. It’s a process.”
I love the part about taking criticism seriously rather than personally, and having a sense of humor, because I agree — I think that’s key. The few times I’ve really been able to laugh something off, I can almost feel the tougher skin forming.
What are your thoughts?