A “detractor” is more than a discouraging person; they are disdainful. Many critics have very little to say about anything good. Detractors are voting “no,” because someone has to.
Dealing respectfully with criticism is an important skill in life.
You will be criticized at some stage in your life, perhaps in a professional manner. Often it would be difficult to consider – but it all depends on your reaction.
You can either use feedback to develop positively, or you can use it in a negative way that can diminish your self-esteem and trigger tension, frustration, or even violence.
Constructive and Destructive Criticism
While both types question your thoughts, character, or skill, it can harm your pride and have negative effects on your self-esteem and trust when someone is offering damaging criticism. In some cases, destructive criticism can lead to wrath and/or aggression.
On the other hand, constructive feedback is intended to point out your faults but also to show you where and how to make improvements. Constructive criticism should be regarded as constructive input that can help you better yourself rather than bring you down.
How do you handle detractors?
It can require strong self-esteem and some assertiveness skills to cope positively with criticism.
First, learn to identify them
We just don’t know if somebody’s being a detractor. They may be a close friend or spouse or other trusted person so when they scoff or say negative things we trust them and take it to heart. But the difference is between being realistic and being just a naysayer. Learn to hear what other people are saying, and see what your response is. If it discourages you, makes you feel like leaving, then maybe this person is being a detractor.
See if they have a valid argument
Often they are only trying to be rational. They may have a legitimate reason to be pessimistic about it. Step back, think critically about whether they pose a real challenge that needs to be solved, and if so, and then find out how to solve it. It is infrequently insurmountable. You can figure out a solution if you want it enough.
Zap any negative ideas they give you
Detractors have a way to take out their negative feelings and pass them on to you. There’s a seed of doubt, suddenly. And it can grow into a huge tree of doubt, with roots tearing the foundation of your goals apart. Stop thinking that is negative as soon as possible. Drive them out, and just think optimistic thoughts. Don’t let them knock you up.
There will always be detractors
There’ll be at least one detractor in any person’s life, if not more. You can’t stop there. But they don’t need to be heard. Smile on, and let them talk. You can’t stop yourself with their thoughts. If you disregard their words they do not affect you.
Face them, and get them on your side
Perhaps anyone close to you is the detractor, anyone you can’t forget. If so, it’s better to seek the person’s support rather than battling them. Do that as early as possible. Tell them this is a very important goal for you, and without their help, you can’t. Tell them that you know they have concerns, but to be optimistic you still need them, to help you. Instead of your worst detractor, they may be your greatest friend.
Laugh with them
Often people are uncomfortable when you improve, and then they will make jokes or taunt you to alleviate this discomfort. Perhaps this has nothing to do with you than with their discomforts. They do not know how to handle this transition any further. Get this done and just laugh. If you take it as a good-natured joke, it can also disarm them. They may continue to make jokes, but if you just keep laughing it will not be as tense and will not have as much an effect on you.
Prepare counterarguments, and inform them
People can just get misinformed. They may be getting misunderstandings about what you’re doing. Know all their claims, and the common possible claims, and have ready counterarguments. Do your research, and be extremely well informed. Start educating your detractor then. If you do it right, you might get the person to listen with a positive, sincere attitude, and perhaps even change their minds. If not, you know better at least, and you’re not allowing their reasons to generate doubt in your mind.
Feel assured that you are doing something positive
There’s just nothing you can do sometimes. You can’t win them over, you can’t avoid them and you can’t laugh with them. So you just have to forget them and keep reminding yourself that this will be your reward for bearing this detractor when you finally accomplish your goal.
There will always be challenges but you can overcome them if you remain positive and search for solutions.