How to Handle Harsh Criticism in a Positive Way

After reading or hearing the not so positive statements, all or in part, read the following steps in full then follow them. The steps are italicized and followed by explanations and examples:

Relax, step out of yourself. Get so relaxed that the “energy” of the situation is no longer dominating you. You may still feel it, but only slightly.

Look back, do NOT re-read it, just use your relaxed memory. You want to stay out of the “not so positive” (negative) energy. If you are really “pulled” to re-read it, because you did not read all of it, then go ahead only if you think you might have missed something you can turn into a positive. But if you already went through all of it, resist the urge, let the relaxation work!

Turn it into a positive, write it down if that helps. Turn their words into a better way to re-state their opinion. Use a thesaurus if you have to. You want to use constructive, positive words that convey the same thing. Re-read what you came up with, re-place any negative words with a more positive way to state it. (I just did that with this, several times actually, I put the positive replacements in quotes and the negative words in parenthesis, where I could. One place I explained the negative word later. This step is a challenge in and of itself because the English language just makes it that way! I love this about this step! It also helps you with your thoughts because you are broadening your knowledge of positive words. Instead of using all those not so positive words that are oh, so easy to use, you have more and more replacements to use! Your thoughts are highly important to keep positive. You can even use these steps to turn around your “not so nice” (negative) thoughts! How’s that for a challenge?)

Was there any constructive criticism in there that you can use?


Come up with a few ways to meet their challenge that you intend to work on. Only list the points that you are willing to work on, even if it is only one! Then honestly, work on it/them! That statement was there for a reason. Use it to strengthen and build up yourself.

Thank them and let them know what you came up with. Use those positive words. Re-read and replace, if necessary. Keep it polite and positive.

i.e., You didn’t please them (There is no need to re-state why you didn’t please them, unless it is part of your constructive criticism you are using to strengthen yourself.) Tell them you are a people pleaser and it is a challenge to deal with people you can not please. Thank them for the challenge (This word is highly positive. Challenges are meant to be learned and grown from). Let them know that their statement does not bother you (even if it does, that is where you want to be, state it as if it already has happened, because it will happen. If that is your goal, then eventually it will be entirely true! You’re trying to manifest your goal, what better way to do that but to state that it is true!). Tell them that you are using it to strengthen yourself because you know that it is simply a fact that you cannot please everyone.

A side note: I used the word “bother”, it is “not so positive” (rather negative) but it did bring up a good point. This is a “teaching tool”, so, I left it in, but I’m adding this, another way to say “doesn’t bother” using positive words is: “Your statement just rolled off my shoulders.”


Thank them for their opinion, everyone has a right to their opinion. You may re-state it, if you want, using what you came up with above (the positive version). Tell them very nicely that you agree to disagree! You may even add a positive light that shows why you disagree.

i.e., They don’t like your laugh. (This is not constructive at all, it’s just a “put down” (bully) statement. But I did state it using positive words. The words “don’t like” can replace “hate” or any other “not so nice” (harsh) words describing your laugh. That is positive because the base word is “like”, you need the don’t because that is part of their opinion. It’s the base words you want to focus on to be positive.)

God, your version of him, or your Mom gave you your laugh. It’s your gift, embrace it, because laughing is such beautiful medicine. You can even find links to prove your point on that!

I do understand how challenging this subject can be. Story of my life, but that is for another time!!! I’m sorry you are going through the “not so fun” part of this challenge. You’ve got this (You are reading this, so believe that statement.)! I really hope these suggestions help. I’m so excited to have them written down, well, typed, lol. I’m going to use this myself. I really have issues with any kind of push back (but I don’t anymore!!!). Did you see what I did there? Yes, I’m a work still in progress. I’m OK with that!

Thank you to the person who originally inspired me to write this. Thank you!

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