Hillary Clinton on How to Handle Criticism

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?

13 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton on How to Handle Criticism

  1. This is so good. I always take criticism really personally too, and will henceforth remind myself to take it seriously instead.

  2. Really good advice… Taking criticism seriously, rather than personally. I am sometimes a little more sensitive to criticism than I’d like. I’m growing in that area… becoming more secure in myself to where the opinions and criticisms of others don’t matter quite as much. And taking myself a lot less seriously is a big part of that.

  3. Stumbled upon this from “Cup of Jo.” I loved it so I thought I’d say so!! :) I feel like I’m at a point where I can ask for constructive criticism and take it without grimacing, but then will later cry in my car. Such wise advice, and I appreciate that she recognized what a “process” it would be to take it seriously, but not personally.

    Thanks!

    Al

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